Thursday, October 20, 2011

Graham Mowatt, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
 personal vehicle       
2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
I would maintain the present policies of the Municipality

3. There have been many surveys asking people what it would take to get them on a bike. The number one thing people want is separated cycling facilities. How would you support separated bike lanes on key routes? If you are not in support, please explain why.
For Maple Ridge there are alot of other priorities that must take precedence.  Past councils have not only supported but have encouraged urban sprawl without providing any services or facilities for the new subdivisions.  Kids walk to school on the road as there are no side walks.  There are no recreational facilities close to them nor are there parks or other recreational facilities. We don't even have garbage pick up.  These are all greater priorities especially as the vast majority of residents leave the community completely to get to work.  WE have some bike lanes but we also have many trails, and other areas where people can cycle. 

4. Maple Ridge has no off-road (non-mountain-) biking/multi-use trails and is lagging behind other Lower Mainland communities in this respect. How do you feel off-road biking/multi-use trails can benefit Maple Ridge, and how do you suggest to start developing a network of trails.
I must disagree with your statement.  We have literally miles of hiking trails on our diking systems that are flat and are used by cyclists all the time.  In some ways they challenge the cycling paths around Stanley Park.  Other trails would obviously be advantageous but as stated above there are much greater needs requiring fanancial support. Nothing is more important that the safety of our children.
I am also a supporter of reinstating the Albion Ferry as it would open up the many cycling paths and trails in Fort Langley/Derby Reach area in addition to providing much needed transit routes and shorter commuter routes.  It is a win/win for everyone

5. If elected, would you aim to increase or decrease cycling funding from current levels? Do you feel that cycling funding levels should merely reflect the present level of cycling in our communities, or should it reflect the potential of cycling - not only as a means of transportation and for recreation, but also in view of the many desirable benefits cycling has for individuals as well as for our communities/society, such as health benefits, improved livability, reduced greenhouse gasses/pollution, reduced oil-dependency, reduced need for expensive car infrastructure/parking lots, reduced congestion, etc.?
This question is very easy to answer for large cities with large concentrations of people going relatively short distances to work.  It is highly unlikely that cycling from Maple Ridge to Vancouver will ever be the norm or even an option for even a small portion of the population.  I do not believe the demand exists nor will it in the near future. There are serious needs of funding of projects that are directly related to safety, sidewalks, crosswalks , pedestrian activated lights, .  There is only so much money available.  I would not reduce present funding..  Safety of our citizens is paramount.

6. What is your level of interest in a public bike-share system integrated with the transit system? How do you think a public bike-share system in Vancouver can benefit Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows residents?   
I do not feel it would be of benefit at this time.  I do not believe it would be used to that extent to justify the expense.  I also question the longevity of the program with the high probability that the bikes will disappear.
7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
The municipality has a great responsibility and this is where the municipality could inprove it's present level of commitment.  WEhave bylaws for cyclist that are not enforced, helmets for example that makes the whole system look silly.  Safety while biking is as important as the sport itself.   

8. How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system? 
What do you see as the benefits of e-bikes as compared to cars?
What can e-bikes mean for less densely populated suburban communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?
Again this is not going to be widely popular for our community. Areas where there are sufficient bus routes to bring a person close to their destination is imparative for an ebike system to work.  Maple Ridge has basically been ignored by Translink.  We have three routes that all overlap for several miles, and a couple of community buses.  It is a joke.  I think the role of e-bikes is an excellent one, just not for Maple Ridge .

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
No thank-you


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