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.
Hamilton Ward 4 Candidate Pascale Marchand
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?
Improving walking and the use of mobility devices through “walk audits surrounding all schools” – It is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. I discussed active transportation for elementary and high school students with organizations like the Daily School Routes and Mamaraderie, with parents, and accessibility and cycling advocates. Through early socialization and the teachable moment, young people can develop positive health behaviours that continue into adulthood. Currently, students in kindergarten within 1.2km, in grade 1 to 8 within 1.6km, and in grade 9 to 12 within 3.2km must make their own way to school. Parents are legitimately concerned about letting them use active transportation to do so, which is reinforced by the unacceptable number of people who were injured or killed by motorists while walking or cycling in 2022. To make sound evidence-based policy decisions it is important to identify and address safety issues.
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?
There is growing support for frequent and free HSR, such as the Hamilton 350.org and the Council of Canadians “Make the HSR Frequent, Clean and Free!” campaign, the Future We Choose article series in the Hamilton Spectator, books like Free Public Transit – and Why We Don’t Pay to Ride Elevators, and especially in my discussions with residents. It provides an enticing alternative to driving single-occupant motor vehicles and reduces the bureaucratic hurdles for people needing financial assistance. It is a form of social engineering, where we change the environment to encourage residents to choose transit. Benefits include improved health, a reduction in transportation emissions, and a reduction of the impacts of poverty. Hamilton already provides free transit to people over 80-years-old, children under 12-years-old with a Presto card, and for special events. I support a committee to review the possibility of implementing frequent and free transit in Hamilton.
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?
Healthy neighbourhoods include safe and complete streets with a focus on people. I am very vocal about prioritizing people so they can move about with their mobility devices, by walking, or by cycling. I support the safety enhancements along Main and King Sts. This affects me personally. In fact, my 14-year-old nephew and I were nearly hit while cycling on John St S – the incident was caught on dashcam.
We must embrace change in our transportation habits. Examples of specific infrastructure improvements in Ward 4 include raised crossings along the Pipeline Trail to improve accessibility and slow motor vehicle traffic, a wider sidewalk and protected bike lanes along Kenilworth Ave S under the overpasses at Lawrence Rd and King St to provide access to the Kenilworth Stairs and the HSR Mountain Climber, and creating a protected bike lane for cyclists to cross over the Red Hill Valley Pkwy.