We asked the Saanich mayor and council candidates to provide their thoughts and strategies on the transportation issues in Saanich (outside of the light rail discussion).
David Cubberley, mayoral candidate:
Rapid transit should not be considered in isolation from other improvements to regional networks. The CRD needs to agree on a regional transportation plan that supports the growth strategy, eases congestion, reduces traffic impacts on neighbourhoods, and diversifies mobility choices. Once developed, the region should approach the province about funding its share (most of it) of upgrades to capacity and new infrastructures.
Frank Leonard, mayoral candidate:
Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin and I proposed that the governance of transit be transferred to the CRD, so that there is more local control and accountability than what exists now at BC Transit, a provincial crown corporation. We have also encouraged our colleagues to embrace a regional transportation function. Meanwhile, transit service has increased 56% while I have been Mayor and we continue to promote all alternatives to the automobile – walking, cycling and transit with new sidewalks, bike lanes and bus shelters.
Susan Brice, council candidate:
The governance of public transit must ensure that transportation planning is an integral aspect of total regional planning. To that end, as a CRD Director, I supported Mayors Leonard and Fortin in their proposition to the CRD that the provincial government transfer the governance role away from a small base of elected representatives on the Transit Commission and instead to the broad based elected representation on the CRD Board. A favorable response is expected from the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and this would be a big step forward in our being able to deal with transit in an integrated transportation model that includes cycling, automobiles pedestrians and transit.
Judy Brownoff, council candidate:
Saanich needs to recognize the many forms of a balanced transportation system that can help improve movement of goods and services, move pedestrians and cyclists safely. I support us moving forward to work on a Regional Transportation Plan that will see investment in transit improvements so that we can alleviate full buses passing by transit riders and reduce our emissions and protect our air quality.
Vic Derman, council candidate:
Traffic congestion and other transportation issues have become a constant concern for citizens. To address the problem, we need to have a regional transportation authority. We also need to provide infrastructure that will make it easier and more attractive to walk, cycle and take transit. To really address problems, however, we need to pay attention to land use decisions. Sprawling, low density development encourages excess car use and congestion. New, denser developments in the right location, like the Douglas Corridor, are a big part of the solution to transportation concerns.
Paul Gerrard, council candidate:
We need to embrace a whole range of transportation choices for Saanich in the near future. Every trip begins as a pedestrian, so that environment is vitally important. Wide, accessible sidewalks are essential, and Saanich has already passed its present sidewalk and bike lane targets for the year. BC Transit is also a vital part of our transportation system, and needs to explore options for additional stock, routes and schedules. If LRT is in our future, we must consider not only a lateral route from the Western Communities , but a route up McKenzie Avenue to UVIC, the Airport and the Ferries.
Ingrid Ip, council candidate:
I feel that a lot of our transportation issues are from drivers coming into or through Saanich . McKenzie and the Trans-Canada Hwy is a prime example so any solution should be a shared cost. I support the need for more sidewalks and bike lanes but we must be careful that we aren’t inadvertently diverting cars to other routes such as what was happening by Wilkinson/Interurban. Although I support cyclists and try to be extra courteous to them when driving or even walking, I don’t often see the courtesy reciprocated.
Dean Murdock, council candidate:
Traffic is a concern for most of the residents I talk to on the doorstep. We can reduce congestion with improved public transit service that has dedicated transit lanes to speed-up travel times on major corridors during peak hours. We should work with educational institutions and major employers to promote transit pass programmes to build ridership. We need to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety. I propose a ten-year plan to fund and build new sidewalks and upgrade crumbling sidewalks all across Saanich. Let’s create proper bike lanes and invest in expanded connector trails between major centres.
Vicki Sanders, council candidate:
I believe there needs to be more education. I support a better pedestrian environment, safe bicycling and car share cars in developments.
Nichola Wade, council candidate:
While we continue to encourage residents to use public transit, carpools, cycling and all green transportation options, we know that vehicular traffic will not cease. We must continue to offer transportation options to residents. Saanich must move traffic efficiently. & where appropriate continue good works in our neighbourhoods to maintain their liveability. .
Leif Wergeland, council candidate:
We must continue to expand safe bikeways and pedestrian walkways.
Rob Wickson, council candidate:
I’ve spent a lot of time sharing information and listening to what people have to say about transportation and land use in our area. I understand the importance of having a regional transportation network that not only moves goods and services efficiently, but also connects people and places. I’ve chaired transportation committees for the City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and I’m the current president of Bike to Work Week Victoria. Light Rapid Transit has been the focus of recent media attention, but over 10 years involvement in this debate as past President of Island Tranformations.Org shows my commitment to finding sustainable solutions to address traffic congestion and carbon emissions. The most consistent issue I hear from neighbourhood is about the speeds of vehicles traveling through our communities. It is time we took a community wide look at addressing this for the safety of all of our residents.
Harald Wolf, council candidate:
Walkability and cycling are still taking a back seat to the car in Saanich. Sidewalks and bike routes are only put in where it is convenient or can be integrated with road expansion or reconstruction. There is little correlation to where they are actually needed most, so we have ended up with a patchwork of segments that are both confusing and at times downright frightening to use, especially for children and the elderly.