Election 2011: Robin Hicks

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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?

Car and sea bus/sky train to the airport. Sea bus/bus when I go downtown to an event.

On the North Shore I normally drive. I do use a bike but infrequently and only for leisure because of time constraints and topography of North Shore. Also I am 65, but am considering an electric bike. My daughter age 36 and her husband both bike commute she to downtown Vancouver and he to Burnaby. I am constantly lectured by them about the inadequacy of our bike routes, but the suburban nature of the North Shore was based on the motor car and little provision for bikes. We do now have a very large and influential mountain bike population which demonstrates the recreational and health aspects of cycling.

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

I support safe bike routes which are separated from vehicular traffic. I would also like to encourage all new businesses to accommodate cycling with shower availability and bike lock ups. We as a municipality need to establish continuity of routes and designated complete routes by actually surveying our bike commuters so that we can support those routes which cyclists prefer based on topographical challenges.

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

No it is certainly not adequate to establish safe continuous routes. However there are many priorities for scarce municipal funding and cycling is not deemed one of the higher priority items when considered with public safety and failing infrastructure.

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

As with other capital infrastructure funding, establish an annual allocation from property taxes which can accumulate over time. Also ensure that every new road development incorporates bike lanes. This something we have failed to do, Lynn Valley Road is a prime example.

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

I think the concept is very good, but I do not think it is practical on the North Shore. It might work with the Sea Bus; however the current bus collector system operates efficiently.

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

We should look to our neighbours in Vancouver who have taken some very aggressive steps in this direction. There are already excellent bike education programs in the school system, some provided through the RCMP. It is the motorists who require educating, from both a safety and respect perspective. Our new OCP sets out the policies and our aims to establish a network based on and supported by the cycling community. Currently it is very disjointed.

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?

Cycling now come under the general jurisdiction of TPAC the Transportation, Advisory Committee. There should be a cycling representative on this Committee to provide input on road discussions from a cycling route perspective. I would recommend that at every meeting there is an update on cycling issues. I also think that during the Budget discussions for 2012-2016, a policy should be developed in respect to funding and goals for commuting both within our municipal boundaries and to other jurisdictions.

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