"With all your columns about improving walking and cycling, I assumed you were some kind of anti-car radical!"
These were the words of a Capital Ward resident who, upon meeting me for the first time recently, expressed relief that my "agenda" is not so much about forcing or guilting drivers out of cars as it is about ensuring that everyone has some genuine choices. I would like most of us, for most of our trips, to be able to actually choose which mode of transportation
we would like to take, without fear or any tradeoff between safety, convenience and comfort.
My agenda, if that is the right term, is to improve transportation choices in the City of Ottawa, to reach the point where walking, cycling and riding a bus/train (often in combination) would be as viable, convenient and secure as driving. In many cases, maybe even faster, cheaper or less stressful.
I think the City of Ottawa bumper sticker on my car says it nicely: "I bike, I drive." Like many citizens of this town, I do not belong exclusively to one camp, and am not hostile to either.
My guiding principle, as councillor, has been to increase choices for Ottawa residents at large. A few projects have been very ward- or neighbourhood-specific; but really, when it comes to moving around a city, there are no borders. Many people besides Capital Ward residents can make good use of a safer way to cross the Bronson Bridge over the Rideau Canal, an expanded O-Train, or signallized crossings on the National Capital Commission's driveways.