The survey sent by CAA Manitoba asked questions related to road infrastructure, active transportation, mobility and City policy. Below are my full answers:
What is the most critical road infrastructure issue that your community is facing and how do you
plan to address it?
In the St. Norbert-Seine River Ward, a major infrastructure issue is that many of the original residential streets are nearing the end of their life span. To address this, the city must look at extending the life span through patching and resurfacing the road surface, as most of these roads have low traffic counts and do not require a full rebuild like other major streets.
Please highlight the top three (3) changes to City policy or procedure you’d champion to ensure
better maintained road surfaces for all road users.
One major change I would strongly push for is that active transportation becomes a major part of all new road construction and road repair. By encouraging more people to bike/walk/take the bus to work, it can reduce the number of cars on the road, would have the benefits of both reducing congestion and wear and tear on roads.
A second policy a would like to see is 24-hour construction on major projects. If 24-hour construction is not feasible the city should require work to be done on evenings and weekends, when there is less traffic on the roads. Aside from the benefit of having projects completed faster, crews can also work when it less busy, reducing the chance of conflict with traffic.
Finally, I would like to see the city prioritize projects that will move traffic, especially heavy truck traffic, around rather than through the city, such as the Inner Ring Road. This would allow for a better flow of traffic movement by increasing the options of getting from one side of the city to the other without having to travel through the centre. In addition to further reducing wear on roads it may render other major projects, such as the widening of Kenaston, unnecessary if traffic has an alternative route.
What is the one policy or infrastructure-related thing you would do to improve active
transportation safety in our city?
In order to improve active transportation safety, I would encourage the city to focus on separated bike lanes when expanding the cycling network, rather than sharrows or painted bike lanes. These lanes must also have proper signage to alert drivers that there is a bike lane when they are making left turns, or crossing bike lanes when entering and exiting parking lots. Signage must also be in place to show who has the right of way, most importantly at intersections.
Thinking about your community, please identify two (2) places in your neighbourhood that currently creates mobility challenges for citizens. How would you address this?
In Fort Richmond many streets lack sidewalks or only have them on one side, forcing people to walk on the street alongside vehicles. In an area higher with a high population of both senior citizens and school children this is especially dangerous. An example of this is Rochester Avenue. It is difficult but not impossible to add sidewalks in already existing communities, but if it proves to not be feasible the issue could be addressed by introducing traffic calming measures (new stop signs, speed hills), which could have an impact on reducing vehicle speeds.
In River Park South, walking/cycling paths are often not marked as crosswalks when they intersect with streets. Because of this, people using the paths are unsure of whether vehicles will stop for them, likewise drivers are unsure if they must stop. The crossings north of Aldgate at Paddington, Highbury and Dakota at particularly bad. To address this, I would push the city to either add crosswalk lines or put up street signs identifying it as crosswalk. Ideally, I would like to see both be done.
If elected, what tools or tactics will you use to regularly update and keep in touch with
I will attend community events and meetings in order to personally meet with constituents, in addition to being accessible by e-mail and phone. As the use of social media grows, particularly Twitter and Facebook, I will also maintain an active online presence so that I am able to interact with those that I am unable to meet in person. Social media is an especially important tool for keeping in touch with younger voters and members of the community, as it is something they have grown up with and are more comfortable using.