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 6 Candidate Stefan Spolnik
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 believe the majority of the recommendations in BACCC’s report are of high priority. That being said, my top priorities would centre around improving frequency and feasibility of express routes and expanding bike share programs to service more of the Hamilton area. Many people are unable to make the switch from personal transit to public transit due to the commuting time difference, and the at times, unreliable schedules of current transit options. If there were more buses to service commonly used routes, more people would be inclined to use these services. There has been a large increase to the number of bike lanes in the downtown core, and the Keddy Access Trail has been a great step to increase safety to riders on the Mountain. However, there are very few safe bike lanes on the main streets and no bike share stations – increasing safety and accessibility is paramount.
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?
Steps I would take to ensure environmentally friendly transportation options are convenient involve implementation of express routes and a broader service area. It was obvious in the 2018 municipal election that anyone who lived on the Mountain would not reap the benefits of LRT for many years to come. Having a solid implementation plan to include those who live on the mountain in the catchment area of LRT Phase 1 would greatly increase the amount of riders willingness to make the switch to green public transportation. Environmentally friendly public transportation is a huge part of the necessary infrastructure to a growing municipality, and ensuring everyone has the access to this service would increase the convenience.
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?
Safety in public transportation is incredibly important – not only for the immediate benefit to riders and staff, but also for the long term benefits of viability. The steps I would take to ensure all users felt safe would include a zero tolerance policy for any type of racism, sexism, bigotry or harassment of any kind, as well as a diversity and inclusion education session for all staff. I would also ensure that the infrastructure for stops include adequate visibility and seating.