Friday, October 28, 2011

Peter Tam, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I don’t commute as I work from home and if I do need to go to Vancouver where I need to be for more then a few hours and also depending on the time of day, I would take the west coast express as much as possible, and my son uses the WestCoast Express every day to go to Vancouver for school.  I use the bicycle recreationally and around town when I can, usually by myself but quite often we drive because we need to transport kids.     

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
To accommodate all ages and abilities, we need to have physically separate bike lanes like Holland.   I like to at least create a dedicated bike corridor within the shopping area in the town core so instead of taking the bikes to ride along the dyke or Golden Ears we can ride safely down town, to visit the businesses, farmer’s market, and attend events at memorial Peace Park. In another word a dedicated bike corridor will potentially stimulate economic growth downtown.

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.
On some streets that are wide enough, park cars and parking space can be used as barrier, or we can model Vancouver dedicated bike lanes.   We can reduce car lanes from 4 to 3 where the middle lane is used for turning or make streets one way.  In Calgary down town they made 20 city blocks car free.  

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.
A continuous off road trail linking maple Ridge park and Pitt meadows is very possible and will be a major tourist destination, I would also correspond that with some re-zoning so business catering towards this activity can set up shop in Maple Ridge and make it a unique experience.

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.?
I would insist capital projects and upgrades budgets to include funding to accommodate biking.

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 don’t think Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows are ready for a bike share program. We don’t have infrastructure to support it.   But if we start building trails and make roads safe for bikes.   Then a bike share or rental will make sense.
7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
I don’t think the municipality needs to do a lot as long as are streets are safe for all.  I recommend the municipality use matching grant program to partner with bike groups, school group to provide education. 

8. How do you feel e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system?
I’ve seen people delivery things using ebikes in Vancouver, ebikes can bridge the gap of the physical demand.  Being able to get somewhere without strenuous exercise is a major step to attract more users.
What do you see as the benefits of e-bikes as compared to cars?
Much much lower cost, no fossil fuel, for a single person, takes lot less space. And if the batteries are out you can still ride it.
 What can e-bikes mean for less densely populated suburban communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?
I think it will bridge the gab.  I am buying one at the moment to see how effective it can handle going up my hill, the hills has been the biggest challenge.  The e motor seems to make riding up hill feels like normal flat riding.  Thus allowing me to eliminate the hills.

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community? 
I’ve already did, looking forward to the email notices.

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