Sunday, November 13, 2011

Al Hogarth, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I usually use my personal vehicle.  On short errands around town I will walk and if I have to do downtown Vancouver for a day I will take the West Coast Express but that is a rare occassion.  I will also use Skytrain

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
Cycling is one of many modes of transportation that is and being recognized in much of the work being done.  The bicycle committee has done a great job of bringing awareness and evolving some of our streets reconstruction or new construction as well as planning for bike routes.  I agree with this continuing.

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.
I think separated routes are an excellent idea and particularly multi-user paths - sidewalks, lanes whatever you wish to call them.  My not be achievable on existing streets but certainly in new or redeveloping areas.  I first saw this in China in 2003 and thought they were great but they were being done in large new road construction projects where road allowances could accommodate them.

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.
I think the idea is great and could enhance tourism.  This could be work done by the bicycle advisory committee.  There are other networks, horse trails, dykes etc. they should all be looked at as multi use and linked where possible.

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.?
The easy answer is yes, but realistically it would likely have to remain as is now.  All of your points in your question are very appropriate in terms of a "complete community"  There are other areas that require attention as well particularly relating to pedestrian access and safety.  As you are aware there is a great push back in this campaign for reducing taxes while at the same time community groups and neighbourhoods feel they are deserving of more attention in respect to their needs and wants.  Perhaps your group could review the budget and suggest what is not needed.

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 have to admit I know very little about it, but fro what I know it appears that there has to be alot of other things in place and a large increase in bike ridership to possibly make it feasible.

7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
I believe there is a role for the municipality but it may involve either volunteers in conunction with RCMP, driving schools or perhaps cycle shops when they sell bikes.  Should there be some form of compliance test or knowledge test for cyclists and conversely should there be more emphasis on motor vehicle driving tests in respect to cyclists.
If there was a program that could be introduced that may have a cost associated with it - should or could it be funded through a point of sale fee charged by the retailers much like the environmental fees on some products.

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?
E-bikes can play a role in more accessibility and mobility, reduce greenhouse gases etc.  It gets back to number 7 and the cyclists, motorist mutual respect issue and rules of the road.  Due to greater speed of e-bikes there is a concern or risk of higher accident rates and injury.  I am as concerned about e-bike accidents with motor vehicles as I am with pedestrians.

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
I would join a bike ride in our community but I do not own a bike or riding gear which I am sure I could be assisted in.  I'm sure I would need a day or two to recover afterwards, but I would welcome it since I have been considering buying a bike for needed exercise and it would afford me the opportunity to see if it would work for me and of course see the issues from the cyclists side as opposed to the motorists.

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