Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sandy MacDougal, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I am 71 years old and live in downtown Maple Ridge. For most destinations in the immediate area, I walk. For other more distant destinations, I usually drive either our car or camper-equipped truck. For recreation use, I will ride almost anywhere, ranging from downtown to Pitt Polder or Websters Corners. I seldom venture into Vancouver and would likely drive on those infrequent occasions.

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
If elected, I would encourage cycling as a means of transportation for anyone physically able. This would have to include safe cycling routes and other measures.

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.
Space permitting, separate bike lanes can be accommodated on most existing main routes. Separate cycling lanes could be included in the design phase of future main routes.

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.
The development of off-road cycling networks would have to involve long range planning such as the horse trail network in Maple Rldge. The use of volunteers and very limited amounts of capital have allowed the development of an excellent equestrian trail system. It should be easier to establish a cycling network.

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 wasn't aware that there was any credible existing level of public funding for cycling in Maple Ridge. A few buckets of paint on existing streets is not my idea of adequate funding. Huge sums aren't necessarily needed but limited amounts could aid in planning.

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? 
6: I don't think the concept of bike sharing would work in Maple Ridge at this time but it could be promoted to great advantage in urban areas such as Vamcouver. If properly planned and implemented, it would help reduce congestion and pollution on city streets.

7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
Because the municipality already plays a key role in virtually all areas of recreation, it is obvious to me that we should also be involved in promoting cycling safety and education.

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?

The use of e-bikes as a component in our transportation system is an idea that is a bit ahead of its time but should be incorporated into the planning stage for the future.

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
 9: I am definitely interested in the idea of a VACC ride. Please keep me posted.

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