This is the question that was asked of the candidates in Comox by the Coalition

"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? "

These are the responses.

Monday
Nov142011

Marcia Turner

 

Hello, and thank you for your question.  The best thing we can do is to provide good transportation alternatives so that at least some of the time people can choose to leave their cars at home.

Our new Official Community Plan is focused on Smart Growth and transit oriented development - linking housing to transportation. We are actively seeking to improve the frequency of transit, and extend the hours.  There is a lot of interest in having an express bus between Courtenay and Comox.

We have done much to improve the safety of cycling in Comox.  We obtained grant funding and used gas tax funds to make improvements to the top of Comox hill.  We were the first community on Vancouver Island to use the green reflective paint in our cycling lanes in conflict zones.  Comox Council recently voted to extend the mandate of the Cycling Task Force.  I am the Town's Representative on the task force, and we need to work on improving connectivity between communities to make cycling safer for commuters.  We would like to be part of a MOT pilot project, which would help us  achieve this goal.

In addition, we need to continue with walkway and pathway development and ensure their connectivity, which would give our citizens many transportation alternatives. Comox wrote a letter of support for funding for bicycle training in our schools, and I hope that the grant request is successful.  It is important for young people to learn about safe cycling at an early age as they do in many other countries.

submitted by Marcia Turner

 

Monday
Nov142011

Barbara Price

 

We need to decrease our dependency on automobiles. They are a major contributor to global warming. As a community, we all know we need to reduce our carbon foot print and Comox Valley local governments, have already signed on to the Climate Action Charter as have most, if not all, communities in B.C. We need safe and effective alternatives to the car. Public transit, cycling and walking are the main available options. They are all at their most effective when communities are compact.  

We need to encourage more people to develop alternative travel modes instead of using the car. By partnering with the business communities we can promote the sale of employee transit passes and also encourage local businesses to offer other incentives for people to walk, ride or take the bus - not least of which is changing facilities - apparently 'helmet hair' is a major deterrent to biking to work! I support fun events such as 'Car-free Sundays' and 'Bike to Work Week'.

The off-road experience is the most enjoyable. We have some great trail networks which need more promotion. The Cycling Coalition's map of cycle routes is a great beginning. Through our Recreation Centres, we can introduce more people to these existing safe routes. And working with the cycling community we can identify missing links. As a founding member of the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force, I know that working with the cycling community is the best and most cost-effective way of identifying short comings in our cycling/walking network. A Comox Valley Cycling Plan was developed with lots of public input. One dangerous area identified at the top of Comox Hill, has now been rectified. We need to continue improving the system if we want to grow ridership. As we know, commuter cyclists need more than off-road experience; they need a safe and efficient system to get them from A to B. And new cyclists, old and young alike, can be deterred by a lack of safe routes

Good planning requires close attention to linkages so that cyclists and walkers can take the shortest, cut-through routes rather than wending their way through a maze of residential roads.We need to have projects ready for when grants become available. We also need to lobby for more Gas Tax Transfer funds.

There are simple cost-effective method which will increase cycling safety; one is to keep the sides of our roads, well swept of gravel. As a Regional Director I lobbied the Ministry of Transportation (including having a Resolution passed at the Union of British Columbian Municipalities Convention) to regularly sweep gravel off our roads and to include the needs of cyclists when resurfacing roads. I also successfully lobbied for a widening of Little River Road for the safety of walkers and cyclists.

For more details, phone me at 250-339-4037 or email at bprice30@shaw.ca and visit my website at www.barbaraprice.ca

Barbara Price

 

 

Friday
Nov112011

Patti Fletcher

There are several ways we can address the increasing traffic loads. I would propose a few of the following concepts for consideration.
 
Transit:
Invest in improved transit service through scheduling with sites of high employment (ie St Joseph's/CFB Comox), add a more frequent service and extended evening hours. Ensure future growth is built with the Transit Orientated Development concept.
Alternative Transportation Modes:

Build safe bicycling infrastructure, develop sidewalks,and trails that ensure the short cuts are considered by gaining necessary right of ways. Make policy that has new developments require less parking and more alternative transport pieces, ie bicycle facilities, scooter parking spaces. Make a pedestrian first policy and promote a compact complete community that utilizes densification concepts, which means less dependance on car travel required by residents.

Promote roundabouts/traffic circles instead of traffic lights and stop signs to keep traffic flowing and avoid the stop and start congestion.

Community Education:

Support initiatives such as Bike to Work Week, Car Free Sunday and the Comox Valley Bicycling Task Force.

Engage with School District to develop more walk to school programs, such as the Walking school bus concept, or a group bicycle ride to school, and car pooling. Support safety education for bicycling, as well as scooters.

Leadership:

Talk the talk,  walk the walk, and ride the ride...lead by example and personally be less car dependent. Institute Town policy which supports staff who are less car dependent.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts on this subject. Thanks to the CVCC for all the great work that you do for the citizens of the Comox Vallley.

Patti Fletcher - Town of Comox

 

Wednesday
Nov092011

Dan Jackson

Thank you for your question! In my recent reply to the CV Conservation Strategy, one of the most significant methods of reducing GHG emissions is when residents have close and regular access to public transit. Secondly, in the past three years, Comox has built 4500m of cycling lanes. With negligeable contributions from the provincial and federal governments expected in these difficult economic times, we need to focus our attention on sidewalks as they are used by a great number of citizens - the young and elderly alike. Having knocked on nearly 2000 doors, I have had the opportunity to walk in many neighbourhoods. Many have voiced their displeasure with the lack of sidewalks. They find it dangerous, especially for the many elderly and young children we have throughout our community.
 
Regards,
Wednesday
Nov092011

Maureen Swift

 

Unfortunately I am not in a position to give you an answer that is very detailed.  I know the current council just endorsed the cycling task force again.  Generally I am in favour of providing safe roadways for everyone, including cyclists.  I see real value in creating bike lanes as the opportunities become available.

Regards,

Maureen

 

Wednesday
Nov092011

Ken Grant

In Comox we have lead the way with a resently completed traffic study, two new bike lanes on the two major roads in and out of Comox.We will continue to follow the advice of the new traffic study

Wednesday
Nov092011

Paul Ives

Thanks for your question.

The Town of Comox recently completed a significant cycling lane project at the top of Comox Hill as well as widening cycling lanes on Guthrie near Quality Foods and also on Guthrie near Pritchard. These projects are part of our commitment to multiple modes of transportation under our new Transportation Study done by Boulevard Group.

Transit-oriented development is the key element of the Town of Comox's new Official Community Plan as well as the recently adopted Regional Growth Strategy.

We will continue to improve our infrastructure in a sustainable way, by utilizing partnerships and funding at the provincial and federal levels - we've been successful in our grant application under Towns for Tomorrow and Gas Tax.

Paul Ives, Mayor Town of Comox