People are frustrated with downtown congestion, the lack of parking, poorly-designed bike lanes, and unreliable public transit. I believe the city has failed to listen to these concerns. We need to ensure that our downtown is accessible for everyone. Drivers, cyclists, transit-users, pedestrians, and those with mobility issues all need to feel safe and welcome throughout Victoria. More and more people are biking, but as our population continues to age and expand, it is irresponsible to expect a decrease in automobile traffic and disrespectful to ignore those individuals' needs.
BC Transit needs to be treated as a partner in addressing many of the issues facing our city. We need to help them focus on delivering frequent and reliable service to increase public transit options and ridership. Without frequency and reliability, people will drive. We also need to consult BC Transit before we make changes that will hinder the frequency and reliability of service such as speed limit reductions and bike lane proposals. Changes such as those have significant impacts on our bus services which is both inconvenient to customers and costly to BC Transit.
I would support increasing the space for active transportation options as long as that goes in conjunction with broad community engagement and consultation with experts to ensure that our active transportation networks are safe, accessible, and work for all members of the community (not just a select few). I would balance the need for active transportation infrastructure with the need for accessible parking options, downtown business owners’ concerns, and the concerns of those with disabilities. With the prospect of self-driving autonomous vehicles on the horizon, it is unrealistic to think motor vehicles will not remain a significant part of Victoria's transportation future.
We need a city that works for everyone. Let's make that a priority on October 20th.