Bike Lanes and our roads

I am a multi-modal transportation advocate.

Having grown up in Ottawa as a young man, I’ve seen the benefits of an effective public transportation and biking network.  I believe that having a viable inner-city transit system that allows people options on how to get around is not only good for the overall well-being of a community, it is also a social justice issue; lower-income individuals need to get to work and buy groceries, and personal vehicles are not always at their disposal.  We all pay taxes that build the roads; we should all have access to use of those roads in one form or another.

I’m also a user of different modes of transportation.  Although I work in Niagara Falls, I have taken the opportunity when it presents itself (mostly when teaching summer school) to bike to work from my home in West St. Catharines.  In addition to being another form of exercise, it saves me money on gas and wear-and-tear on my car, and it’s nice to slow down and take my time when I can.

For these reasons and a variety of others, I am a strong believer in enhanced public transit and increased bike access on the roads.  When the specifics of existing roads allow for it, and where it is warranted, I think the inclusion of bike lane is a positive step forward.  When new road construction occurs, I believe adequate space should be left to allow for bike lanes to be installed.  I believe cyclists should be able to get from one part of the city to another in a convenient manner, just like drivers of automobiles.  In short – I think we should be following the Garden City plan, approved this year, which says the following in Part C – Section 5.3 (all emphasis added is mine):

2.    Cycling
1.     The City shall require, provide, and maintain a continuous, well signed, clearly visible, and attractively landscaped network of cycling trails.
2.    This network shall provide links between major activity areas.
3.    The City shall provide bicycle parking at public facilities and shall require such facilities as a condition of approval for all major private development, where feasible.
4.    The integration of cycling and transit shall be promoted by providing bicycle parking at major transit stops and terminals where feasible.
5.    Cycling routes shall be separated from motor vehicles on major roadways where feasible. Where not possible, shared use roadways and bicycle route roadway markings and signage will be provided.

I think the Official Plan says it all, and better than I could.  The key now is electing a Council that is going to have the long-term vision to see this idea through to completion.

I believe I’m an excellent choice to help make that happen.