Question: Each year the Comox Valley is experiencing heavier traffic volumes, especially on the main arterial roads. What are your views on how to deal with this problem?
Comox Town Council – Russ Arnott
As an avid cyclist to and from work I think we have a nice balance of bike lanes in Comox; however, I think the RD needs to widen Anderton road. Also knight road needs to be safer so that those of us going to and from the base can do so safely. That alone would reduce a number of vehicles on the road.
Money spent on widening some roads for bikes would go a long way in reducing traffic volumes along with less pollution.
Director CVRD A – Dan Lisch
We live in a rural area where the main arterial road is the Old Island Hwy. I have 2 children in elementary school-one at Royston El and one at Navigate/Nides. I have walked my daughter to Royston mostly along the highway several times (45min) but do not feel this is a safe or enjoyable option. My other daughter I have to drive out to Tsolum campus at least once a week as there is no transit available. When we lived in Courtenay, my wife was an avid bike commuter. However, biking on the highway in the wet, dark winter months is too stressful and so her bike sits collecting cobwebs. I recall an article about planning bike routes in major that said for a route to be well utilized you would have to be comfortable taking your 4 year old child or your 80 year old grandma on it.
While I understand that the main focus is on the congested areas in Courtenay/Comox, it is essential that routes like the Galloping Goose, the Rotary Sea Walk in CR or the Airpark be planned into our infrastructure in the rural areas as well. While this would help decrease traffic congestion and get our citizens more active, there could also be a huge economic benefit through tourism. With our wineries and farms and incredible scenery, we should be able to promote bike tours to rival Europe.
Director CVRD B – Rod Nichol
od Nichol here, as a retired RCMP officer from Courtenay Det. I share your concerns and I am very aware of the many close calls cyclists endure on a daily basis in the valley on our rural roads. Unfortunately the regional district does not maintain or improve the rural roads. I agree the shoulders are not wide enough (if they even have one). I have often thought, would it be safer for cyclist to ride against the flow of traffic on the other side of the road? Thinking outside of the box, at least the cyclist would see traffic coming at them instead approaching unseen and often unheard from behind. Just a thought I think it would be safer, I would like to know what you think, You never know. Hoping the highways will be widen our roads any time soon by the province is just not likely. Rod
SD #71 – Donna Gambacorta
Thank you for your email. The School Board along with Administrators and staff have been working together for a long time to tackle the issue of traffic congestion in the neighbourhoods of our schools. Our schools do walking buses and wacky walking wheeling Wednesdays to support leaving cars at home. We are huge supporters of the newer program under the great leadership of Angela Holmes. We have found this to have had a huge impact on lessening vehicle use in our school zones. This is a subject that we are always working at getting better. Thank you again for your email and look forward to hearing any ideas you have in helping the district towards lessening vehicle use.
Courtenay City Council – Doug Hillian
Thanks for this opportunity to comment on how we can deal with increasing traffic volumes.
My vision is a community where we focus on moving people rather than moving vehicles; where new and existing development is pedestrian and cyclist friendly; where transit is effective and well-used; and where we find ways to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels to promote individual health, a more liveable community and to combat climate change.
The City’s 25 year transportation plan reflects these goals with it’s emphasis on multi-modal solutions, increased density and complete streets. I believe we need to improve our transit system while at the same time encouraging ridership. This is particularly important with an aging population – people will not start to ride the bus in their senior years unless they have developed the habit while younger. While we clearly need to maintain our roads to assure smooth travel for all modes, building more bridges and roads with cars in mind will result in more cars on those roads and bridges. We need to gradually change the car-centric mind set to a multi-modal approach with our policy and our practice.
I also support:
- encouraging workplace incentives to take transit and carpool;
- expandinging the School District’s active travel program;
- traffic calming in neighbourhoods and policy that new development is pedestrian/cycling friendly;
- infilling and increased density, particularly close to downtown/shopping hubs, to enable walking and reduce commutes;
- passive roundabouts to help reduce congestion at intersections and reduce accidents – very expensive to build, so we need to push senior governments to direct infrastructure spending into sustainable transportation initiatives;
- cycling recognized as a legitimate means of transportation and investment in cycling infrastructure (routes, lanes and separate paths) promoted as a key element of managing traffic flow by making cycling a safer alternative and thereby increasing ridership;
- make the third crossing a pedestrian/cycling bridge.
I have advocated for these approaches at Courtenay Council and hope to continue to do so with your collaboration and support.
SD #71 – Jeany Kane
To answer your question : Comox Valley is definitely getting heavier traffic volumes and I had to check and find out what this answer was with the BCSTA. I didn’t really know we had a problem and my answer is that I would have to find out from each school what kind of safety practices are in place. I know there are bike safety programs in the elementary schools but I am not aware of how well they are being implemented and if every grade gets this program. I think the bike safety issue is very important but in regards to heavier traffic flow I believe we have to lobby for better bike lanes and safer traffic flow around our schools. I am very happy with the advances already made in Comox but I do see some room for improvement. Courtenay is sadly lacking in bike lanes and safety will be more of an issue there. In my way of thinking, the way of the future is scooters, bikes and electric cars. To go forward we need to address these issues and I applaud you and your group for being forward thinkers. If I am voted in I would like to sit down with your group to see where you are thinking of in regards to this problem because I was not aware and this does pose an important issue with our students in this community. My big issue in this election is that our community needs to have more input in where we live. My whole platform is that I want to LISTEN. I want to hear from other groups and organizations on what they feel are important issues. I want to help solve these problems in the four years I am running, so please encourage everyone you know to vote and thank you again for the email.
Comox Town Council – Barbara Price
Thank you for your question.
Here is my response.
I’ve lived in my Comox home for over 30 years and have seen a vast increase in vehicular traffic particularly at peak times. We need to get more people out of their cars and using alternative transportation. I support improving public transit and making our roadways safer for all users whether through bike lanes, off road linkages or ‘share the road’ signage. As a founding and active member of the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force, I support the work of the Public Advisory Committee and value their advice in identifying safety issues.
Reducing congestion prior to making decisions on expensive infrastructure additions such as more roads, is economically responsible as well as environmentally sound.
Getting out of our cars and using self propulsion, not only saves the planet, it saves our selves. Obesity is sky rocketing as is diabetes.
On a personal note, I include an endorsement.
‘Barbara is committed to safe travel for everyone. She helped to bring Active School Travel Planning to Comox. She has my vote.’ James Taylor, Joint Chair of the Cycling Public Advisory Committee.
Seeking Re-election to Comox Council
Courtenay City Council – Erik Eriksson
I would be most interested in making sure that safety continues to be a high priority, particularly at intersections. With particular regard to cycling safety, I will be supportive of the goal of cycling advocates to make the roadways safer for cyclists.
Cumberland Village Council – Jesse Ketler
The two bridges act as bottle necks in our traffic flow. If a third bridge for vehicle traffic is not feasible or palatable then what about a dedicated bridge for pedestrian and cyclists? This would encourage people to use other modes of transportation and reduce traffic.
We can look to bigger cities for ideas on how they have reduced traffic volumes. In Montreal, they have a great program called Bixi-bike that lets people rent a bike (using a credit card) at a stall at one location then return the bike to another stall near their destination. This program has been very successful and I think a similar service in the Comox Valley would be beneficial to both residents and visitors.
Taxi service in Comox Valley is very expensive and it discourages people from giving up car ownership. In many cities now there are car sharing programs. Currently the valley has Island Rideshare which is a website for people to post needed or offered rides. This current program can be expanded upon to increase available services. Other programs that could be offered include monthly fees for participates to receive an allotted time per month for use of a car. Or taxi-like services where a person becomes a member of a service and requests rides through the use of a phone app that has GPS capability and is pay per use but lower cost than regular taxi (an example of this service is Uber offered in many US cities and currently being considered in Vancouver).
Candidate for Cumberland Council
Cumberland Village Council – Steven Royer
Good to hear from you. Yes this is a good question. My wife always rides her bike from Courtenay to Cumberland. There is no bike lanes between Cumberland Rd to fourth street cumberland. Its very dangerous and my wife has had close calls. Also Royston Rd. is very thin and dangerous. Cumberland needs Bike Lanes and when I get in as Councillor I will deal with matter. It affects all Comox VAlley residents. Talk to you soon.
Cumberland Village Council – Roger Albert
I don’t believe the answer lies in more and bigger arterial roads. A better and safer way for cyclists to come and go from Cumberland into Courtenay is much needed. Cumberland Road between the interchange and 4th Street needs bicycle lanes. We also need to improve transit and that doesn’t mean raising fares. Problem is we’re quite spread out in the valley. The busses that travel between Cumberland and the rest of the Valley are underused in my opinion. We have to fight the idea that public transit is a subsidy for the poor and we have to educate people into using busses as a viable transportation option. That’s not easy. I don’t use the busses myself because it’s much more convenient to just jump into my vehicle when I need to get anywhere. The automobile is so entwined in our lives that giving it up seems ridiculous to most folks. Still, we don’t need more and bigger roads. And you know what? Yes, we are experiencing heavier traffic volumes but we’re nowhere near experiencing gridlock. Planning is the key to a reasonable and balanced approach to transportation issues. There are ways of improving traffic flows on existing roads. I wrote the Comox Valley Social Planning Society’s 2014 Quality of Life Report available at cvsocialplanning.ca. I deal with transportation in that report.
Courtenay City Council – David Frisch
Thanks for asking such a pertinent question. Yes, our arterial roads are becoming busier every year and I have a plan to ease the pressure of vehicle traffic.
1) Sidewalks to all schools and shopping Centres, crosswalks wherever benefical to pedestrians, and signage to reinforce the rights of pedestrians.
2) Cycle paths to connect East and West Courtenay, East Courtenay and Comox, East Courtenay and CFB Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland, and safe bike path routs for school children.
3) The continued support of bus transit to find efficiencies while growing ridership.
4) keeping an open mind a finding new solutions form around the world.
Cumberland Village Council – Roger Kishi
Local government has an important role in this matter. I support the transit futures plan and active transportation.
We can aid in raising awareness of alternative transportation options, and work towards more sustainable transportation in the Comox Valley.
Increasing density, and slowing sprawl will also relieve car dependency.
Director CVRD C – Edwin Grieve
We know that the population in the Comox Valley is going to grow by about 30% over the next 20 years. We are putting our efforts into shifting how people get around in the valley. We know that approximately 80% of all cars on the road are occupied by the driver only. We are trying to shift transportation patterns away from that trend towards transit, cycling and pedestrian, by offering better transportation infrastructure in the rural areas.
The Transportation Road Network Plan, completed in Fall 2014, will be implemented by an agreement with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, (MoTI) who holds the mandate to build transportation infrastructure. In the follow up to this plan and through our agreement we will be encouraging MoTI to build better cycling lanes, using separated lanes in some key priority areas, and better walking trails so that people in the rural areas have more choices, safer choices and healthier choices. We have also just completed the BC Transit Futures Plan and it proposes better routes that will increase ridership over time. Finally, our land use plans are discouraging rural sprawl, and nurturing growth in key areas that can help support better active transportation infrastructure by directing growth to key areas so that a threshold can grow to support this alternative infrastructure. We have also developed new street network guidelines that will ensure that new subdivision provide a road network that is linked and enables cyclists and walkers to make their way through neighborhoods, without ending up on dead end streets of areas where they have to turn around. Our rural directors, like the coalition, are working to get people out of their cars for at least some of the time.
SD #71 – Sheila McDonnell
As you know, I’ve been involved in the Active Travel to School initiative from its beginning. As chair of the then SD71 transportation Committee, I believed our mandate was bigger than busing. By reaching out to the Cycling Task Force and building a great partnership with the municipalities, school district and community members like yourself, I think we’ve made a difference to how safe neighbourhood routes are being looked at for cyclists and walkers of all ages. We know that active travel and reduced reliance on cars are important for student health and school success. HASTE BC started as a way to reduce poor air quality caused by idling around schools; we now understand the importance of daily activity to reduce obesity and get young brains working. I’m happy that the district is continuing to support this and, that we are collectively shifting the focus from cycling only to the Go Smart concept of safe choices for everybody. The schools are a great way to build support and buy in for less car travel and to raise a new generation who are competent and committed to cycling. It’s been a great pleasure to work with the Cycling coalition, Ed, James, Chris, Angela and all the volunteers who put so much effort into making a better experience for our students. I’m glad Active Travel will be continuing, and I’m thinking about how we can develop a strategy to get more high school students using active travel. We do have many staff who ride, include cycling in curriculum and support afterschool activities. I’m the Trustee Cheerleader for all of this.
Beyond this program, I have expressed concerns about how our programming impacts traffic. While I wouldn’t want to make academic plans based on reducing car trips, other factors being equal, I support having as many students as possible attending schools within walk and ride limits. Our “programs of choice’, like French immersion and NIDES, require parents to get students to school themselves. We did a review that really highlighted the problems, but left them unanswered. I think we need to go back and revisit that policy and look for fresh ideas. I’m a huge supporter of community schools and smaller, neighbourhood schools. Especially with our new approach to self-directed learning and technology support, I wonder why we are busing so many students in 10-12 from Cumberland and Lake Trail area to Vanier. What could we do if we diverted the cost of 3 or 4 buses and portables at Vanier into programing in those schools? And I really believe that district programs, like the IClass or FAE (Fine Arts Academy) should be central and on transit routes. Individually driving children around the district is not great in my mind. It’s a trade-off- how can we get those specialized programs out to more kids in their home schools and get both benefits?
Linking our bus program with the Regional Transit system is also on my radar. We spend a lot of money to get students to and from schools 5 days a week on specific routes at specific times. When our bus policy was set, there was no regional bus system at all. I’m pleased that our Operations Manager and the CVRD people have been working together to synchronize some routes, but I’d like to look at whether we could integrate our secondary school busing needs. Some sort of school pass using our bus budget as a base could give students a bus pass they can use system-wide all week. What a benefit to the valley to have a generation of students getting the bus/bike habit! I will be encouraging this approach – maybe a provincial pilot project- as we head to our next contract tendering. If we have to start high school a little later to shift student demand off-peak time, well, that would solve the problem of the shift in teenage circadian rhythyms.
For transportation in general, I support the priority to put bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, trails and linkages in place to improve the range of safe travel experiences. I learned Urban Geography Truth 101 back in 1975- “Wider streets will NEVER solve traffic congestion”; we do know what will and we just need to put our engineering budget to changes that will make cycling and walking better – and wow- better for drivers too. It was a great shame, for instance, that the widening of Lerwick did not include forward-thinking planning for school access; within a fairly short time, I predict we will be rebuilding that street from Comox to the Hospital with bike lanes, intersection islands and other complete streets “best practices”. And the Active Travel Planning process for Valley View, Isfeld and Queenesh may be leading the way.
Thanks for your leadership and commitment to a healthy valley.
Cumberland Mayor – Leslie Baird
Thank you for your email, I have been a member of the Comox Valley Cycling Task force for the last three years. The committee has asked for an extension of its mandate and a name change to reflect all transportation methods.
The Village is in the process of re-vamping the entrance into the village from Union Road to Bevan Road (main entrance into the Village) included in the concept will be bike lanes to make it safe for people travelling to the rest of the valley.
I go across the bridges in Courtenay as little as possible.
I know of people that travel the inland highway up Piercy to Lerwick to keep away from the traffic with the new hospital it is going to get busier.
The transit numbers are going up but, it just does not work well for some people.
SD #71 – Ian Hargreaves
Thank you for seeking my views on this subject.
As an avid cyclist myself, I strongly support the building bike lanes, walking paths and other infrastructure to enable citizens and visitors to the Comox valley to readily use both. I would also be in support of improving the public transit service in the valley.
On a related topic, I would also encourage the development of the Comox Valley as a holiday destination for cyclists from around the world. With our growing winery and whiskey industry, the rural setting and mountain to ocean vistas, the Comox Valley offers all that cycling holidays in Europe or the elsewhere offer … and perhaps more!
I hope my answer is of use to you.
~ Ian Hargreaves
Courtenay City Council – Stu Macinnis
Thank you for your question it’s one that I feel strongly about. Up until about three years ago I hadn’t owned a vehicle in ten years. For those ten years I both cycled and used public transportation to get around.
Each year as our community experiences heavier traffic volumes I think that our city council has a responsibility to ensure that effort is made to deal with the problems that this creates.
I feel that bike lanes are a way of tackling this problem, also I think that our council can do more to encourage the use of public transit.
Both by increasing the number of transit stops, and the infrastructure of those stops(ie.benches,shelters), but perhaps also a discount for long term bus passes,(ie, three months, six months, a year)
Although the question has been brought to me by others I’m not sure how the logistics of a third crossing of the Puntledge river would work. I think that some extensive studies would have to be undertaken to see if that investment is worth the cost.
I also think that a walking/bike path similar to the Galloping Goose trail in Victoria is also an idea that should be looked into.
I thank you again for your question.
Have a fantastic day.
SD #71 – Meredith Starkey
Thank you for your question! This is a topic very near and dear to my heart
as I spent five years as a planner with TransLink in Metro Vancouver.
Historically we have dealt with increased traffic volumes by building more/wider roads. Unfortunately, this type of solution only produces short term improvements, not to mention the high cost and environmental impact. Some road building may be necessary at times, but I’d rather see investment in making alternative modes of travel more viable for more people. In the case of trips to school, this means participation in bike to work/school weeks, the creation of a ride share network to connect potential car pools and active transport school “bus” groups, and inviting organizations such as yours to come and lead youth workshops on safe cycling. Additionally, it means ensuring that our schools are equipped to accommodate active modes, for instance having bike racks available to students.
Lastly, and this is a big one, it means doing what we can to keep community schools open so more kids can walk or bike to school.
Thanks again for your question! I’m happy to answer additional questions and to hear from your members
Comox Town Council – Vivienne Webster
thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I do not know how to answer your question. I certainly understand the concerns, because I live on what is considered a main arterial road in the valley. I am as concerned about the problem as you are. I would certainly welcome any input you can give me that would educate me a little bit, and do everything I am able to do to support public safety. in fact, that is one of my concerns on my election brochure. I am concerned with the crosswalks being almost invisible at night or in fog and think we need to have flashing lights at every crosswalk.
So any information you can give me that will be useful for me and that I can support would be very helpful indeed.
I am sorry I could not be more specific, but you will understand that there are a myriad of concerns out there regarding safety. Please send me any literature you can, so that I may incorporate it into my platform
Thank you again for your your interest
Comox Town Council – Maureen Swift
We can expect to see some improvements in the transit situation in the coming years with more attention to bus routes and timing of buses. It is my hope that a greater number of people will see the bus as a more viable alternative than they have done in the past. It is also my hope that council will continue to work on developing connectivity between bike routes within our community.
Comox Incumbant Mayor – Paul Ives
Thanks for your email and for your question. As you know, I am an avid cyclist & supporter of CV Cycling Coalition’s advocacy work. The Town of Comox has made significant investments in multi-modal forms of transportation infrastructure and had utilized gas tax funding to the maximum extent possible. We are guided by a long term transportation study done by Boulevard Transportation Group (adopted in 2011 by Council) that outlines various priorities over the next 20 years for infrastructure investment. Dealing with increased traffic in the Comox Valley will need regional collaboration and funding from other govt jurisdictions, but the Town of Comox can play a role in achieving those solutions, not only by taking care of our infrastructure, but also advocating to senior levels of govt (e.g., replacement of Dove Cr bridge).
Cheers, Paul Ives,
Comox Town Council – Hugh MacKinnon
Hugh MacKinnon, Town of Comox Councillor and candidate here.
Thanks for your interest in our replies!!
In answer to your question, first off I must say that I am an advocate of alternate means of transportation and public transportation as being viable options for Town of Comox, indeed Comox Valley residents.
Personally, I have an e-bike, regular biycle and do ride public transit occasionally. I would say for three of the four seasons of the year the first two options work for me pretty much every day. During the dark months ( Nov. to the beginning of March) I will admit I sometimes shy away from wet biking.
I find the public transit system convenient and support their review to make services to all Comox Valley destinations even better. I am surprised more do not ride the buses and believe an education campaign that directly points out monetary savings would cause C.V. residents to consider riding public transit as an option more! I always ask public transit folks wherever I am, (conventions or other cities) if anyone has come up with a means for buses to carry more than two bikes(on their racks). Transit riding combined with bike transport is an excellent option and solution to decreasing traffic in towns and cities. Personally, I like riding to Courtenay and back but I know seniors that would prefer taking their bike to Courtenay via bus and riding there but returning by bus. With just two bike racks on buses it is frustrating if not heartbraking to have to wait another hour due to too many bikes / bicyclists in the lineup. Just a thought and inspiration for any inventors out there (we need an invention to hold more bikes)!!!!
I support the increase of bike lanes and believe the Town of Comox has led the way in the Comox Valley in installing them and the positive public response and increased useage, particularly amongst seniors is very inspiring and rewarding for our Council and Town. The partnerships Senior governments with the Town of Comox ( Federal with the new bike lanes to CFB Comox) , (Provincially with the cost sharing of the green painted bike lanes etc.) are examples of healthy and wise partnerships. Indeed, municipal budgets are tight and after core services are met, it is often difficult to find funds for such projects alone. We did but with partnerships.
Again, to see seniors confidently biking up the Comox Hill is very rewarding and cool to witness.
In regards to safety, the Town, in their transportation plan, is considering some roundabouts to facilitate safety without stoppage of traffic. A concern that I am hopeful will be addressed soon is the left turn from Back Road onto Comox Ave. which I know the Town engineering staff are looking at options for safety as we speak.
A broader full Comox Valley plan to address ‘rush hour’ traffic at bottleneck areas like the 17th and 5th street bridge, although not in our jurisdiction, needs addressing and advice from our community as well.
Hope this gives some insight into my views. Should you or anyone in your group require more information please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Comox Mayoral Candidate – Tom Grant
Thanks for your email. It is my opinion that we are well served by our Comox arterial roadways and bike lanes. They have been well designed and maintained and that there is really not a problem with heavy traffic volumes. Perhaps this may be an issue for Courtenay?
Comox Town Council – Ken Grant
thanks for the question re traffic in Comox. sorry for the delay is responding but we got 7 surveys to answer yesterday.
The Regional District has just adopted a new transit plan. Comox has led the way on bike lanes on arterial roads in the Valley. We have a new traffic study which out lines areas of concern, priorities and danger areas that need attention Comox is following this study
Courtenay City Council – Rebecca Lennox
Thank you for taking the time to write and find out some answers about this important issue.
There is talk about the prospect of building a bridge on 11th st. I know that solving the problem of traffic is harder than just building a new bridge. It takes building new ways of transportation. Looking at why people are driving so much, is it to get to work? To school? Or just to get milk? Building more roads to fix traffic problems is like buying bigger pants to fight obesity.
Plan communities where everything you need is close by. Encourage foot, bicycle, and other modes of travel by making roads safe and accessible to all modes of transportation. Encourage people to carpool, and make bus service regular and reliable. It is always hard to change habits but as a community we need to see that other modes of transport are what is needed, not more roads.
SD #71 – Clifford Boldt
I have some pretty strong ideas about your question, but will leave it to council candidates.
My basic thesis is that we should move people instead of vehicles like cars.
Cliff Boldt 🙂
Courtenay City Council – Marcus Felgenhauer
I am happy to respond. The best and most cost efficient way to alleviate heavier traffic is to get people out of their cars and trucks. There are a number of ways we can achieve this, increased density so more people can live closer to work, better education regarding our public transit system to increase ridership and improvements to the service provided. Obviously given your background you would like my views on cycling as transportation. As an avid cyclist(road and mountain bike ) I can assure you that I am all in favour of improved infrastructure for bicycles as long as those improvements can be clearly justified to the Courtenay taxpayer. There must be a high enough usage of current bike lanes in order justify to the taxpayer further expenditure on new bike lanes.
Courtenay Mayoral Candidate – John Ambler
Thanks, it’s a great question.
My views on this have been consistent and persistent: we must invest in transport modes other than cars.
This includes walking paths and lanes, bike paths and lanes, and investment in transit.
Paths and lanes must be connected into an integrated system, so that it is easy and convenient.
We must also stay on top of pedestrian crossings, lights etc, making sure they meet the needs.
I pushed hard for the bike lanes on Fitzgerald, and I remain committed to maikng more of them elsewhere.
Compare my record with the Mayor’s on this issue: then have your folks make a choice.
Courtenay City Council – Dan Doerksen
Your right, traffic in the valley has become a significant problem and will only get worse as the valley develops. My wife is an every day cyclist, commuting to work, to her gym and sometimes to shopping. I on the other hand I am a “hardly ever cyclist” . When my wife heads out to work or to play, my thoughts are for her safety. The valley is not a safe place for cycling. There are also many areas of concern for pedestrians.
As a retired investigative coroner and a retired police officer, I have seen the results of the clash between vehicles and bicycles or pedestrians. We need better traffic control, more bike trails and much better separation between the three. Yet, I also see a need for better flow of vehicle traffic as they have equal rights to the roadway (not greater but equal). There are many ways to meet this problem but what is needed is the will to do start something. If elected, I will strive to make it one of the issues that council brings forward.
I want my wife and everyone else who rides, walks and drives to come home in one piece.
I want more people to cycle and to walk as it is better for everyone involved. I desire a greener more sustainable earth and it always starts in our own backyard. All I can promise is the will to start something.
Thanks for the question.
Courtenay City Council – Manno Theos
I believe promoting methods of transportation other than a vehicle is important.Public transit, cycling, scooters and skateboards are becoming more popular. We need to provide connectivity in order to ensure we have less dependence on vehicles.
Courtenay City Council – George Knox
I am in favour of more bike lanes and sidewalks to make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. This keeps people healthy and active and out of the health care system. It also promotes more green modes of transportation, which is important with the many environmental issues we are facing today and in the future.
SD #71 – Jordan Huber
This is an important issue when it comes to school children. Earlier in the year I went to the Courtenay City Council about this issue. I had requested a sidewalk be put on the city side of Arden Road between Cumberland Road and Lake Trail Road, so children would have a safe route to walk to school. At the moment there are no white lines, or sidewalks. The council dismissed my concerns by stating the Arden LAP wants to retain it’s rural look and ditches. I personally felt this was an easy escape route to not have to spend any money. Safety is a huge concern for me, especially when it comes to children, but also for all pedestrians and cyclists as well. The kids in this area are not far enough away to be able to ride the school bus and I do not feel comfortable with them walking or biking to school on such a busy, unsafe road, therefore I end up driving them to and from school unless I have the time where I can walk with them to make sure they are safe. I will be bringing this issue up to council again once the election has taken place and there is a new council in place, hopefully one that shares my concerns in regards to safety for all, but especially for children. In this day and age where childhood obesity and environmental issues are such big concerns, I would hope that the city council would make this a priority. I believe there should be more bike lines and sidewalks put on our roadways so people can take advantage of being outside, being active, and in turn being more environmentally friendly in the process. If elected trustee, you can be sure that I will be bringing up the issue of child safety on our roads as well as getting outside and staying active at every opportunity. This can be done more often if parents feel their children have a safe route to get to and from school. I am committed to making safety a priority for our kids. As I have explained above, this has already and still is an issue I believe in strongly.
If you have any more questions for me I would be happy to answer,
Director CVRD A – Wayne Anderson
You will appreciate that, as a candidate for election as a Director of Area A of the CVRD, the traffic congestion problem you speak of really doesn’t have the same resonance for me that it should with the Counsellors and Mayors of the urban areas.
That said, the congestion you speak of can obviously only be dealt with by improved infrastructure. And improved infrastructure can only be obtained by dedicating scarce resources to the problem. But, it’s a false economy to try to duck the problem by refusing to spend the money, I believe. The problem only gets worse and the solutions only get more expensive.
Wayne A. Anderson
Director CVRD C – James Derry
Thank you for contacting me and I applaud your role with the CVCC. I myself have been riding a mountain bike and “pavement” bicycle for many, many years. I try not to use my vehicle at least one day a week, and use the bicycle instead to do an errand in town.
Since I have been in the Valley, the traffic has increased a lot. Although we certainly do not have the volumes of Victoria, or even Nanaimo, we certainly do not want to reach that point.
I am no urban traffic expert, and I do not have a ready answer. Encouraging more public transit is one answer. We do have a bus system but I have never understood why our fleet is only the full size city buses, instead of small buses, that ran more frequently. I can see full size buses during peak hours for school traffic point to point. I work for Canadian Mental Health and almost all my students have to use the bus to get to our kitchen. Their biggest complaint is that the bus only runs once an hour. So I believe if we ran a mixed bus system that was actually convenient, we could take some of the load off the road. So to speak.
Encouragement of “ride sharing” is another option.
I hope this answers your question so you can form an opinion of who to vote for on 15th November. I am encouraged by the number of people who actually write to me directly, and plan to vote.
SD #71 – Chris Aikman
I guess my answer would have to be: you know better than I do what the answer to your question should be.
In Comox, there are quite a few bike routes, well designated, as you know. There is certainly merit in finding ways to encourage students to bike to school, in safety. Very likely school is the best place to nurture a ‘bicycling culture’. So I would certainly favour involving schools in encouraging this form of transportation.
I guess my answer would have to be: you know better than I do what the answer to your question should be.