Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gwen O'Connell, candidate Pitt Meadows Council 2011

1.    What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver? I normally do drive unless I am going to an event down town and then I use sky train. I drive to New West and take the sky train from there.

2.    How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation for all ages and abilities to promote healthy and livable communities?
I think we need to make bike lanes mandatory on the roads that have been built wide enough to have them. We also need to start encouraging our children to ride bikes to school and sports and have a proper lock up area at each of the places so that they do not have to worry about someone stealing their bike.
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.
I do not support separated bike lanes on key routes in our community because unfortunately most of our residents travel long distances to go to work outside the community. We are very dependent on the vehicle in our community as we do not have good bus service or a commuter train that runs all day and night. We need to start encouraging businesses and companies to start building their companies out in the valley more so that people do not have to travel so far to get to work. I think where separated bike lanes should be on the one way streets and you should still keep the street open on one lane for cars and one lane for bikes.

4.    If elected would you to increase or decrease cycling funding from current levels? Do you 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 for transportation and for recreation, but also in view of the many desirable benefits cycling for individuals as well as for our communities/society, such as health benefits ,improved livability, reduced greenhouses gasses/pollution, reduced oil – dependency, reduced need for expensive car infrastructure/parking lots, reduced congestion, etc?
I think we do need to continue to fund cycling and always keep an eye on ways that we can get more people out of their cars. We need to encourage ways for people to travel together and make the large companies more responsible to help find ways for their workers to get to them greener. How can workers that pack large tools boxes get to their jobs on the bus or bike that just will not work. If we could just encourage children to ride bikes to school that would start the change in habit that we need to start.
5.    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 think the bike share system is awesome it works very well in Europe and other countries and it would work here. I think it would benefit the residents in our community that work downtown and the train or bus station does not go that close to their office they could hop on a bike and ride the rest of the way.
6.    What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
I think every level of government is responsible for this we have to all work together on the same page or this will take way to long to implement changes in how we commute.

7.    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?
I love e bikes for some people they are way more affordable and they can travel quite a distance. This would probably be a better solution for communities like ours that do not have good bus service and way better for our environment.

8.    Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
I personally could not do this as it would be very scary for people to see me riding a bike years ago I loved it but now it is better for our residents for me to walk.  

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