- Candidate for: Mayor of Kitchener 1 (a). What will you do to ensure and improve a predictably frequent and reliable ION and iXpress network so that it becomes more convenient to use? -There will need to be traffic studies at both tiers of municipal government. Without this there will be accidents with cars, pedestrians and people on bicycles with light rail. -How does light rail and the express buses connect to other transit buses; not everyone can bike or walk. You do not seem to be concerned about about people with a disability? -What will happen to the Charles Street Station? It is staffed with people who can answer questions. It has washrooms and they can easily made accessible to people in need of wheel chars. It is one of the few places that still has pay phones. It has indoor facilities where a person can see buses come and go. What buses that come to this station will need to be studied/ or should it be housing. -Ambassadors will be needed to help people get around and navigate the new systems. Whether these people will be volunteers or staff I don't know. Even if they are volunteers there will need to be some paid staff to coordinate the volunteers. 1 (b). What will you do to advance light rail into Cambridge? = I don't know. Light rail perhaps should have extended into Cambridge from day one? Why do you not ask about Grand River Transit extensions to rural townships? 1 (c). Given the 50% increase in transit fares over the last decade, will you commit to ensure GRT fare increases do not exceed the rate of property tax increases over the next four years? -For starters I would advocate an increase in length of time for each fare from 90 minutes to two hours. -Why do shopping centres not pay for some of the cost of transit...it seems we service the shopping centres, but neglect other services like access to hospitals. -You want money for bike paths etc in a later question; where do you propose this money come from? Increase in property taxes? -I am committed to public dialogue between elections. -Some segments of society get treated differently. For example I believe students get a 50% reduction in transit costs. We need to think outside the box. 2. Have you signed the #CycleWR "I Bike I Vote" pledge? If not, why? No -By the way not everyone can safely ride a ride a bicycle. Bikers and pedestrians can use the same trails and pathways, although there may need to be further education. Your pledge does not recognize other pathway users, or a space for comments like this does it? -I am hesitating because of your proposed increase to property taxes. I need to study this more. I am getting tired. I have already spent a of of time of your survey and am getting fatigued... I certainly agree in principle with what you are saying. -"Bike paths" for example can also be wildlife corridors.. 3 (a). What will you do to ensure sidewalks are accessible and consistently cleared of snow in winter? -I believe we also need to have a discussion how pathways and trails will be cleared of snow. I would start there with the City taking on this responsibility for clearing snow. -We need to be creative and think outside the box. There is a hierarchy with road clearing. If the City were to take on the responsibility for clearing sidewalks there may also be a hierarchy; this may not work. We need to think outside the box. -I believe those without cars subsidize those people with cars. 3 (b). Few gaps in the sidewalk network were closed between 2014-18. What will you do to expedite sidewalk infill on streets that lack sidewalks on both sides? It is fine with me where there is opposition from residents to sidewalks, to have sidewalks on only one side of the street. But then who will be responsible for cleaning the sidewalk has to be decided, if the City and Region do not take on this responsibility (If there is a sidewalk on only one side of the street) Who will take responsibility for clearing the sidewalk on only one side of the street? Do you have any suggestions? 4 (a). What will you do to ensure new development helps to build walkable communities, encouraging walking, cycling, and taking transit to schools, jobs, and amenities? -For starters lets have pathways to the essentials like schools, doctor and health clinics, hospitals, and plow them in wintertime. 4 (b). Will you reduce or eliminate parking minimums from zoning bylaws and Official Plans? I believe parking needs to be looked at a neighbourbood to neighbourhood level. City planners need to work with residents, and their local elected official and think outside the box. This does not need to dominate the time at City Council meetings. There needs to be a place to repeal and dialogue about decisions at a City level, within the City structure. 5. Will you change street and intersection design to prioritize a reduction in the number of traffic deaths? If so, how will you accomplish this? -For starters I would start to record traffic deaths like we track suicides for example. -I was an early opponent to roundabouts because they were unsafe to pedestrians. Now with modifications they may be safer than many traffic lights. I have spoke to this elsewhere. -Studies need to be done. Some streets may be for only cyclists and emergency vehicles Whew! Surveys do not, or should not replace face to face interaction--but then I don't like the word should....I have not tried to be comprehensive in my answers...it is an ongoing process eh.
We asked all Kitchener council candidates the same question: Why should the public vote for you? I would like to start by acknowledging we are guests with this land. There are at least three tipping points/concerns that led me into entering the public dialogue by letting my name stand for mayor of Kitchener. 1. The future of the Charles Street transportation terminal in downtown Kitchener: I would ensure there is an open dialogue on the future of this site. 2. Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act legislation (AODA) — especially how it affects the built environment. Note that I have long been an advocate with built-environment legislation. We need to act now, but there are also unintended consequences for small business. 3. The unintended consequences of intensification policies, especially how it affects those marginalized by lower incomes and/or disability. Please note that I have long been an advocate for urban intensification. In addition, traffic studies by both the city and region; especially as safety is a concern with ION or light rail. Furthermore, I have concerns and several ideas about waste/ recycling management. A 10-cent refund on each 500-millilitre water bottle would be a start. This would add $2.40 to a case of 24. In addition, I would set up a pilot project as an alternative to the blue box recycling system. Centralized garbage collection may be part of the problem. I have many more ideas. For example, stopping at every third house would save gasoline and labour time. Finally, the number of deaths from overdose and suicide in general in our communities is unacceptable. The City of Kitchener could go through the public participation process NOW, and zone areas in the city NOW, for what I prefer to call “harm reduction sites” so that we are prepared to act fast when the Honourable Doug Ford reverses his policies on “supervised injection sites.” Thank you.