I believe every citizen has the right to choose how to move around. Whether you walk, cycle, drive or take transit, you should be able to do so safely, responsibly, and without harming or impeding others, or our environment.
The Lower Mainland is becoming known for our world-class transit and active transportation networks, and progressive planning for future transportation networks that will effectively mitigate congestion, and serve our growing needs.
But improvements haven’t been evenly implemented across the region, nor have they always addressed our greatest issues, such as congestion at interchanges and water crossings, and lack of safe access to rapid transit for all users.
There’s no magic bullet to solve these problems. We know that you can’t build your way out of traffic congestion. Third crossings and left turn lanes are not going to help in the long run. The only way to continue on the right path is by giving people options that help them move around in the most efficient way given trip purpose. This leads to a reduction in single occupancy vehicles, creating more space for those driving.
Both provincial and federal governments are finally showing a willingness to bring real change – actual strategies, more funding and true collaboration with cities regarding transit. I believe CNV is well-positioned to inspire more action and collaboration with all levels of government provide greater transportation choice and reduced congestion for everyone on the North Shore.
I support making a strong push for policies that encourage more housing options for everybody — moving beyond remedies like taxation.
There’s no doubt that discouraging speculation and the number of empty homes is critical to addressing the affordability crisis.
However, looking to the past is only part of the solution to normalizing housing costs and encouraging growth in the rental market.
For too long, we have assumed that owning a single-family home is everyone’s goal and that it is within everyone’s means. This is unsustainable on the North Shore — we’re seeing a hollowing out of neighbourhoods in West Vancouver and in the District.
In the City, we have done much better at diversifying home types and growing our population; we built new high-density units along transportation corridors which, due to coordinated effort with the provincial government, will soon be activated by more and better transit services.
Today, new projects are coming to Moodyville, and our zoning bylaws support gentler densification, resulting in neighborhoods that retain their character and stay within reach of everyday people.
To build the kind of city residents want to live in, we also need new housing options. We should encourage and support more purpose-built rental projects, non-market co-housing and co-operative housing for people on low and fixed incomes, like seniors and students. We also need to leverage rental-only zones, and take every opportunity to integrate rental housing with commercial areas, such as retail and office developments — just like they do in some of the most vibrant and livable cities in the world.
In small, culturally diverse and vibrant cities like CNV, I believe the importance of public spaces to livability is on par with transportation and housing.
We don’t just want to commute from here — we want to be able to enjoy a wide range of entertainment, recreation, and relaxation opportunities within our own city, and to attract visitors from around the region. We want to live here!
Public spaces mean community. Public spaces mean economic opportunities. Public spaces mean expressing and celebrating the lifestyle of the North Shore, and all it has to offer.
However, public spaces don’t happen on their own. Over the past decade, it has taken some leadership and heavy lifting to revitalize our public spaces around Lower Lonsdale, and although this has breathed new life into our city, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are not only endless, they must be explored, or we risk becoming like any other city — overly dense, anonymous and unfriendly.
Most of our public spaces today — like the Civic Plaza, the Shipyards and Harbourside — are defined by concrete forms. I believe I am not alone in wanting more green space in the city, like small parks, playgrounds and community gardens to offset urban development that results mostly in hardscape.
Living, moving and playing go hand-in-hand-in-hand, and I am focused on making the City of North Vancouver a leader in natural public spaces.
Coming soon — Tony’s positions on:
- Jobs & the Economy
- City-District Amalgamation
- Childcare & Schools
- Clean Energy
Send your feedback to Tony via Twitter.