Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 Election: Doucet on cycling

Over the course of the 2010 Mayoral Election campaign, Public Transit in Ottawa will be sitting down with as many mayoral candidates as are available, discussing their platforms and thoughts on transit in this city, and what they hope to achieve during their mandate, if elected mayor.

As a part of his transportation plan, mayoral candidate Clive Doucet is calling for pretty heavy investments into promoting cycling as an actual alternative transportation method for residents of the City of Ottawa. His platform includes filling "gaps" in Ottawa's current cycling infrastructure and offering facilities at transit nodes with the stated goal of increasing the modal share devoted to cycling in Ottawa from two to five per cent.
We want to make Ottawa the best cycling city in Canada; better than Montreal, better than Vancouver. Can we do it? Of course we can. We are already the best recreational bicycling city in Canada, and our challenge is to become the best in Canada for cyclists who need to get to work, to shop, to get to daycares. It is the daily, weekday travel by cyclists that must be improved.
During his press conference, Doucet invited sustainable transportation consultant Joel Mulligan to speak on behalf of cycle-heavy cities. Whether or not what Mulligan talked about was directly part of Doucet's plans, he did describe the best way to get people in Ottawa interested in cycling, and to build it into civic culture: Pilot projects.
The best way to introduce the people of Ottawa to a world-class cycling infrastructure and cycling-oriented lifestyles like we see in many of these world-class cities is to show the people of Ottawa examples. To use modest, small-scale pilot projects that are really well done, to capitalize on expertise from leading cities is one of the best ways of doing it. This way, people can see examples, try them out, and they can discuss them. [...] Such a concept is relative to all councillors in all wards, and a bicycle pilot project initiative in each ward, led by the mayor, and working with each councillor and with citizens in each ward, would be a positive way of sharing these ideas with all the citizens in the City of Ottawa.

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