Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Candace Gordon, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?
I mostly drive my car. I arrange my day so that I can do all my work with one trip. Due to the nature of my contracts I frequently have too much to use a bike. Community Kitchens require too many bins of equipment and food to load on a bike! I do own a bike and for several years when I owned my restaurant “The Sunflower” I only had a bike  with large baskets to travel by and actually did all my local shopping with it.

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation - for people of all ages and abilities - to promote healthy and livable communities?
I would support cycling by adopting a comprehensive plan for cycling trails and routes as developed by BAC ( I understand it is part of the business plan for next year). I would also support an implementation plan, timeline and resources to fund the plan.

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 support separated bike lanes on key routes.  I would want the recommendations of our Bicycle Advisory Committee and to review the plan to achieve separated bike lanes on key routes. We must have a comprehensive cycling network plan. Once we have the plan then we need an implementation plan, a timeline and the resources allocated to achieve it. To find the money without an increase to taxes we could look at our transportation infrastructure budget and reallocate a small portion of it to cycling.

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.
Off-road biking multi-use trails can benefit the residents of Maple Ridge by providing safe recreation use for everyone making us healthier and of course for our enjoyment. In addition however, this can improve our recreational tourism as we are in easy day use distance for the entire Lower Mainland. We have a Bicycle Advisory Committee so we should start by asking for their recommendations on this subject.  Again we need to complete a comprehensive plan of cycling networks which include commuting and recreational  use.

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 we 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 increase the funding for cycling infrastructure as we need to increase our cycling infrastructure for all the reasons cited above. Also if we are to increase cycling we need to make sure that people feel safe on our system. This would dictate that we need to make significant improvements and investments in the system.. Much has been done since I was on BAC but the funding has always been a significant restraint.

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 think this is a great idea. It would be wonderful if we have something here. The system in Vancouver allows our citizens to take the West Coast Express for instance into downtown and use a bike to get around in Vancouver.

7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?  
Yes the municipality has a role in educating our road users of the road etiquette for both cyclists and motorists. It is very confusing when you are on a bike or in a car and you are not sure what the other road user is going to do. You always need to be extra cautious on the chance that they will not follow the law. Workshops can be done especially with children so they learn the rules of the road early. The Bicycle committee certainly is able to do this. Also for adults as many of them need the same information. The RCMP bike patrol has a role to play in educating the public on safe habits on the road. The signage that indicates to cars that this road is a shared route is important too.

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?
Yes e-bikes can play a role in our transportation system. They play a role in the continuum of transportation choices. People, for example, who are challenged with chronic illnesses can benefit from having a little extra help while still cycling. E-bikes definitely reduce green house gas, wear and tear on our road infrastructure and in the long term our taxes. They are a better environmental choice over cars. Because suburban development is spread out, e-bikes can potentially encourage people in the outlying areas with long distances to services to e-bike to their destinations.

9. Would you be interested in joining members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a bike ride through your community?
Yes although recently I had eye procedures in both eyes and I am somewhat restricted in what I do.

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