Sunday, October 05, 2014

RESULTS: 2014 Toronto Election, Scarborough Councillor/School Trustee Candidate Survey

Question 1: Promoting Active Transportation
What programs and initiative will you champion to increase the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians in Scarborough?

Question 2: Support for Cycling Infrastructure
Will you support Cycle Toronto’s ‘Minimum Grid’ campaign ( to build 100 km of protected bike lanes on main streets, and 100 km of bike lanes on residential streets by 2018? If you do not support this campaign, please let us know why and detail what cycling policies you do support.

Question 3: Cycling in Scarborough
What do you believe is the greatest impediment to increasing cycling for commuting and recreation in Scarborough?

Candidates for Councillor, Ward 36
Candidates for Councillor, Ward 35
Candidates for Trustee, Toronto District School Board, Ward 18
Candidates for Trustee, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Ward 12
Candidates for Trustee, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, Ward 2
Candidates for Trustee, Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, Ward 4

The candidates below replied to our survey, and are presented in alphabetical order.

Gary Crawford
Paul Bocking
Gaye Dale
Ace Alvarez

Masihullah Mohebzada
Anwarul Kabir
Tim Heffernan

Robert Spencer
Chris Upwood
Elizabeth Moyer

Don Stuart

The candidates below DID NOT reply to our survey.

Ed Green
Sharif Ahmed
Abida Abida
Paulina Corpuz
Julien Baeta
Calude-Reno D’Aigle
Robert McDermott
Teferi Assefa
Azim Dewan
Nancy Crawford
Pascal Fenkam
Mario Gunanayagam
Andre Musters
Michelle Berardinetti
Naser Kaid
Ronald Nevins-Selvadurai
Jean-Baptiste Foaleng
Antoine Lutumba-Ntumba
Joy Robertson
Saima Shaikh
Parthi Kandavel
Ryan Nutter
Mohamed Sekkak

Tobin Christian
Shaid Uddin
Michael Opoku

Jason Woychesko
John Stergianis

Gary Crawford, Councillor Candidate, Ward 36
2275 Kingston Rd.
Campaign Office: 416-266-8683
Cell: 647-606-4024

1. Scarborough is a diverse community with many cycling enthusiasts. While bike lanes exist, expansion and accessibility of trails and routes is further needed to encourage bike use. I supported a bike lane along Kingston Road which will eventually be part of the Scarborough Waterfront Trail. It is my hope that a proper bike network will connect the waterfront communities of Scarborough and eventually to the Port Union and Durham regions. Pedestrian safety is of utmost importance to me, especially the safety of our children traveling to and from school. I have worked, and will continue to work, alongside the Toronto Police Service, local school boards and parent groups, to address specific pedestrian safety concerns. Initiatives which I championed at City Council include speed zone safety reviews, the construction of sidewalks where feasible, and configuring traffic signage to better manage the flow of traffic and needs of the greater community.

2. I am supportive of constructing bike lanes on streets where feasible and appropriate. I am also in favour of additional trails and bike paths that connect our diverse Scarborough communities, and I remain concerned about the safety of cyclists that use our main streets. If re-elected, I pledge to continue working with the cycling community, residents and stakeholders to put cycling infrastructure where appropriate.

3.The single greatest impediment to increasing cycling for commuting and recreation in Scarborough is our lack of space on existing roads and the increasing amount of vehicular traffic. Gridlock is a serious issue in our City and promoting initiatives such as cycling, encouraging carpooling, and advocating further rapid transit expansion, will help reduce our carbon footprint and the conjestion on City streets. Education for residents highlighting the benefits of cycling will further encourage cycling growth in Scarborough.

Masihullah Mohebzada, Councillor Candidate, Ward 36
Cell: 647-764-3464

1. What we need is to put in some money in to teaching people how to ride a bike safely. We need back line I promise every bike rider in ward 36 if elected I will fight to get bike lanes on kingston road and other roads.

2. I support the 100km bike lanes in the city of Toronto. We loss so many people that are killed when biking we can lower the number of people killed in bikes by put bike lanes around the city of Toronto. We don't need such a big side walk what we need is bike lanes.

3. we have to proof to them that it's safe if you bike around the city that's something I think we can't do right now as I always say I know many people that would like to bike around but they don't feel safe cause there is no bike lanes that is one thing I promise the people of ward36 I will get you guys bike lanes If elected.

Robert Spencer, Councillor Candidate, Ward 36
1094 Kingston Rd.
Campaign Office: 647-633-9710

1. As a City Councillor I will champion protected bike lanes on as many major routes in the city as possible as well as bike lanes on smaller residential streets to help ensure the safety of cyclists in our city. In order to help ensure the safety of pedestrians in Scarborough I will work closely with my constituents to identify any areas where pedestrian paths are inadequate or where additional traffic signage may be useful.

2. As a City Councillor I will be proud to support Toronto’s Minimum Grid.

3. I believe the greatest impediment to increasing cycling in Scarborough is the lack of good bike paths. I believe that implementing the Minimum Grid will help to address this issue and I would also be interested in looking at other opportunities for bike paths in areas such as the parks along the side of the GO line to encourage more recreational cycling.

Paul Bocking, Councillor Candidate, Ward 35
3254 Danforth Ave.
Cell: 647-949-7285

1. I would introduce Ward cycling awareness days: high profile events with local community groups like the Ward 35 Cycling Committee, to increase awareness among motorists of the presence of cyclists on Scarborough streets. I am also very interested in working with local parents, teachers, principals and trustees to encourage greater numbers of children and youth to ride bikes to school. Local neighbourhood meetings can be used more to discuss resident concerns around traffic speed and to develop responsive projects, such as addressing resident concerns for additional crosswalks, like at Victoria Park by Donside Avenue, ensuring safer access to the Taylor Massey trail. I also support attaching side guards to City trucks.

2. Yes, I support Cycle Toronto’s Minimum Grid. I also support better connecting the Taylor-Massey trail west of Victoria Park Avenue, with the Warden Woods trail between Pharmacy and Warden Avenue. Outdoor bike racks at Victoria Park subway station are frequently full on weekdays, we need more bike parking space here, and at Kennedy and Warden stations -the latter completely lacks bike racks. I also support negotiating with future developers of condominium, office and large retailers in the Ward to include secure bike storage space in their projects.

3. Fast traffic makes our main roads are risky to ride on. I propose introducing bike sharrows on St. Clair Avenue. While not offering as much protection as full bike lanes, sharrows are markings on the pavement to remind motorists to share the road and give a wide berth when passing cyclists. Pavement conditions are another cycling hazard in Scarborough.  Pot holes and large cracks are frequently largest close to the curb. We need to put a greater priority on their repair.

Anwarul Kabir, Councillor Candidate, Ward 35
3092 Danforth Ave, Unit 200, Scarborough, M1l 1B1
Campaign Office: 416-668-7458

1. To give safety for both cyclists and pedestrians i would initiative paint & bollards (retrofit). As because it helps  to  grow  f peoples  health and  their mentality. Mostly to increases the safety for the people is my responsibility

2. Yes

3. To keep the good health and sound mind, you need to do some physical activities, like workout, cycling  or swimming and other sports are very essential. To increase cycling. Education to the people how to maintain the safety and rules. When people find the road are safety they will start cycling. For the concern recreation, without recreation people can't use their brain  i will have more public places like park and  library, affordable health cert re..

Chris Upwood, Councillor Candidate, Ward 35
Campaign Office: (416) 929-0002

1. I am in favour of separated cycling lanes where appropriate. Maintenance and repairs of roads must be improved to provide safer cycling conditions. Parking tickets for courier companies should be enforced providing an incentive to park legally and safely. Closing some downtown streets to vehicles should be considered. E-bikes are a growing presence on the roads and should be included in traffic planning.

2. Yes. I support the campaign in general, although I have not seen details of the plan.

3. Cycling on Ward 35 streets is not safe enough due to poor road conditions and close proximity of vehicle traffic.

Gaye Dale, Candidate for Trustee, Toronto District School Board, Ward 18

1. I would like to see more of the Family friendly initiatives.

2. Yes, I do.

3. At this time in Scarborough the greatest impediment to cycling is the condition of the roads.

Tim Heffernan, Candidate for Trustee, Toronto District School Board, Ward 18
Cell: 416-786-4179

1. Anything that promotes more bike lanes, more bike parking/lock up points, general biking infrastructure. Anything that promotes the development of mass transit to ease taffic gridlock and make it easier and safer to ride bikes. As a school trustee, I would promote the TDSB’s “Active Transportation Charter”, specifically targetting students to walk, bike, use TTC to school campaigns. At the same time, discourage parents drom driving their kids to and from school.

2. 100% support for this campaign

3. Density of car traffic, lack of biking infrastrucure, lack of education and publicity on pro-biking issues.

Elizabeth Moyer, Candidate for Trustee, Toronto District School Board, Ward 18
Campaign Office: 647-472-4229

1. As the School Trustee I think itʼs important for students to have an awareness of safety as pedestrians and cyclists and to support any programs that reach this goal. Many community members have commented that we no longer seem to have the awareness that we did previously and so I would support community partners that are engaged in awareness. I would also like to do a workshop at one of my ward meetings on this issue. Iʼm also supportive of programs and awareness days that promote walking or cycling to school.

2. As someone who does cycle on local roads I know how scary certain roads can be to travel on. I think itʼs important to create bike lanes where they are most needed with consultation of the local community. As I saw in my ward, bike lanes that werenʼt supported by the local community have been removed.

3. I think the largest impediment in my community is that many students donʼt have access to bicycles due to cost. I would like to initiate a free bike giveaway for my Ward. I have been to many of my friendsʼ garages and seen that they have bikes that their children have outgrown, it would be wonderful if they donated these bikes to children who canʼt afford bikes.

Don Stuart, Candidate for Trustee, Toronto District School Board, Ward 18

Thanks for the opportunity to respond to your questions. I want to offer my support but in two different ‘lanes’....first as a citizen of Scarborough, I am in  universal agreement with any initiatives that promote cycling and walking.. Although I am physically unable to ride at this point in my life, I have used my bike extensively in the past to go to work and to do errands. I do understand how much enjoyment and anxiety riding a bike in this city can bring. I would support any initiatives that will promote the use of bike. The solution lies in the planning to make paths for riding and walking more feasible and desirable. Unfortunately Scarborough has not been planned with this in mind. We will have to reach back and look for areas where putting the car in the back seat is possible. There will need to work with the city planners to do so.

However, as trustee and parent, I am very concerned about promoting the safe use of bikes among our children. Many of our schools in Ward 18 (Ward 35/36) are located in secluded areas and students can ride to school with relative safety. Others  are near very busy streets where drivers are not aware that students are going to school. Crossing guards have told me horror stories of what can happen even at the crosswalks they tend. As a trustee I would  work with system staff and school staff to promote cycle safety and awareness in all schools...I would also work with board staff to provide bike racks for kids to safely keep their bikes in the day when they are at school. I would want to work with councillors to create the safest possible situations on streets like Midalnd and Kingston Road and at the same time communicate with police any information of problem areas where drivers are ignoring the rules of the road.

Ace Alvarez, Candidate for Trustee, Toronto Catholic School Board, Ward 12

1. Before the Toronto Catholic District Board, I can spearhead an initiative at TCDSB schools to work with special interest groups, such as yours, namely "Ward 36 Cyclists" and "TO35Cycles", for the conduct of information sessions among students, teachers and school administrators on the benefits of cycling as a mode of transportation to and from school (weather-permitting); work to provide budget, or organize fundraising efforts for the provision of bike parking rack at schools where such is absent, and additional racks when requirement necessitates such.

2. While the provision of budget -- and deliberations on the project for that matter, are outside my hopeful and eventual office as Trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, I am totally in support of the idea for Cycle Toronto’s ‘Minimum Grid’ campaign. Aside from what I already enunciated in my response on Question 1, I can further support the proponents of the project -- among others, your organization, in your various efforts, and where my functions allow me to do. (I wish to mention here that at one function I was at on Saturday, September 13, 2014, a couple who lives in Markham, Ontario was telling me of how they enjoyed riding their bikes from Markham, Ontario to Yonge and Eglinton -- a good 70 kilometers, round trip, which ride, they said used a mixed composition of bike trails, minor and major thoroughfares. They stressed that such rides promotes good physical activity -- which is one of the goals of your club. I thought to share this information with you to say that your efforts to have a Cycle Toronto’s ‘Minimum Grid’ is a laudable initiative.)

3. One big impediment is -- as you already mentioned, is the absence of a lane in the major thoroughfares and arteries of the city, hence, cyclists do not feel safe riding to work, schools and elsewhere in pursuit of their activities. Further, cyclists will feel at ease riding should motorists become more aware, through further information campaigns using multiple media platforms, on sharing the streets with cyclists. I believe that the current information on this matter is lacking.