Question: Each year the Comox Valley is experiencing heavier traffic volumes, especially on the main arterial roads. What are your views on how to deal with this problem?

Wednesday
Oct292014

Comox Town Council - Maureen Swift

We can expect to see some improvements in the transit situation in the coming years with more attention to bus routes and timing of buses.  It is my hope that a greater number of people will see the bus as a more viable alternative than they have done in the past.  It is also my hope that council will continue to work on developing connectivity between bike routes within our community.

Thanks, Maureen

Wednesday
Oct292014

Comox Incumbant Mayor - Paul Ives

Thanks for your email and for your question. As you know, I am an avid cyclist & supporter of CV Cycling Coalition's advocacy work. The Town of Comox has made significant investments in multi-modal forms of transportation infrastructure and had utilized gas tax funding to the maximum extent possible. We are guided by a long term transportation study done by Boulevard Transportation Group (adopted in 2011 by Council) that outlines various priorities over the next 20 years for infrastructure investment. Dealing with increased traffic in the Comox Valley will need regional collaboration and funding from other govt jurisdictions, but the Town of Comox can play a role in achieving those solutions, not only by taking care of our infrastructure, but also advocating to senior levels of govt (e.g., replacement of Dove Cr bridge).
Cheers, Paul Ives, 
Wednesday
Oct292014

Comox Town Council - Hugh MacKinnon

Hugh MacKinnon, Town of Comox Councillor and candidate here.
Thanks for your interest in our replies!!
In answer to your question, first off I must say that I am an advocate of alternate means of transportation and public transportation as being viable options for Town of Comox, indeed Comox Valley residents. 
Personally, I have an e-bike, regular biycle and do ride public transit occasionally.  I would say for three of the four seasons of the year the first two options work for me pretty much every day.  During the dark months ( Nov. to the beginning of March) I will admit I sometimes shy away from wet biking. 
I find the public transit system convenient and support their review to make services to all Comox Valley destinations even better.  I am surprised more do not ride the buses and believe an education campaign that directly points out monetary savings would cause C.V. residents to consider riding public transit as an option more!  I always ask public transit folks wherever I am, (conventions or other cities) if anyone has come up with a means for buses to carry more than two bikes(on their racks).  Transit riding combined with bike transport is an excellent option and solution to decreasing traffic in towns and cities.  Personally, I like riding to Courtenay and back but I know seniors that would prefer taking their bike to Courtenay via bus and riding there but returning by bus.  With just two bike racks on buses it is frustrating if not heartbraking to have to wait another hour due to too many bikes / bicyclists in the lineup.  Just a thought and inspiration for any inventors out there (we need an invention to hold more bikes)!!!!
I support the increase of bike lanes and believe the Town of Comox has led the way in the Comox Valley in installing them and the positive public response and increased useage, particularly amongst seniors is very inspiring and rewarding for our Council and Town.  The partnerships Senior governments with the Town of Comox ( Federal with the new bike lanes to CFB Comox) , (Provincially with the cost sharing of the green painted bike lanes etc.) are examples of healthy and wise partnerships.  Indeed, municipal budgets are tight and after core services are met, it is often difficult to find funds for such projects alone.  We did but with partnerships.
Again, to see seniors confidently biking up the Comox Hill is very rewarding and cool to witness. 
  In regards to safety, the Town, in their transportation plan, is considering some roundabouts to facilitate safety without stoppage of traffic.  A concern that I am hopeful will be addressed soon is the left turn from Back Road onto Comox Ave. which I know the Town engineering staff are looking at options for safety as we speak. 
A broader full Comox Valley plan to address 'rush hour' traffic at bottleneck areas like the 17th and 5th street bridge, although not in our jurisdiction, needs addressing and advice from our community as well. 
Hope this gives some insight into my views.  Should you or anyone in your group require more information please feel free to contact me at hmackinnon@comox.ca 
Regards,
Hugh MacKinnon
Wednesday
Oct292014

Comox Mayoral Candidate - Tom Grant

Thanks for your email.  It is my opinion that we are well served by our Comox  arterial roadways  and  bike lanes.  They have been well designed and maintained and that there is really not a problem with heavy traffic volumes.  Perhaps this may be an issue for Courtenay?
Regards,
Tom Grant
Wednesday
Oct292014

Comox Town Council - Ken Grant

thanks for the question re traffic in Comox. sorry for the delay is responding but we got 7 surveys to answer yesterday.
The Regional District has just adopted a new transit plan.  Comox has led the way on bike lanes on arterial roads in the Valley. We have a new traffic study which out lines areas of concern, priorities and danger areas that need attention Comox is following this study

 

Wednesday
Oct292014

Courtenay City Council - Rebecca Lennox

Thank you for taking the time to write and find out some answers about this important issue.
There is talk about the prospect of building a bridge on 11th st.  I know that solving the problem of traffic is harder than just building a new bridge. It takes building new ways of transportation. Looking at why people are driving so much, is it to get to work? To school? Or just to get milk? Building more roads to fix traffic problems is like buying bigger pants to fight obesity.
Action Plan.
Plan communities where everything you need is close by. Encourage foot, bicycle, and other modes of travel by making roads safe and accessible to all modes of transportation. Encourage people to carpool, and make bus service regular and reliable. It is always hard to change habits but as a community we need to see that other modes of transport are what is needed, not more roads.
Wednesday
Oct292014

SD #71 - Clifford Boldt

I have some pretty strong ideas about your question, but will leave it to council candidates.
My basic thesis is that we should move people instead of vehicles like cars.
Cliff Boldt :)
Wednesday
Oct292014

Courtenay City Council - Marcus Felgenhauer

I am happy to respond. The best and most cost efficient way to alleviate heavier traffic is to get people out of their cars and trucks. There are a number of ways we can achieve this, increased density so more people can live closer to work, better education regarding our public transit system  to increase ridership and improvements to the service provided. Obviously given your background you would like my views on cycling as transportation. As an avid cyclist(road and mountain bike ) I can assure you that I am all in favour of improved infrastructure for bicycles as  long as those improvements can be clearly justified to the Courtenay taxpayer. There must be a high enough usage of current bike lanes in order justify to the taxpayer further expenditure on new bike lanes.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Courtenay Mayoral Candidate - John Ambler

Thanks, it's a great question.
 
My views on this have been consistent and persistent: we must invest in transport modes other than cars.
This includes walking paths and lanes, bike paths and lanes, and investment in transit.
Paths and lanes must be connected into an integrated system, so that it is easy and convenient.
We must also stay on top of pedestrian crossings, lights etc, making sure they meet the needs.
 
I pushed hard for the bike lanes on Fitzgerald, and I remain committed to maikng more of them elsewhere.
Compare my record with the Mayor's on this issue: then have your folks make a choice.
 
Sincerely
 
Jon Ambler
Wednesday
Oct292014

Courtenay City Council - Dan Doerksen

Your right, traffic in the valley has become a significant problem and will only get worse as the valley develops. My wife is an every day cyclist, commuting to work, to her gym and sometimes to shopping. I on the other hand I am a "hardly ever  cyclist" .  When my wife heads out to work or to play, my thoughts are for her safety. The valley is not a safe place for  cycling. There are also many areas of concern for pedestrians. 
As a retired investigative coroner and a retired police officer, I have seen the results of the clash between vehicles and  bicycles or pedestrians. We need better traffic control, more bike trails and much better separation between the three. Yet, I also see a need for better flow of vehicle traffic as they have equal rights to the roadway (not greater but equal). There are many ways to meet this problem but what is needed is the will to do start something. If elected, I will strive to make it one of the issues that council brings forward.
I want my wife and everyone else who rides, walks and drives to come home in one piece.
I want more people to cycle and to walk as it is better for everyone involved. I desire a greener more sustainable earth and it always starts in our own backyard. All I can promise is the will to start something.
Thanks for the question.
Dan Doerksen 
Wednesday
Oct292014

Courtenay City Council - Manno Theos

I believe promoting methods of transportation other than a vehicle is important.Public transit, cycling, scooters and skateboards are becoming more popular. We need to provide connectivity in order to ensure we have less dependence on vehicles. 

Wednesday
Oct292014

Courtenay City Council - George Knox

I am in favour of more bike lanes and sidewalks to make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. This keeps people healthy and active and out of the health care system. It also promotes more green modes of transportation, which is important with the many environmental issues we are facing today and in the future.
 
Thank you,
George Knox
Wednesday
Oct292014

SD #71 - Jordan Huber

This is an important issue when it comes to school children. Earlier in the year I went to the Courtenay City Council about this issue. I had requested a sidewalk be put on the city side of Arden Road between Cumberland Road and Lake Trail Road, so children would have a safe route to walk to school. At the moment there are no white lines, or sidewalks. The council dismissed my concerns by stating the Arden LAP wants to retain it's rural look and ditches. I personally felt this was an easy escape route to not have to spend any money. Safety is a huge concern for me, especially when it comes to children, but also for all pedestrians and cyclists as well. The kids in this area are not far enough away to be able to ride the school bus and I do not feel comfortable with them walking or biking to school on such a busy, unsafe road, therefore I end up driving them to and from school unless I have the time where I can walk with them to make sure they are safe. I will be bringing this issue up to council again once the election has taken place and there is a new council in place, hopefully one that shares my concerns in regards to safety for all, but especially for children. In this day and age where childhood obesity and environmental issues are such big concerns, I would hope that the city council would make this a priority. I believe there should be more bike lines and sidewalks put on our roadways so people can take advantage of being outside, being active, and in turn being more environmentally friendly in the process. If elected trustee, you can be sure that I will be bringing up the issue of child safety on our roads as well as getting outside and staying active at every opportunity. This can be done more often if parents feel their children have a safe route to get to and from school. I am committed to making  safety a priority for our kids.  As I have explained above, this has already and still is an issue I believe in strongly. 
 
If you have any more questions for me I would be happy to answer, 
Thank You
 
Jordan Huber
Wednesday
Oct292014

Director CVRD A - Wayne Anderson

You will appreciate that, as a candidate for election as a Director of Area A of the CVRD, the traffic congestion problem you speak of really doesn’t have the  same resonance for me that it should with the Counsellors and Mayors of the urban areas.
 
That said, the congestion you speak of can obviously only be dealt with by improved infrastructure.  And improved infrastructure can only be obtained by dedicating scarce resources to the problem.  But, it’s a false economy to try to duck the problem by refusing to spend the money, I believe.  The problem only gets worse and the solutions only get more expensive.
 
Sincerely,
Wayne A. Anderson
Wednesday
Oct292014

Director CVRD C - James Derry

Thank you for contacting me and I applaud your role with the CVCC.  I myself have been riding a mountain bike and "pavement" bicycle for many, many years.   I try not to use my vehicle at least one day a week, and use the bicycle instead to do an errand in town.

Since I have been in the Valley, the traffic has increased a lot.  Although we certainly do not have the volumes of Victoria, or even Nanaimo, we certainly do not want to reach that point.   

I am no urban traffic expert, and I do not have a ready answer.  Encouraging more public transit is one answer.  We do have a bus system but I have never understood why our fleet is only the full size city buses, instead of small buses, that ran more frequently.  I can see full size buses during peak hours for school traffic point to point.   I work for Canadian Mental Health and almost all my students have to use the bus to get to our kitchen.   Their biggest complaint is that the bus only runs once an hour.   So I believe if we ran a mixed bus system that was actually convenient, we could take some of the load off the road.  So to speak.  

Encouragement of "ride sharing" is another option.  

I hope this answers your question so you can form an opinion of who to vote for on 15th November.  I am encouraged by the number of people who actually write to me directly, and plan to vote.

Best regards,

James Derry
 

Wednesday
Oct292014

SD #71 - Chris Aikman

I guess my answer would have to be: you know better than I do what the answer to your question should be.

In Comox, there are quite a few bike routes, well designated, as you know. There is certainly merit in finding ways to encourage students to bike to school, in safety. Very likely school is the best place to nurture a ‘bicycling culture’. So I would certainly favour involving schools in encouraging this form of transportation.

I guess my answer would have to be: you know better than I do what the answer to your question should be.

sincerely,

Chris Aikman

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