Q & A Response to Cylce Cowichan
Candidate Michelle Staples
Q: What do you think is the biggest issue facing cyclists in the Cowichan Valley?
A: Lack of infrastructure that supports cyclists, lack of
driver/cycle education on how to share the road,
Q:What is one policy or initiative that you will champion to improve cycling for Cowichan Valley Cyclists
A: Following the all candidates the past few weeks of all the
local elections and listening to people at their doors has made it clear that
completing and enacting a regional Active Transportation Plan, is something
everyone in the valley is focussed on. I will be one voice of many committed to
completing the plan with input from people who currently cycle as their main or
secondary means of transport as you are the specialists in this field and
intimately know what is needed to ensure your safety needs are met.
There are so many examples of effective cycling transportation strategies so to do this we will
not have to reinvent the wheel, just figure out which spokes to use to make a
wheel that will works best for our community. There are excellent examples of
bike share programs, low cost commuter programs, cycle tourism and bike lifts
for gruelling hills that are alive and thriving for us to learn from.
Some of my favourite cycling stories came from interview with Mark Lakeman from
Portland’s city repair project (Portland is listed on the top ten cycle
cities in the world) they created bicycle paths that “connect the urban
neighbourhoods so a rider can bypass auto commuting altogether”. Cyclists
there have created some pretty inspirational cycling events that happen throughout the year.
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has a big chunk of money
available for local governments to improve cycling infrastructure, the
only catch is that you must have a cycle plan (which we don’t have). Due
to the complex nature of the Cowichan Valley, this would mean working
together with the CVRD, Local Governments and the experts. Are you going
to take any steps towards making a well thought out cycling to plan to
improving cycling infrastructure which will in turn reduce carbon
emissions, boost tourism and make cyclists happy.
A: As mentioned above I support a regional transportation plan
as is the only thing that makes sense for the safety of cyclists in our
communities. Nothing would be more frustrating or unsafe when you are out riding
than having bike lane end mid way down a street because the jurisdiction
changed.. Working with many non profits I know and understand the necessity of
working to build strong projects that support an overall
goals for a community project or program. Partnerships are key to the
development of a regional cycle plan and to leverage funding and resources for