Tag Archives: transportation

Sidewalk, bike lanes, and trail spending

Saanich budget discussions focus on engineering-related spending Tuesday
CFAX 1070 March 6, 2012

Saanich continued budget discussions Tuesday night, with a focus on engineering-related spending.

Saanich Councillor Dean Murdock says the replacement of the Craigflower Bridge was one item discussed.

“that’s a project that will get underway this year, it’s valued at about 10.8 million dollars, and that’s almost entirely covered by gas tax revenue that was given to Saanich and View Royal for the replacement of the Craigflower Bridge”

Murdock says 3.5 million is being looked at for road improvements, 1 million for sidewalk upgrades and installations and 1 million for bike lanes on roadways and trails.

Murdock says the police budget was discussed Monday night. He says at 28 million dollars the police budget represents just over 12% of their annual municipal budget.

He says budget discussions will continue until the end of April with final approval of the financial plan by-law in May.

Victoria and Saanich Councils support interim fixes to speed up transit trips

Councils debate state of bus service in Saanich and Victoria
CFAX 1070 February 29 2012

B-C Transit provided an update on its planning for a light rail rapid transit line to a special joint meeting of Saanich and Victoria Councils…but most of the politicians seemed more interested in what can be done to improve bus movements right now.

Victoria Councillor Pam Madoff was the only one who actually used the word “disappointed” in how little has changed since the last Council update on rapid transit. The current time frame suggests there might be a line built in four to six years…some Councillors, such as Saanich’s Leif Wergeland, fear it’s more likely 10 or 20 years, and he wondered what plan “B” is in the meantime.

Dean Murdock agreed that some interim measures need to be taken…

“…begin planning for some of those interim steps that are going to free up the congestion in some of those corridors, while we continue to plan , uh, towards a bigger plan for, ah, rapid transit. I’ll be discussing that with some of the, some of my fellow councillors to see what we can bring forward in the very near future to get that started”

Interim measures could include extending a transit traffic signal exchange program, currently under development on Douglas Street, to other important bus routes; and more and longer cue-jumper lanes for busses.

Happy to support Denise Savoie’s Green Commuter Choices bill

‘Green commuting’ bill finds second wind
By Jeff Bell, Times Colonist February 11, 2012

With buses passing behind her and cyclists in attendance, Victoria MP Denise Savoie had the ideal setting Friday to announce that her 2009 private member’s bill on “green” commuter choices will be re-introduced in Parliament.

Since she is Deputy Speaker, Savoie cannot bring the Commuter Tax Incentive Bill back herself, so fellow NDP MP Jamie Nicholls, who represents Vaudreuil-Soulanges in Quebec, is taking on the task.

Nicholls, who was on hand for the announcement, is the NDP’s deputy critic for transport and infrastructure, as well as a University of Victoria alumnus.

Savoie and her supporters gathered at the busy corner of Fort and Douglas streets to talk about the re-emerging bill.

“It was an important piece of legislation in the sense that it got support right across Canada from mayors and councils,” she said.

The Canadian Urban Transit Association also favoured the bill when it was introduced.

“What this bill does is it allows employers to provide commuter-related benefits to their employees for either their transit or cycling or carpooling,” Savoie said.

The bill would also help build capacity for transit operations across the country by allowing for longer-term planning, she said. That is an important facet of the bill, Savoie said, pointing to figures that indicate 23,000 people were passed by because of full buses in the capital region last September and October.

Transit workers were represented by Ben Williams, president of Local 333 of the Canadian Auto Workers, who said the number of passengers being left behind shows that changes are needed.

“The system is basically beyond its capacity,” he said.

Nicholls – who did all his travelling by bicycle and bus when he was at UVic – said the bill can help with congestion issues, such as the Colwood Crawl, by promoting different choices for commuters.

Saanich Coun. Dean Murdock said traffic congestion is a big concern for local governments.

“A move like this bill encourages employers to reach out with transportation alternatives, encouraging the thousands of employees who are commuting to and from the workplace every day to invest in an alternative or use a benefit provided by the employer – freeing up capacity on the road.”

Few private member’s bills end up being adopted.

Saanich News: Light rail

We asked the Saanich mayor and council candidates to provide their thoughts and strategies on light-rail transit along the Douglas Street corridor.

Dean Murdock, council candidate:

The proposed light rail plan was unanimously supported by Mayor and Council because of its economic, social, and environmental benefits. I support the plan and want to see an evaluation of its design, cost, and benefits. I’m confident that we can achieve the benefits of the proposed LRT at a lower cost to taxpayers. We’ve got traffic in every direction and need to try something new on Douglas and our major corridors. LRT should be part of an upgraded public transit network that attracts more riders by getting people to where they need to go more quickly and efficiently.

Saanich News: Traffic

We asked the Saanich mayor and council candidates to provide their thoughts and strategies on the transportation issues in Saanich (outside of the light rail discussion).

Dean Murdock, council candidate:

Traffic is a concern for most of the residents I talk to on the doorstep. We can reduce congestion with improved public transit service that has dedicated transit lanes to speed-up travel times on major corridors during peak hours. We should work with educational institutions and major employers to promote transit pass programmes to build ridership. We need to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety. I propose a ten-year plan to fund and build new sidewalks and upgrade crumbling sidewalks all across Saanich. Let’s create proper bike lanes and invest in expanded connector trails between major centres.

Saanich News: Transportation Planning

Planning for the future of transportation in Saanich will involve upgrades to sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure, but how should the transit system change to be accessible to more people?

Dean Murdock, council candidate:

“What we’re seeing is that there’s clearly a desire for a system change, a restructuring and realignment. We need to locate transit hubs in the urban centres with rapid transit on major corridors. That means we’re going to have to build dedicated transit rights of way, at least dedicated during peak hours, on streets like Shelbourne, McKenzie, Quadra and Douglas. Once we build up those major transit hubs, we’ll have to do community bus service so you’re collecting people in the neighbourhoods and bringing them to these transit hubs.”

Saanich News: Traffic Congestion

How do you propose to quickly alleviate some of the stresses caused by single-occupancy vehicles, which turns many of our major thoroughfares into parking lots at rush hour?

Dean Murdock, council candidate:

“We have to do what we can to promote alternatives to get people out of the single occupancy vehicle, into carpools having multiple commuters per vehicle. We need to do service improvements for transit on existing routes because the people who are being passed up by buses are not likely to continue to ride the bus if they can’t catch it – they’ll be getting into their cars. And at places like McKenzie/Borden, where it meets the Lochside Trail, we need to change some of the access points for pedestrians and cyclists, giving them points of access – a pedestrian overpass or a pedestrian scramble – because that intersection is recking havoc on traffic.”

Saanich residents deserve neighbourhood sidewalks

For Immediate Release
November 1, 2011

Saanich residents deserve neighbourhood sidewalks: Murdock

Victoria – Saanich Councillor Dean Murdock thinks your neighbourhood needs a sidewalk.

Announcing his mobility plan today, Murdock said quality sidewalks and bike lanes are a priority for most of the Saanich residents he’s met on the doorstep.

“In almost every neighbourhood, in every part of Saanich, people tell me they are concerned about the safety of their kids and elderly parents,” said Murdock. “Walking in the gravel next to a busy road isn’t just intimidating, it’s dangerous. People deserve to feel safe when they’re walking in their own neighbourhoods.”

To address Saanich’s sidewalk deficit, he proposes a 10-year plan to re-invest in sidewalk restoration and installation in priority areas.

“There are a lot of crumbling sidewalks in Saanich, and even more gravel paths where a sidewalk belongs,” Murdock said. “We’ll work with community associations to identify priority improvement areas.”

“Investing in sidewalks and bike lanes is more than investing in concrete and asphalt,” Murdock added. “It’s an investment in a healthier community, climate protection, the environment, safety, and mobility.”

The plan will use development cost charges, provincial and federal infrastructure grants, and the municipal infrastructure improvement fund to upgrade sidewalks and bike lanes over 10 years.

The first-term Councillor is seeking re-election to Saanich Council and a seat on the CRD Board.

Municipal elections are November 19.

A 10-year Mobility Plan for Saanich

Investing in sidewalks and bike lanes is more than investing in concrete and asphalt. Pedestrian and cyclist rights of way allow commuters to travel without an automobile, cut our greenhouse gas emissions, and preserve the quality of our air.

Proper sidewalks allow seniors to safely access goods and services within the community on foot. Sidewalks ensure that our children can reach their schools safely. Sidewalks and bike lanes are an investment in a healthier community, climate protection, the environment, safety, and mobility. It is time for a reinvestment in pedestrians and cyclists by:

– Creating a 10-year sidewalk revitalization plan.

– Working with community associations to identify priority areas for sidewalk restoration or installation.

– Concurrently constructing sidewalks and bike lanes with road improvements.

– Dedicating larger portions of funding to sidewalks and bike lanes.

– Accessing grants from senior levels of government to improve pedestrian and cyclist corridors.

– Redesigning Development Cost Charges to create a municipal mobility fund to construct sidewalks and bike lanes across Saanich and not limited to areas within immediate proximity of new developments.