Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Janis Elkerton, candidate Pitt Meadows Council 2011

1)Mode of transport in Pitt Meadows and within Metro Vancouver 
I use the car primarily in town but utilise the West Coast Express and Sky Train when travelling to Vancouver for meetings and events. I walk or cycle for exercise and pleasure on our dykes.
2)How would you support cycling for transportation to promote healthy and liveable communities?
When on Council I supported including separated bike lanes on our new transportation projects including the Golden Ears and Pitt River Bridges. Pitt Meadows has integrated their greenways on the dykes with dedicated bike lanes in the City. We also have installed new bike lanes in the major road networks of our ALR to provide easier and safer access to our picturesque dykes. Both businesses and the City have installed bike racks for security. And on Pitt Meadows Days we have provided bike storage manned by volunteers to encourage alternatives to the car transportation. I would also encourage senior levels of government to provide grants to communities that reduce pollution and promote healthy lifestyles by increasing the number of separated bike lanes in their communities.
3) Separated bike lanes on key routes are the number one thing to get people on bikes
As a health professional I am well aware that safety is the number one concern for bikers and their families. As I have stated I have supported inclusion of bike lanes in new transportation projects. When doing maintenance and repair of key transportation corridors I would include the construction of new bike lanes. Senior levels of government have provided matching in the past "green initiatives" for which bike lanes have qualified.
4) If elected would you increase or decrease cycling funding from current levels?
I believe Pitt Meadows has been very supportive of cycling in the past. That does not mean there is not room for improvement. There is only one taxpayer who funds all levels of government. Pitt Meadows has to ensure we look at every grant opportunity to take advantage of funding for promotion of cycling in our community. I believe cycling provides all the tangible and intangible benefits you have listed especially in regards to the health and liveability of our City and citizens,  now and in the future. So as with any corporate lifecycle asset, cycling funding should increase with time.
5) What is your level of interest in a public bike/share system integrated with the transportation network? And how would a public bike/share system work for Pitt Meadows?
Since the majority of our residents commute to work, often long distances, this bike/share system would be essential for getting more people out of their cars. Integrating it with the transportation network is the key. Convenience, safety and reliability are key components encouraging the public to change  their ingrained habits.
6) What has the City done in promoting and supporting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
The City has a Bicycle Advisory Committee which has had strong representation in the past from Council liaisons and community volunteers. It helps these advocates have been enthusiastic cyclists themselves. This group, which is affiliated with Parks and Recreation, has provided planning for inclusion of bike lanes and paths, especially  in our OCP (Official Community Plan). The Municipal Advisory Committee on Accessibility Issues also deals with planning for separated lanes for scooters and bikes . Public education and promotion of cycling issues have been done with Council presentations and Council reports from the liaisons to these committees.
7) How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in the transportation system? What do you see as  the benefits of the e-bike in comparison to the car?
E-bikes have a number of benefits for our transportation system. The escalating costs of providing new roads/bridges is unsustainable for the public purse. E-bikes could be encouraged and utilised as the "second car" for local transportation. Residents could use their e-bikes in our safe bike lanes to do local business and shopping. E-bikes reduce pollution, which is so important with our increased global warming  concerns. They also reduce stress with their slower pace and allow our residents to really experience our community. Instead of just rushing from place to place.
8) Would you be interested in a cycling experience in your community?
Absolutely. I always found Council "road trips" beneficial for planning and making decisions for our community.

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