Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tracy Miyashita, candidate Pitt Meadows Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I live and work in my community so I walk, drive and cycle to get around the community.
2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
I support cycling for people of all ages. It promotes health, cleaner cities, and is a method of transportation that actually reduces stress. Many cities in Europe use cycling as the main mode of transportation and I would love to see more cycling in our community. To do this we need to make it easier for people to get around our community safely on a bike and to be able to park their bike safety at thier destination. This begins with planning our communities when we building new roads/developments and insisting businesses put in bike racks. Events such as Bike to Work Week/Bike to school, etc help promote cycling. Certainly the new gas tax should help encourage cycling more as well!!
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.
Pitt Meadows has done a good job of supporting cycling as transportation through safe bike lanes and separated pathways along the Lougheed. Whenever a new road/development is approved we create bike lanes and all of our buildings, parks,etc have bike racks.
I have a child who prefers to cycle to school and enjoys cycling with me to run errands. As a parent, my child's safety is number one and makes me more comfortable when I feel our routes accommodate for cyclists.
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.?
I think funding should be increased to support cycling as a strong alternative method of transportation - not only for recreation, but for commuting to work as well. We put a lot of dollars into highways, road rehabillitation, as well as health problems, yet do not focus on health alternatives such as cycling that are often cheaper to fund.
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 love this idea and think this would benefit our residents.
6. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
I think the municipality plays a strong role in advocating for cycling and could work with other partners to get this message across. Currently we have a joint Bicycle Advisory Committee with Maple Ridge in which city planning departments and Parks and Leisure staff participate, along with community representatives. I think we could also work with schools more to promote safe cycling to school.

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?
The clear benefit for e-bikes compared to cars is the reduction in pollution. There are also economic benefits of saving gas and insurance fees. They offer an improved quality of life as an alternative to driving. E-bikes would be more appealing to those with limited phyical ability because they are electric and don't require a high level of fitness. They are quite easy to use so people of any age could operate them.

8. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
The rides are a great opportunity for families to have fun together and to see more of the community on their bikes. I would love to come on the next ride.

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