Seven groups pose questions ranging from wheelchairs on bike and roll routes to passenger trains.
Victoria – Victorians for Transportation Choice (VTC), a collection of seven groups who work for better transportation solutions for all, has launched a candidate questionnaire for the October 15th municipal elections. The VTC hopes to inform the voting public about candidates’ ideas and platforms on a surprisingly wide range of transportation questions.
The VTC’s member groups – Capital Bike; Greater Victoria Placemaking Network; British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association; Walk On, Victoria; Vancouver Island Transportation Corridor Coalition (VITCC) Action Committee Of People With Disabilities (ACPD); and the Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria – want our communities to shift to transit, walking, biking, and rolling, as a means to meet transportation needs while improving livability, while reducing carbon pollution and other harm.
“Municipal governments in Greater Victoria have to take steps to provide healthy and affordable transportation choices, including investing in bike and roll infrastructure and prioritizing public transit over highway expansion”, said Amanda Macdonald, VTC spokesperson and Chair of Walk On, Victoria, “However, there is a lot more work to do to make active and sustainable transportation accessible to everyone and it is important to know where candidates stand on these issues.”
“The provincial government’s ambitious target of reducing car traffic 25% by 2030 should be on every candidate’s radar,” said Tom Hackney of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. “Do they support making the big changes needed to help meet this target, or not?”
The full questionnaire is available at www.transportchoicevictoria.ca/2022-questions/ and candidates answers will be publicly available before the election. All candidates are invited to fill out the survey. VTC will not be endorsing any candidates.
“We want to know if candidates are ready to welcome wheelchair and mobility scooter users on bike and roll routes, and if they will help meet the provincial government’s ambitious target of reducing traffic 25% by 2030,” said Eric Doherty of the Better Transit Alliance. “Bus lanes are important, but so are accessible bathrooms.”
Chair, Walk On, Victoria
Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria
eric [at] ecoplanning.ca 250 818 8223
BC Sustainable Energy Association
tom.hackney [at] bcsea.org
Questions vary slightly by municipality. This is the preamble and the City of Victoria questions.
Greater Victoria is in some ways a leader in providing healthy and affordable transportation choices. Acting to quickly reduce one of our largest sources of greenhouse gas pollution, transportation, has strong support from local voters. Progress in recent years includes:
• Climate Emergency Declaration – Unanimously approved by Capital Regional District Board 2019,
• The 2020 CRD Housing and Transportation Cost Estimate study documented that improving public transit, walking, rolling and cycling could save families thousands of dollars every year,
• New CRD transportation prioritization policy that favors improving public transit and active transportation over highway expansion,
• 24/7 bus lanes on sections of Douglas Street and Highway 1, which are routinely saving transit riders 10 minutes on trips to and from the West Shore,
• Major investments in bike and roll infrastructure, including protected bike and roll lanes, in some municipalities,
• A very popular pedestrian priority zone on Government Street in Downtown Victoria,
• Increased recognition that reallocating road and parking space to bus lanes, wider sidewalks, bike and roll routes, and public space can ‘evaporate traffic’ without increasing traffic congestion.
However, more needs to be done faster to meet provincial, CRD, and municipal climate targets. Delay is not an option. Improving transportation choice can make our region healthier, safer, more affordable, more fun, and more accessible for all.
City of Victoria Questions
Over the next four years, we’re asking candidates to make bold choices so that we can have a cleaner, safer and more equitable transportation system. As you read the questions below, we are asking for what you will do in the next council term, hopefully citing 2 or 3 concrete examples.
• Do you support re-aligning municipal and regional transportation plans and investments to meet the provincial government’s CleanBC target to “reduce distances travelled in light-duty vehicles by 25% by 2030 compared to 2020?
• Do you support making the default speed limit 30 km/h for streets without centrelines, as Victoria has already supported?
• Do you commit to budgeting sufficient funds to accelerate the walking, rolling, cycling and transit portions of Go Victoria?
• Do you support using neighbourhood-wide traffic calming to create low traffic neighbourhoods with much lower traffic volume with quick build materials?
• How would you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Victoria?
• Do you support building a at least 15 km of new all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike and roll routes throughout Victoria?
• Do you support welcoming people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters to use all ages and abilities (AAA) bike and roll routes?
• Do you support rapidly completing 24/7 bus lanes along Douglas Street through downtown Victoria, as well as similar measures along all of BC Transit’s proposed RapidBus routes in Victoria?
• With the court-imposed deadline of March 14, 2023 to keep the Island Rail Corridor intact, how would you support modern rail service for Vancouver Island?
• Do you support making transit fares more affordable, both by reducing the cost of passes and individual fares and free or discounted passes for youth, seniors, and people living on low incomes?
• Do you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments while adding requirements for car share, EV charging, bike and other micromobilty parking, as well as expanding accessible parking?
• How would you activate and bring more people into public spaces within Victoria, including sidewalks, public squares, streets and parks?
• Do you support adding substantively more accessible public bathrooms across Victoria?