Election 2011: Mary-Ann Booth

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Hi Heather,

Thank you for your work to encourage cycling and less dependence on single-occupant motor vehicles in our community.

As a founding member of the Traffic Solutions Committee at Ecole Pauline Johnson, and a current member of the Joint Municipal/School District Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, I am very interested in encouraging alternate modes of transport that improve safety in our community and reduce traffic.

1. What modes of transportation do you normally use within Metro Vancouver? Do you ever use a bike for transportation in your municipality?

My husband and I have shared one vehicle for over 20 years, and chose to reside in Ambleside because of its proximity to public transit and amenities.  My husband takes the bus to work; and car pools or takes a taxi home.  I frequently walk to appointments and to do my errands, and use those opportunities to also walk my dog.  I usually take public transit to get downtown, and use our car, or car-pool to transport my two teenage daughters to their school and extra-curricular activities.  I rarely cycle in West Vancouver because of safety concerns when sharing the road with cars, but enjoy riding on the Valley Trail at Whistler

2. How would you support and encourage cycling for transportation to promote healthy and livable communities?

I have reviewed both the West Vancouver Strategic Transportation Plan and the Spirit Trail Greenway Community Engagement Strategy Report and Recommendations. I believe citizens are our greatest resources, and that we should listen to them. In that regard, I would support the recommendations contained in both reports, as they directly relate to encouraging alternate and more sustainable modes of transportation as our population grows, especially around main arterial routes. I understand that there is also a report from a Cycling Implementation Working Group, but I was unable to locate it on the District’s website. I would be very interested to hear what this group has to say. Finally, I was a founding member of the Traffic Solutions Committee at Pauline Johnson School in 2004; and have been on the Joint Municipal/School District- School Traffic Safety Advisory Committee for the past 5 years. In both capacities, I have taken an active interest in reducing traffic and improving safety around schools. In particular I have supported initiatives which encourage families to walk, cycle, car-pool, and pick-up and drop-off at times and locations other than the most congested ones.

3. Do you think the current level of funding for cycling in your municipality is adequate?

I haven’t been on council before, so am unsure as to whether funding is allocated to cycling directly. As a member of the Joint Municipal/ School District- School Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, whose mandate is education, enforcement and engineering around school traffic safety issues, I know that capital funding is allocated to our Committee via the Engineering and Transportation Department in order to support this mandate. This work has been successfully undertaken around most of the school sites in West Vancouver over the last several years. I would be open to exploring similar opportunities to encourage cycling in West Vancouver, in particular as it relates to safety.

4. What would you do to ensure a sustainable and adequate source of cycling funding during your term in office?

Further to my answers to the previous questions, I would like to hear from the Cycling Implementation Working Group and my fellow councilors in this regard.

5. What is your level of interest in a public bike-share system integrated with the transit system?

I am aware of pilot projects of this nature in cities such as Paris, Amsterdam and Vancouver, sometimes supported by corporate sponsors. Again, if elected, I would be interested in hearing from the Cycling Implementation Working Group and my fellow councilors, as to whether this is something that would appeal to our community.

6. What role do you think the municipality has in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists?

When I was a member of the Pauline Johnson Traffic Solutions Committee, we allocated Parent Advisory Council funds to offer a cycling safety program to our students, which was well-subscribed and very beneficial. I was surprised to see that many students, even in the intermediate grades, had never even ridden a bike before. As Transportation and Traffic are among the most serious concerns of our citizens, I could see a role for the Municipality in supporting and promoting cycling education for children, cyclists and motorists, perhaps in collaboration with the School Board, Parent Advisory Councils, and other automobile associations and related insurance providers.

Warm regards,

Mary-Ann Booth
Candidate, West Vancouver Council

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