Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Election: Maguire on walking and 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.

In discussing forms of 'active transportation', at least in terms of walking and cycling, mayoral candidate Mike Maguire would be more than happy to encourage people to use these types of transportation. But he does caution that, in his mind, there has to be a limit to what is offered to cyclists in order to ensure building cycling infrastructure doesn't do undue damage to business interests.
There has been an enormous focus on things like bike lanes downtown. I read this material, I think it was the Somerset BIA who just had a question from council about putting in a substantial bike-lane system, and their comment resonated with me—unfortunately it doesn’t resonate with council—their comment was, “You’re going to kill our businesses. We need areas to park; if the cars don’t come here, nobody buys our stuff.” There’s a limit to the generosity available out of any given body of people, and at the municipal level, we’re way past the limit of our generosity.
Maguire has mentioned that should his commuter-rail transit alternative move forward, it would result in fewer cars and less congestion in the city's core--which would then create more space and more safety for cyclists at street level.

1 comment:

JuliaR said...

Eliminating some parking does not kill businesses. Ten bikes can park in the space for one car. Everybody said banning smoking in bars would kill business and it has not.