Election 2011: Richard Walton

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

I drive, cycle and take transit within Metro Vancouver….seabus and skytrain for most meetings in Vancouver….cycle frequently in the better weather months depending upon how busy the day is and if I have time to get to commitments by bike.

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

We have a Cycle Master Plan and are allocating resources toward building a commuter and recreational network of trails that will encourage more people to cycle. The development of these routes is very much dependent on funding sources, but we take advantage of repaving cycles and joint capital road widening and upgrading to add cycling capacity whenever we can.

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

The development of the cycling infrastructure is not adequately funding, but such is the conundrum of transportation funding….the same issue exists with public transit…..most people want us to build the system so they can start using it…..we don’t have the resources to invest at the rate we want….the Spirit Trail project on the North Shore has traction because of the provincial Local Motion grant program that allowed us to shift local funds and make good progress.

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

The cycling community needs to have a constant presence in our community and advocate rather than complain when things aren’t moving quickly enough. We have constant advocacy for sidewalks and vehicle traffic calming and improvement. Having a plan is a good start, but plans are only as good as the availability of funding and the collective drive of any Council to make it a priority and drive it through.

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

I am European and have spent time in cities with active bike share programs. My community is a hilly suburban community with interruptive water courses that make cycling less fluid. I am not sure it would make any difference in North Vancouver District, but there are areas of Metro Vancouver where it makes sense.

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

I think by building a safe and convenient infrastructure, more of our residents will use it, especially as fuel cost continues to escalate and people are looking for an alternative. There is a lot of interest in the Spirit Trail in our community, and it has turned into a passionate community building project, although it will take a lot longer to be completed.

7. How can residents and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition-North Shore provide useful, systematic input and feedback on cycling in the District of North Vancouver now that the District no longer participates in the Joint Bicycle Advisory Committee?

Our JBAC now works within TPAC and is working with in a shared framework putting forward the case a balanced share of traffic planning resources. Every Council meeting has 2 minute public input on Monday nights but we have not a single voice step forward for a long time. It is important that the public let us know what we are doing well and what we aren’t doing and should be. We are looking at Capilano Road and other commuter routes with a view to upgrading for cycling and it is important that those voices are current rather than after the fact.

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