BACCC asked all municipal candidates for their views on environmentally-friendly transportation options, presenting them with these three questions. Views expressed are solely those of the candidates and do not reflect the views of BACCC or its members. All responses have been reviewed to ensure appropriateness and relevance to the questions posed. We encourage you to make an informed decision by researching your local candidates.
Burlington Mayoral Candidate Marianne Meed Ward
From the recommendations in BACCC’s Options for Travel report, which would be your top priority to enact to ensure safe, reliable, convenient and equitable transportation options?
Almost all of the recommendations from BACCC this council is doing or has already done. We’ve made significant improvements in transit including: improving frequency to 15 minute service along major routes; moved to a grid system for faster routes; aligned public transit buses with GO train services; worked with businesses to implement routes through business parks. Our staff hand shovel all bus stops and we’re adding more benches and shelters, including heated shelters. We also made transit free for: seniors at off-peak weekdays; youth under 12; low income families that qualify for the Region’s SPLIT pass. We’re working on an integrated mobility plan, are adding more bike lanes, have increased snow clearing of trails and paths especially around schools, have reduced speed limits in residential areas. We need to continue this good work, and I’m open to considering the additional suggestions in BACCC’s report.
If environmentally friendly transportation options are not convenient, residents will be less likely to choose those options over driving.
What steps would you take to ensure environmentally friendly transportation options are convenient?
Transportation needs to be safe, convenient, cost effective and reliable for people to choose it. In addition to the improvements we’ve made to transit (See Question 1), we are overhauling major roads in Burlington when they are reconstructed to add safe cycling/transit/walking lanes – Plains Road West is a template for us going forward. Learn more here: https://www.burlington.ca/en/news/current-city-projects-and-construction/plains-road-protected-bikeway-and-resurfacing.aspx We’ve added electric vehicle chargers to support this green choice. We’ve reduced speed limits in residential areas, and added more pedestrian priority lights and crosswalks. We’re working on an integrated mobility plan, which I support and look forward to implementing in the next term of council. Learn more about that here: https://www.getinvolvedburlington.ca/imp
Environmentally friendly transportation needs to be perceived as safe in order to be viewed as a viable option.
What steps would you take to ensure all users feel safe when using all transportation methods?
We have taken a number of steps to ensure safety:
* added resources to conduct snow clearing around bus stops and on bike paths/trails, especially leading to schools, to encourage more kids to walk to school
* added a “request stop” feature, to request exiting the bus between stops after dusk and during poor weather
* all buses are accessible, and feature both with priority and courtesy seating
* added onboard cameras inside and outside buses to watch out for the safety and security of riders and drivers
* invested in separated bike paths/pedestrian trails (eg. the recently opened Elgin St Promenade – more info here: https://www.burlington.ca/en/news/current-city-projects-and-construction/elgin-street-promenade.aspx) and installed additional pedestrian lights/crosswalks on busy streets, and reduced speeds in residential areas to make walking/cycling safer