We can encourage more electric transportation

Greg Robins DNV Electric CarWe can help reduce the advance of climate change, lower levels of pollution, quiet areas around streets and move into the future with electric transportation.

As a councillor at the District of North Vancouver, I will work to encourage electric cars, transit and biking. The first step is to collaborate with groups who can offer expertise and industry knowledge. Then, we can work with business and residents to move faster to a non-fossil fuel transportation network.

Some quick ideas I’d like to just toss out:

  • Mandate all parking spots in new developments of any kind to include charging capacity for every parking spot – not just some.
  • Find ways to provide charging capacity to bikes at work and shopping locations.
  • Provide more restricted parking for non-fossil fuel cars on both public and private lots.

It is our obligation to future generations. We can do this and it is apparent we need to move sooner than later.

How we can build rentals for $100K less per door

Apartment for rent in North Vancouver

The inventory of rental stock is a challenge on the North Shore. While new building are going and offering units for sale, many people here on the North Shore simply can’t afford to gather a 20% downpayment on a $500,000 condo. This means people leave the North Shore – even if they work here – to live in communities like New West where rentals make up over 50% of new construction. We’re losing people aged 20 – 39 simply because it’s too expensive to live here.

A new initiative from BC Housing , the Community Housing Fund, could see $100,000 as a grant for new rental housing across the province. These kinds of programs can help overcome the distaste developers have for rental buildings (“there’s no money in them”, I was told recently by a developer representative) and allow people to live and work on the North Shore.

Let’s work with the province, agencies and developers to make these programs work for us and help solve our affordability challenges.

As Councillor at the District of North Vancouver, I will support the development of rental units to make North Vancouver affordable and livable.

Photo by Luke van Zyl

We can make traffic less painful

Cars in a traffic jam on the road

It’s the topic that’s part of the North Shore dinner party conversations – traffic and the headache we suffer from even the shortest trip.

Traffic has many sources, and there are studies coming out of the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project (INSTPP) that point to sources and factors in traffic. The purpose of INSTPP is to find the framework for solutions to sitting in traffic.

My plan is to kick off any traffic oriented programs by looking at the findings and recommendations of INSTPP – this initiative is already underway and includes the cooperation of other municipalities.

I also plan on encouraging more non-car transportation: walking, biking, and bussing. That means improving sidewalks and safety for pedestrians and collaborating with drivers’ education organizations to better train new drivers on pedestrian and bike safety.  I hope to work with community groups such as HUB for expertise on how biking can be encouraged, the Chamber of Commerce to discuss how charging stations for bikes could be aligned with local businesses, and review how the District’s own Master Plan for Pedestrian Safety can be best implemented sooner than later.

Of course, we need to demand more and better transit. Zurich, a city I recently visited, allowed myself and my family to travel easily and quickly from suburb to city to the airport with a 24 hour ticket. It was quick, clean, affordable and on time. The one time we did drive, roads were clear and with no traffic jams. Let’s take some lessons from their model and fix the situation we’re in.

Deep Cove boats and sewage

Kayak in water at sunset

The issue of boats dumping waste into the water in Deep Cove is an issue the DNV should investigate.

There is no place for raw, untreated sewage to be dumped into the water where local residents are swimming and enjoying the water in kayaks.

I believe allowing boaters to remain in place without regards to federal laws and local regulations is not good for our environment or our reputation as an environmentally responsible community.

I would love to hear your comments, input and suggestions. Please email me at greg@gregrobins.ca or send me a note on Facebook Messenger.