Friday, October 28, 2011

John Clancy, candidate Pitt Meadows Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I primarily drive. Being a stay at home Dad of 3 young girls during the day, most of my transportation requires a vehicle.

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
Good question, but honestly, I don't know how. I think the best starting point is to ask people like yourself who have a passion for it and have better ideas than me. My cycling is limited to the capabilities of my 7, 5 and 2 year old daughters, so we typically stay relatively close to home and use existing trails, dykes and lanes.

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.
The last census showed that 85% of the people that live in Pitt Meadows work outside the community. I would think most of them work far enough away that they wouldn't ride to work even if you paid them to. This could very well be chalked up to my own ignorance, but my gut feeling is that most of our citizens see cycling as a recreational activity and not an alternative mode of transportation to their vehicles. However, the roadways north of Lougheed Highway are completely unsafe for cyclists but also are really desireable places to ride. I would concentrate efforts on widening roads to accomodate cycling lanes there.

4. 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.?
One of the major components of my election platform is getting our City's fiscal navigation back on track. I'm not going to support cuts to funding for any of our community's recreation, but I can't say that I'll support additional funding either. I think there is an opportunity to spend our exisiting tax dollars more efficiently and when it comes to reallocating these savings back to the community, it would come down to the difference of needs and wants. Aside from the need to make the roadways north of Lougheed safer for cyclists, the wants of the cycling community would go up against other recreational activities' needs and, to be honest, lose my support.  

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 it's an idea with merit given the concentration of our City's population into areas that aren't part of the Agricultural Land Reserves. Over time though, I think we would find most of the public bikes would be concentrated at our two shopping malls or the West Coast Express station. There are definately some logisitical problems to consider, but I think it's a good idea.

6. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
It definately has a role in making it safe to cycle and promoting healthy activities in general. As far as education goes, I think the role becomes more weighted towards enforcement. A cycling fair supported by the City to teach kids how to ride whose parents either don't know how or have time to teach would be a good start. As far as educating motorists though, I'm more stick than carrot on that one. I used to ride 30 kms a day to get back and forth to UVic and cyclist education is pretty staight forward. Ride defensively and assume that every car doesn't see you. 

7. How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system?
No idea what they are.
What do you see as the benefits of e-bikes as compared to cars?
See above.
What can e-bikes mean for less densely populated suburban communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?

8. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
You bet! Please don't expect to see Eddy Merckx though, more like Julie Andrews.

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