Meet the Candidates

In an effort to learn more about the opinions of Prince Rupert’s potential politicians, all candidates for the 2018 Prince Rupert municipal election were asked by email to provide statements concerning their views on mobility in Prince Rupert.  All candidates received the following message and request:

In 2017, there were 11 pedestrian-vehicle crashes in Prince Rupert including one fatality.  84% of Rupertites admitted feeling unsafe at crosswalks according to an online poll conducted by The Northern View newspaper.  Our survey results show that a majority of Rupertites surveyed would like protected bicycle paths and better visibility in order to improve walking and cycling downtown.  Prince Rupert's Official Community Plan includes a commitment to promote health by encouraging active living and by improving transportation options.

Please respond to the following two questions as completely as possible.  Your statements will be published on our website alongside those of other municipal election candidates.  

  1. How important is it for you that the streets of Prince Rupert are safe for all road users?

  2. If elected to council, what action(s), if any, would you take to make the streets of Prince Rupert safer, more accessible and more enjoyable for everyone?

CS4PR would sincerely like to thank the candidates for their time in responding to our questions! 

 
 Photo credit: Blair Mirau,  Facebook

Photo credit: Blair Mirau, Facebook

Blair Mirau

1. As someone who often bikes and walks to work downtown, having safe streets is extremely important to me personally. Given the number of recent pedestrian collisions in crosswalks and near misses, it's obvious that there are a number improvements that must be made to our built environment. And by encouraging walking and biking instead of driving, we can create better health and well-being outcomes for our community.

2. If I'm lucky enough to be re-elected to Council, there are two specific actions that I would push for to make our streets safer and more accessible. First, the Ministry of Transportation has authority over 2nd Ave and McBride which have proven to be the most unsafe streets, so the City must redouble its efforts to secure provincial investments in safety, for example, pedestrian activated lights. And second, I will advocate for the City to update our 2007 Official Community plan, including a downtown revitalization plan, to incorporate specific and targeted strategies that will ensure our streets become safer and more accessible for all users.

 
 Photo credit: Nick Adey,  Facebook

Photo credit: Nick Adey, Facebook

Nick Adey

First, thank you for your ongoing advocacy on this important issue.  Here are my initial responses to the two questions you posed:

1. It is, of course, vitally important that we do everything we can to maintain safe streets for all road users.  Those users include pedestrians, skateboarders, cyclists, and vehicle drivers.  There is common ground here, because nobody wants to see tragic accidents occur.  

2. First, it should be noted that this is not a new issue (not to diminish the ongoing importance of the concern). But a look at the North Coast Review archive reveals at least two occasions where the issue has come before the city recently.  For example:

http://northcoastreview.blogspot.com/2018/01/latest-pedestrianvehicle-incident-keeps.html

This article includes the efforts of Complete Streets for Prince Rupert in addressing these concerns, and

http://northcoastreview.blogspot.com/2018/03/prince-rupert-lions-club-raise-road.html

I would consult with city staff to determine what work has already taken place on this issue.  This would guide the following possible steps:

1.       Take steps to improve visibility at night through lighting, and by encouraging the use of reflective clothing.  (Many drivers know how difficult it is to see pedestrians in dark clothing on a rainy night).

2.       Consider increasing the number of controlled intersections.  I am thinking particularly of 2nd Ave., a four lane street with poor visibility at certain times of the year due to sunsets, parked cars, and night rain.

3.       Support any efforts to educate drivers and pedestrians about the need for lower speeds, care, and higher visibility.  This could include well placed signs, especially at key crosswalks.

4.       I also think that if the city can follow through on plans to divert container truck traffic to a bypass route, some of the congestion and visibility problems may be eased.

Sincerely,

Nick Adey (candidate for City Council)

 
 Photo credit: Sarah Dantzer,  Facebook

Photo credit: Sarah Dantzer, Facebook

Sarah Dantzer

1. Very important! Transportation is an essential part of modern life. Access to safe and varied modes of travel is part of what makes communities inclusive and therefore thrive. Eleven pedestrian-vehicle crashes in 2017 is a strong indication that there is work to be done.

2. Complete Streets for Prince Rupert has caught my attention, and had my support, from its inception. It is my belief that this group of passionate volunteers has done fantastic work connecting with our community, its infrastructure transportation needs and how to start addressing them. Therefore, as an elected official, I would engage supporters, encourage grant writing and champion the first stage of the Complete Streets Action Plan in council. Specifically, the first stage is to complete paths to and through 3rd Avenue West. As well, when Council is drafting the new Official Community Action Plan, safety, across and enjoyment for all modes of transportation will be one of my priorities.

 
 Photo credit:  City of Prince Rupert

Photo credit: City of Prince Rupert

Gurvinder Randhawa

Thanks for your concern about the safety of our community members. Following are my answers of your questions.

1.  I think city streets should — and can — be safe for pedestrians, drivers and other road users. As a longtime driving instructor, that's the belief I share with my students while providing them with techniques for handling a vehicle responsibly and sharing the road. From this unique perspective, I have acquired an understanding of what does and doesn't work when it comes to the design of urban thoroughfares.

2. The Redesign Prince Rupert plan completed by my City Council colleagues and myself envisions significant upgrades to our roads, crosswalks, and pedestrian routes. To bring this plan to reality, collaboration with other agencies is essential. We've been working with higher levels of government to obtain necessary approvals and engineering advice. Meanwhile, funding for city infrastructure like this has become available thanks to investments we've attracted in the Watson Island industrial site. Because the safety of our residents is of paramount importance, these initiatives and the necessary collaboration are moving ahead on a very aggressive schedule.

 
 Photo credit:  City of Prince Rupert

Photo credit: City of Prince Rupert

Wade Niesh

It is definitely important to have safe streets and I feel that if elected I will continue to advocate for improvements on highways such as what was recently announced. Also working with staff to make necessary improvements on city streets. I do feel that everyone needs to do their part in making streets safer so this needs to be attacked from all angles, both pedestrians and drivers.

 
 Photo credit: Barry Cunningham,  Facebook

Photo credit: Barry Cunningham, Facebook

Barry Cunningham

1.  As a father and grandfather, I think it’s imperative that our streets are safe.

2.  As a sitting councillor, I worked with Mayor, Council and staff to improve the safety of Prince Rupert streets. We met with the Department of Highways on several occasions, and the result was the recent announcement that on McBride and Second, 89 street lights would be changed to LED to improve illumination, pedestrian crossing countdown timers and audible signals installed at all intersections, street signs replaced on signal poles, more durable paint on crosswalks, and reconfiguring crosswalks. Now we have to continue this work for the rest of Prince Rupert. Also I believe this is more than a street problem. Educating drivers and pedestrians to be more aware of each other can also save lives, and City Council can play a role in seeing that education takes place.

 
 Photo credit: Reid Skelton-Morven,  Facebook

Photo credit: Reid Skelton-Morven, Facebook

Reid Skelton-Morven

1. I believe it is imperative that we ensure the safety of all road users, as we can see, it’s a huge challenge and safety concern to address & overcome. And I really appreciate the work that Complete Streets Prince Rupert & all of their strategic partnerships are doing for our community. It is inspiring to see such passionate advocacy for such a pressing matter.

2a. If I am fortunate enough to be elected to the council table, I would begin to take steps to improve visibility through the proactive & responsive delivery of the importance of wearing high visibility clothing, as well as take the necessary steps to improve the lighting of the streets themselves, and this would mean taking necessary steps towards forming a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Transportation, as the Ministry is the primary authority over 2nd Avenue & McBride Street, in which a majority of these tragic accidents have taken place.  

2b. One of the concerns that has been brought to my attention would be blind spot control, which could be quickly & cost effectively implemented as a first phase project into this initiative, which would be through pressing the yellow & restricted parking lines just slightly further back on the corners of key & potentially hazardous intersections in an effort to deter blind spots caused by parked vehicles for drivers, and other road users. And then in succession, take the necessary steps to provide support and look to implement the proposed plans of the Intersection Improvement Project helmed by CS4PR & their partners.

2c. Take necessary steps in forming strategic partnerships with other organizations in the community or possibly ICBC & the Ministry of Transportation, for a collaborative & proactive delivery of driver & road users safety programs highlighting the importance of safe and best practices in low visibility & other potentially hazardous conditions. 

 
 Photo credit:  The Northern View

Photo credit: The Northern View

Charmayne Carlson

1.  I'm a candidate for council. The safety of our city is of great importance for me and I'm sure for all our residents. We have a wide range demographic of users. I have experienced safety concerns and had my own incident and or near misses. The City has a Quality of Life action Plan which outlines many of these concerns and should be monitored as needed .

2. If elected to council I would start communicating with the Ministry of Transportation on the need for alert beeping side wall crossings, as we have all experienced in larger cities while we visit.

I would ask for help from the RCMP also on 2nd Ave as at night, this area is not what I would call a safe place to walk, with the night life.

Making positive changes, makes a positive environment. 

Thank you for all your work on Compete Streets.

 

(Candidates’ statements appear in the order in which they were received.)