Thunder Bay’s Walkability Committee Survey has developed three questions for candidates in light of the upcoming Municipal Elections. We believe these questions are important as they will allow you to show voters your commitment to designing healthy neighbourhoods where people can walk or bike places safely and barrier-free.
Being able to travel actively contributes to safer, healthier and stronger communities. An investment in modes of active transportation, such as walking, is linked to social engagement, economic growth and environmental sustainability. When destinations are too far to walk, biking and taking public transit are convenient alternatives to walking that still keep people active. A sustainable transportation system, which considers all modes of transportation, develops economic activity and a connected community, by enabling walkers, cyclists, and transit riders to rely on their cars less, we are helping our community become healthier and more vibrant place.
Your opinions and ideas on this topic are very important to us and the community of Thunder Bay. Please try and limit your responses to each question to 100 words and return by Friday, September 26th. The results will be published on the Thunder Bay Walkability Committee website (see here) and shared through print and social media.
1. How do you think transportation is linked to health?
Active transportation activities like biking or walking keeps our bodies moving which in turn helps circulate blood flow lowers disease like diabetes and heart disease. This keeps our weight under control and makes our bodies more efficient. We get the exercise, our endorphins kick in, and we feel better, not just physically but mentally as well. Motion creates emotion and that leads to better health mentally and physically. The more active we are and the less we rely on other modes of transportation, the less fuels we use, and the less greenhouse gases are released which results in less pollution. This in turn creates a healthier earth, which leads to a healthier you.
2. If you are elected to council, what will you do to make our streets safer and more accessible for walkers/cyclists of all ages and abilities?
Eight years ago as a councillor, I put a motion forward to add a million dollars to the budget for bike lanes. It was defeated. Council has come a long way and recognizes the benefits not just physical, but socially, environmentally, and economically (on society) of getting people active.
I will keep fighting for more active transportation routes, support initiatives like Open Streets, or any other initiative that keeps people active. I also would like to see more one way streets with bike lanes separated if possible. Along the Waterfront I have been advocating for the implementation of the 52 km multipurpose recreational road. The engineering is completed, now we need the money in the budget. Increasing the budget for Active Transportation is very important because funds are needed to make it happen. Also many more cities are becoming more walkable and bike friendly so it is a proven, important trend and tool that enhances the quality of life for everyone.
3. If you are elected to council, will you champion the needs of walkers and cyclists in our community through the following actions?
- Advocate for community attributes that encourage and enable active transportation, such as sidewalks, bike lanes, multiuse trails, and safe access to transit. Yes
- Support the development of new and ongoing projects that make walking and cycling easier and accessible to all community members. Yes
- Support the community in applying for a Walk Friendly Designation. Yes
- Support the development of a Complete Streets policy to ensure safe and effective roads that will serve all road users, including walkers, cyclists and transit users. Yes
- Make a personal commitment to walk, bike, or take transit more, to council meetings or other destinations. Yes