Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kiersten Duncan, candidate Maple Ridge Council 2011

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within your community and within Metro Vancouver?

My car and my own two feet are my main modes of transport in my community and within Metro Vancouver. As I live out in the country it is often too far to bike and bus service is limited so I drive, park, than walk as much as possible. I also have two bad knees due to sports related injuries so I cycle recreationally but do not feel I would be able to bike as my main form of transportation.

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 improvements and additions to our current bike lanes to make it safer and easier for cyclists to reach their destination. If elected I would like to get more public feedback on cycling issues and then work with the bicycle advisory committee to see these issues addressed. I would also like to see the public better educated about the many benefits of cycling by starting incentive programs for youth at local schools and youth centres (e.g. Greg Moore & the Leisure Centre).Not only would getting youth cycling promote a healthy active lifestyle, but it would also cut back on traffic and reduce our carbon foot print. Hopefully this will create a good habit that will transfer into adulthood for many youth. I myself need to cycle more so I can lead by example!Please read about my idea of bike lanes in Albion Flats in question 3.

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.
Whenever possible it is best to have separated bike lanes because it is safer and less stressful for both cyclists and drivers. I would like to see a separated bike lane on Albion Flats that would be parallel to Lougheed HWY. I feel this would make Lougheed far more accessible to any mode of non-vehicle transportation and encourage more people to use this route.

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.
Multi-use trails are great for getting people active and outdoors. By improving our current trails to be more bike friendly and creating new unique multi-use trails we can get more people involved in cycling. This will promote an active lifestyle and get people thinking more about cycling as a main mode of transportation. I feel putting a unique twist to our trails such as making them educational would be fun, different, and more likely to draw people out. Simple plaques about the natural surrounding’s flora and fauna located throughout a path could grow into eco-tourism for Maple Ridge.

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 don’t know how much money is allocated for cycling funding so I need to do more research on the current level of funding for cycling before I state yes or no to this question. What I can say is that I do feel cycling funding levels should reflect the potential of cycling as a means of transportation and for recreation in our community. Because cycling is a rapidly growing mode of transportation that is essential to reducing our carbon emissions I would like to ensure it gets proper funding.

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 a public bike-share system is a fantastic idea and I would love to see it in Maple Ridge. I think it would be especially great in our downtown core for people who want to get their errands done quickly but in an environmentally sensitive way. They could cut down on their carbon emissions and get things done quicker than if they were driving! I do think we need to make major improvements to our bike lanes before this idea will really take off. Once we have established safer cycling routes we can look at implementing such a program. This might also work very well in conjunction with schools and trying to get kids within a few blocks to bike instead of having their parents drive them. This system has worked for many communities in Europe for years, I see no reason why we cannot make it work here.

7. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?
The municipality needs to take a better role in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists, and motorists. I feel there should be a special focus on educating the public about bike safety (e.g. learning bike signals and how to share the road with cyclists) as well as the many benefits of cycling vs. driving. Because I notice very few recreational cyclists wear helmet’s I feel we should be targeting children to wear helmets in the hope that they will carry this habit into adulthood. I also love candidate Christian Cowley’s idea of more bike lockers and bike lockups near commercial enterprises. I would like to see safer lockups at schools because as a recent graduate I know theft/damage of bikes is a problem at many schools. Cowley is also advocating for a decorative bike rack contest among local businesses, I believe implementing this would be a great step by the municipality in promoting cycling.

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 are a great alternative to the conventional bicycle because they lessen the physical strain on cyclists who intend to ride for long distances, those with injuries such as myself, and are just plain fun! E-bikes are far more affordable compared to cars and help keep people active. I think if we advertised them and made them more readily available to our youth it could become the next big fad. E-bikes give youth who are too young to drive the independence to take themselves places. For those able to drive it is a more affordable, healthier, and environmentally friendly form of transportation.

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

Yes, I would love to come out and bike through the community. Hopefully on a sunny day!

No comments:

Post a Comment