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Burlington Mayoral Candidate Steve Rieck

Headshot of Steve Rieck

Mayoral Candidate Steve Rieck presents their position on transportation in Burlington Ontario.

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.

Headshot of Mayoral  candidate Steve Rieck

Burlington Mayoral Candidate Steve Rieck

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?

I like many of the ideas in the report.
The one I really like, as an innovations consultant, is inviting MacData Institute to host a hackathon competition to find innovative solutions and reduce the burden on city staff, with a twist.
Solutions to sustainable transportation exist abroad. Europe is 20 years ahead of us and we can learn from them and other nations. A hackathon web search to seek best practice examples of what works abroad that we can learn from is a great way to fast-track learning and offer city staff recommendations on what works elsewhere that we can copy here.
I would be happy to participate with the group when this is done. Great idea!

Other items:
Better schedule alignment with GO and other bus connections to minimize connection delay is a big issue.
Bike share, car share in Burlington, and EV taxis are options.

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?

1. Electric buses and sooner.
2. Pilot FREE transit is another.
3. Making EV adoption convenient is a third and big focus. We need community engagement when it comes to GHG reductions from vehicles. Clean air makes cycling and walking safer and healthier. I am an EV owner, association supporter and EV educator. We need to educate consumers on the economic value proposition and cost benefits of owning an EV. “Pre-ordering EV’s now” is the opportunity: I want to promote and make it convenient to buy an EV. Due to demand, it will take 6 months to 2 years for delivery. So, educating drivers to put a deposit on an EV ‘now’, so they can replace their car in 2 years, is one opportunity to make buying EV’s more convenient.
“Be idle-free today and buy an EV tomorrow’ is short/long term opportunity to reduce GHG emissions and make transportation better.

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?

1. Idle-free transit buses when parked at bus terminals is #1 safety issue. Diesel emissions are known carcinogens and nauseating to some who have scent sensitivities. The UN declaration of a safe and health environment as a human right. Like other cities, local transit, especially Hamilton, need to shut engines off at bus terminals for the health and safety of bystanders and to follow local idling bylaws.
2. Safer bike paths like Waterloo’s network.
3. Trim weeds on paved walking pathways to prevent pavement buckling and tripping hazards for scooters and rollerbladers.
4. Carpooling with neighbours you know.

As an avid cyclist, EV owner, jogger and hiker, I would try each mode of transportation to experience what users feel. I would personally bike all Burlington trails and pathways to seek improvements. Plus listen to input from cycle stores and groups. Ride safe!