Saturday, 26 September 2020

City of Perth councillor candidates - part 2

The third in a series of guest blog posts.  Perth Bike Hub asks candidates in the City of Perth council election to share their vision for bicycle transport. Here’s Part 2 of responses from council candidates.


Responses from other candidates are here:

Perth Bike Hub has a Facebook page and can be found on Twitter @perthbikehub


SURVEY QUESTIONS

1. What is your vision for the role of bicycles and other micro-mobility modes (such as electric scooters) in the City of Perth’s transport system?

 

2.  Around two-thirds of Australians say they would like to ride a bicycle, especially for short trips, but only if it feels safe. Would you like to see more Perth residents on bicycles and if so, what specific actions will you take to improve bicycle transport in the City of Perth should you be elected?

 

3.  The state government recently announced funding to build key bicycle routes along Bennett, Moore, Wittenoom and Nile Streets. If elected will you support construction of these routes?


COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES - PART 2


VIKTOR KO


1. Under utilised; We need more public facilities to securely park bikes and charge scooters/skateboards.We have many vacant shops and blocks within Perth that can be supplied with power and converted to stops for commuters.


I want to see more use of alternative transport, this is the best solution to reduce congestion many of our 1-way streets...


I personally own a Canadian Lacroix Prototype, a high end electric skateboard and want more opportunities in Perth to use it.

2. Make it easier to travel on bike, encourage bikes to share pedestrian footpaths (they are allowed now), provide rest areas/charging stops within the city.

- End of trip facilities.

- Allow trains to have areas where bikes can be taken on.

3. I support the construction of new bicycle routes, however they need to comply with local laws and be subjected to input from residents that live or share these routes.


I DO NOT support: Scooter or bike renting, these have become an issue for local councils overseas, where companies make scooter/bikes cheap to rent, while users end up dumping these bikes on footpaths after they are used.


PBH summary:

Viktor Ko identifies potential for more secure bike parking and charging stations for e-mobility devices. As an e-skateboard user, he likely has greater insight than most on the issue of charging provision in the city.


It’s odd he considers traffic congestion as primarily an issue for one-way streets, and his acceptance (indeed, further encouragement) of the current footpath jostle between pedestrians and bike riders lacks vision. However, he says he does support the construction of new bicycle routes. 


Additionally he calls for more end-of-trip facilities and train provision for bicycles.


His vocal opposition to shared scooter/bike schemes suggests a reluctance to learn from the challenges of other jurisdictions and find better solutions for our own city. While dock-less schemes can be problematic, there are hundreds of cities worldwide with successful docked style schemes.



CATHERINE LEZER



1.  Surely Perth has to be one of the best places to cycle in the world.  I would like to see Perth known as a cycling destination for tourists and locals alike.  

 

2.  Installing bike counters, bike parking (and lighting) and end of trip facilities are some things where council can have an impact.

 

3.  Need more detail, which I hope will come in due time.


PBH summary:

Catherine Lezer believes conditions for riding a bicycle in central Perth are already good (among the best in the world) and wants to use this cycling status as a way to draw visitors and locals.


She notes a number of bike-related matters where council can play a role (counters, parking, lighting and end-of-trip facilities) but does not say whether these are things she will champion on council. 


She would not commit either way on the proposed East Perth cycle routes.



TERRESA LYNES


1.  I would be happy to see an increase in the use of shared bikes and electric scooters. Not only would it suit pedestrians in the City The electric scooter system specifically is very popular in Bali with families, I believe such a scooter system would bring people into the City. Bringing people into the City is listed as a priority in the City of Perth Strategic Community Plan. The use of bikes and scooters as opposed to cars also has a positive impact on reducing the carbon footprint.


If the use of scooters and bikes were to increase, we need to acknowledge that we would be faced with a problem of where they could be ridden. Ultimately it would be great to see dedicated lanes for bikes and scooters.


2.  In order to make bike users feel safe whilst riding they would need designated lanes that are specific to bike use. Funding and space permitted I would be happy to support the construction of such lanes. More bikes = Less cars,  Less cars = Less parking problems. I am favour of infrastructure that decreases parking problems.


3.  I would need to base my decision on a council report, however I imagine the City administration would be aware of such funding, I would even say they had input into the funding being granted. Therefore in all likelihood the report would be in favour of the bicycle route. If this was the case at this stage I see no reason why I wouldn’t support the bicycle route.


PBH summary:

Terresa Lynes backs the idea of publicly available shared bikes and e-scooters and sees such systems appealing to people on foot and visitors to the city.  She acknowledges that the success of such systems would require safe spaces for their use, and voices support for dedicated bike/scooter lanes in the city.


She recommends designated cycle lanes to enable people to feel safe. Her comment about supporting “construction of such lanes” gives a hint she probably knows that simply painting the lanes is not enough.

 

Terresa supports the idea of replacing car journeys with bike journeys to reduce the number of cars in the city and demand for car parking.


She offers guarded support for their construction of the proposed East Perth bicycle routes.



GARY MITCHELL


Did not respond.




MICHELLE ROSENBERG


1.  I believe bikes and more particularly micro-mobility modes are becoming more common and I think that these methods of quick, short to long distance travel methods will become important as part of the transport landscape.  Clubs such as Bike Hub will be pivotal to be an advocacy group for these people to bring issues to the City of Perth around access, maintenance and use.


2.  I would like to see more bike lanes added to more if not all city roads, this would allow bike riders a safer road option to get in and around the city.  I walk a lot around the city and often see near accidents between bicycles and cars, even with bike lanes.


I would commit to work with clubs like yours to identify opportunities and issues faced and where possible pick off the easy to achieve items and target bigger projects with the State Government where relevant and plan for growth of users in and out of the city.  The one thing I hate is poor planning, so let's not rush anything, let's do it right and do it once for now and plan for the future.


The people who ride bikes are the ones who know the issues more than most and advocating with groups like yours allows for a collective voice to move for positive change.


3.  I am definitely in support of these routes, particularly the light upgrades that are also proposed.  I also believe the safety improvements proposed are important and will allow cyclists and other users safer access to and out of the city, reducing interactions with vehicles. These could be improved upon and probably don't go far enough.


PBH summary:

Michelle Rosenberg shows an awareness of the potential for increased use of bicycles and other microbility modes in the City of Perth and of how engaging with relevant stakeholders can better inform the outcomes.


Her desire to target some early quick wins suggests a commitment to action. Her preference for thorough planning will likely mean slower progress, however she seems motivated by a desire to get things done properly.


She supports the proposed East Perth bicycle routes and suggests more routes should be on the table.



AIMEE SMITH


1.  As a climate change policy adviser with a passion for sustainable cities I know how beneficial active transport and micro-mobility modes are for reducing the carbon emissions of our City, improving it’s livability and improving the health of our citizens.


There was a 200-300% increase in bike ridership during covid this year. This an ideal moment to solidify and support that behaviour change into the future by investing in our active transport infrastructure to ensure it is safe, connected, convenient and accessible. In addition, building bike and active transport infrastructure is also a great jobs creator and a fantastic stimulus measure as we all look to recover better from cover.


If we are to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the aspirational goal set out by the state government, then we must invest in more active and carbon neutral modes of transport.


If we are to ensure the City of Perth is a vibrant, accessible, safe place to live, work and play we need our city to be designed for people, not cars and creating more pedestrian and cycle friendly streets is one of the first steps in designing our city differently.


For all of these reasons, it is my hope that the City of Perth (in collaboration with the state government) takes this moment of change and opportunity to invest in world class cycling infrastructure for our City. I would like our entire transport system to be safe, connected, convenient and accessible and I would like to see active transport modes like cycling, micro-mobility and walking to be highly valued in our transport mix. I know doing so will bring so many benefits to our environment and to our community.


2.  I would love to see more of Perth’s residents, workers and visitors on bicycles. If elected I would encourage the City to work collaboratively with the state government to improve active transport infrastructure in our city so that it is safer, more connected and more convenient. I would advocate for:

  • Extending and better connecting our network of cycle paths, so riders can have a continuous, convenient, safe journey into and across our City.  The state government’s recent funding announcement for new key bicycle routes in the city (as mentioned in question 3) is a great start.  In addition, I would advocate for these new paths to be constructed from recycled road base to reduce their carbon footprint and help the city on a path to zero emissions.
  • Ensuring the safety of riders and their bicycles by investing in path and lighting upgrades as well as more secure bike parking facilities at key locations within the City of Perth.
  • Allowing bikes on Perth's peak hour trains - perhaps by dedicating the last carriage of every train to bike commuters at all times.

3.  I will certainly support the construction of new key bicycle routes in the city if elected.  I would like to ensure the community has an opportunity to engage in a conversation about the most suitable location for new bicycle routes. If the community agrees that Bennett, Moore, Wittenoom and Nile streets are the best sites then, yes, I would support construction on these routes.


PBH summary:

Aimee Smith shares a broad and optimistic view of the potential for cycling in Perth. She sees cycling as offering great opportunity for Perth and shows an understanding of the role of bicycles and other micromobility modes in improving the liveability, health and sustainability of cities.


She identifies the latent demand for cycling in Perth and understands the many benefits of meeting this unmet demand: from greater urban vibrancy and safer streets to creating jobs and meeting emissions targets.


She supports more cycle infrastructure (including the proposed East Perth bicycle routes), secure bike parking and reforms to allow greater provision for bikes on trains (proposals that in some cases fall outside local government control.)



DENI SYMONDS


1.  I live in the city and regularly use my bike and skateboard to get around or to go for a relaxing cruise at night. Whenever I’m out, I have to choose between using the pavement which is bumpy and covered with many hazardous obstacles which slow me down or using the road where I am constantly worried about being killed by someone who hasn’t checked their blind spot.


The vast majority of our community agrees that we need to get more people on their bikes. The experts all agree that cycling is a great way to positively impact a whole number of community issues - from congestion to public safety, public health and global warming.


Despite all this, our streets continue to be designed around cars with pedestrians being treated as second class commuters and cyclists being as third class commuters. 


How can we expect more people to cycle when the experience is not great for everyone?


Painting strips of asphalt green is not enough. Our council needs to take a wholistic approach to personal transport where bicyclists and pedestrians are treated as equal first class commuters.


2.  Bike share network
The vast majority of the city’s residents are less than three kilometres away from town hall. Cycling is the best way to travel these distances yet countless residents do not own a bike while the majority of visitors to our city do not have a bike with them. One of my flagship plans is to work with other councillors to build a high quality docked share bike network which will make bikes accessible to all city residents and visitors. A docked bike share network will make it easier for locals to get about, reduce the barrier of entry for the thousands in Perth who do not own a bike and will assist in developing a bike culture.


Dedicated bike lanes
I believe we should review the city’s existing bicycle strategy to embrace Dutch design principles. For example, in addition to Principle Shared Paths, I believe high traffic areas should have dedicated bike lanes which are separated from car lanes and pedestrians.


Implement community led decision making
One of the challenges in changing our infrastructure is cost - we cannot afford to redesign and rebuild our city streets overnight. This is why in addition to fighting for increased investment in cycling infrastructure, I will work to create a community led decision making body who will assist in prioritising the city’s finite infrastructure budget and inform how infrastructure can better serve community needs.


Reduce congestion
Congestion and through traffic is another concern of mine. I will work with the city planning teams and Main Roads to find ways to reduce the number of unnecessary non-resident vehicles in the city so that roads are quieter and safer for cyclists to use.


Report council performance
I believe the city needs to create a regularly updated, publicly accessible information dashboard that can be used to measure the city’s performance against a robust set of measures. The public can use this information to determine whether the city is achieving positive long term outcomes and hold representatives to account. One of the key indicators that should be reported against is the number of children cycling within the city as I believe the number of children who are seen cycling with their families is a strong indicator of whether the community feels safe cycling in the city.


3.  I will wholeheartedly support these bicycle routes.


PBH summary:

Deni Symonds knows from personal experience that current provision for cycling in the City of Perth isn’t good enough. He identifies significant in-principle community support for getting more people on bikes and understands that bicycles are part of the solution to a host of complex societal problems including public health and climate change.


He commits to building a network of safe, protected bike lanes, drawing on global best practice, and supports the proposed East Perth bicycle routes. 


Deni wants an high-quality docked bike share system for Perth. He understands how this would improve the city's accessibility for residents and visitors. A good system would need to go beyond the City of Perth boundaries and require cooperation from neighbouring local governments. This has not been mentioned, and the problem of helmet laws would need to be addressed, but it's good to know he's an advocate for bike share.


His reference to children on bikes shows he understands the fundamental principle that safe streets for children to ride are safe streets for all.





ANDREW TOULALAN



1.  In my ideal Perth, bicycles are the primary mode of transport, as much as in a city like Amsterdam. Where there is a critical mass of population, that don’t require a car and are supported with a prioritised and completely integrated cycle network that makes riders feel safe and catered for.


Point to point bike hire facilities, such as Citibike in New York, where users can easily and safely hire a bike from point to point with minimal cost, fuss and effort, with ease of access at many points will also be part of future Perth. 

 

In the interim, I support free footpath parking for scooters to encourage use and scooter hire facilities will also be part of the future transport mix.


We need to be laying groundwork with feasibility studies and work on modelling with Main Roads WA to plan for the future mix of transport uses that moves away from the traditional car model.


I’d also like to see a Mountain Bike / BMX pump track in the city centre or fringe. 
Even Heirrison Island could be a good location.


2.  I’ve travelled to bicycle friendly cities, cities that prioritise cycling like Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver is renowned world-wide for the way in which it has grown the numbers of residents cycling more than other cities of similar size and it’s all down to their approach to their bicycle network. 

 

In Vancouver, they have removed on street parking on one side of every major street. What this allows is a 2-way bicycle lane, which they have completely separated from traffic by planter boxes. Not only does this look colourful and fantastic, it allows riders to feel safe and that is the main point in the survey results and in this question. 

 

Every traffic signal should have a bike phase, connected to a bike lane. In Perth, the current approach is to try and fit new bike lanes within the existing ratio of street use. This usually means keeping the exact same amount of space apportioned to pedestrians and cars, leaving the only area for new bike lanes as a thin strip of emergency lane that is painted green with a bike logo on it. This isn’t good enough and it doesn’t work. 

 

Sandwiching cyclists between parked cars on the left and moving traffic on the right, with very little space in between is not the right approach for the city centre and will only lead to accidents, frustration and a poor take up rate for riding, with many opting to ride on the road in car lanes, even when these thin spaces are provided. 

 

The network must also be fully completed and connected. Drivers would not accept roads that abruptly stopped, pedestrians won’t accept footpaths that lead to nowhere and so cyclists should accept nothing less than their (our) share of the street space.


I’ll review all planned cycle lane routes and plans with a view to remodelling the streets to provide more space for better cycle lanes with better grade separation from traffic lanes. I’ll lobby the state government to scrap the parking levy on the City Of Perth which will reduce the city’s dependence on parking income, allowing us to change the use of those spaces to cycle lanes in more places.


3.  I fully support the construction of these bicycle routes and more. We must ensure that the entire city centre is fully connected with proper cycling infrastructure.


I will play a key role in ensuring that the maximum space on each of these streets is converted into bicycle lanes that are separated from traffic lanes. I will maintain pressure for the expedited implementation of these projects to be of the highest priority and to fast track planning for the nest routes so that residents in all the neighbourhoods of central Perth can feel safe in choosing the option to ride their bikes to work or to visit the city centre and each neighbourhood.


We can live like those in Amsterdam, Perth can enjoy the success of Vancouver, it just takes the right people with enough conviction to insist on the best outcome so that our city can become a leader if cycling lifestyle and infrastructure and to shift the culture to be bike oriented over the traditional motor vehicle. Just like the roads changed from the horse and cart, our streets can and must change to embrace the cycling revolution. Thank you.


PBH summary:

Taking inspiration from bike-capital Amsterdam, Andrew Toulalan shares a very bold vision of Perth’s potential for cycling: where two-wheeled transport is normalised, safe and thoroughly integrated into city life.


He appears to understand that space, priorities and leadership are all fundamental issues when it comes to enabling cycling, and recognises Perth’s current provision for people on bikes is inadequate.


Learning from Vancouver’s bike-boosting success, he commits to building a network of safe protected bike lanes, backs the proposed East Perth routes and wants to hold the city’s cycle plans to higher design standards.


However, his desire to abolish the parking levy would be counterproductive given that this mechanism provides the revenue that funds cycling infrastructure and other non-car services (such as CAT buses) in the City of Perth.



CLAIRE TROLIO


1.  I wish for the City of Perth to be a leader in taking action against climate change and part of that is making cycling and other green modes of transport more inviting for residents and those visiting the city. The more accessible the city is to cyclists and pedestrians, the more our businesses will benefit and our residents, too.

 

Having said that, I do not believe in making it harder for people to drive into the city and I support free, short term parking in key areas to encourage visitors to the city’s wonderful businesses. I believe in encouraging cycling and electric scooters like you mention, rather than discouraging cars. That way we don’t make it harder for businesses to thrive in an already difficult climate and we don’t alienate those for whom cycling is not an option.


2.  I work in Northbridge and cycling is my preferred method of transport getting to and from work. I love it, and I’d love to see more residents and visitors on bikes by extending our cycle routes. I appreciate that safety is a concern and we need to look at the effectiveness of some of the existing bike lanes as well as improving lighting in some areas along current routes. I would like to see more bicycle parking, both small racks throughout the city for those wanting to stop into a retail shop or meet a friend for lunch for example, and also larger areas protected by camera surveillance for those wishing to ride for their daily commute.


3.  I feel that building bicycle routes on these streets is a natural progression from the existing bike routes, and I support their construction.


PBH summary:

Claire Trolio offers some positive words about bicycle transport and hints at some of the benefits bike-friendly cities can bring to business and sustainability goals.


Her commitment to facilitating easy car access to the city is at odds with her stance on climate action and boosting active transport.


She is aware that cycling safety is a problem but offers few details on what she will do to improve this situation beyond reviewing existing bike lanes, improving lighting and increasing secure bicycle parking. She does, however, lend her support to the proposed East Perth bicycle routes.



TAOFENG (LEAH) XIA


Did not respond.



CANDIDATES NOMINATING IN BOTH CATEGORIES

The following three people have nominated for the position of Lord Mayor but have also nominated for a councillor position if their bid for Lord Mayor is not successful. Their responses to the survey can be read on the Lord Mayor candidate page.


SANDY ANGHIE





DI BAIN





BRUCE REYNOLDS 






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