Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wendy Cook, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
Car bus train skytrain and bike
2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and liveable communities?
Continue the program already in place in Maple Ridge to designate bike routes, increase bike lanes to make cycling safer in rural areas and provide lock up facilities at community events and ensure trails are able to take a three wheeled bike.
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.
As roads are upgraded and widened where possible ensure that bike lanes are created and clearly designated with appropriate signage on the road surface and sign posts.
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.
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows is an ideal area for cycling tourists.  I am sure that  Parks & Leisure staff would best be able to suggest such a network with a map that could be purchased by tourists online to assist with the upkeep of the trails.  It could be funded through ads from local businesses that cater to cyclists, bed and breakfasts, cafes en route, etc. Forestry bike/hiking trails are a good use of our forests and could be funded by user fees for trail guide books as well.
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.?  
My aim is to decrease taxes by expanding our local economy and tax base through the expansion of tourism,  light manufacturing and international education facilities which would enable more people to choose to bike to work and save on their transportation costs while staying fit and healthy. More money does not always encourage more bike usage, providing a circumstance suitable to more bike usage such as jobs closer to home would do more to encourage cyclists.
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 believe this type of system in use in parts of Europe would work both ways in the area of tourism and recreation for cyclists of Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows,
7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists? 
A course through Parks and Leisure at schools outlining “safe” routes would be ideally held at parks with school district participation, I believe there are pamphlets from ICBC that the municipality could encourage insurance agents to pass out with renewals.

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?   
I believe that e–bikes would encourage more people to bike, especially those who would not be able to go far on a regular bike or up the hill on 224th without getting off and pushing(personal experience)

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community? 

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