1. A Commitment to Sustainable Transportation
We support candidates who will promote sustainable transportation such as biking, busing, and walking.
Sustainable transportation reduces infrastructure maintenance and repair costs. Cars require an extensive infrastructure to build and maintain including four-lane arterials, freeways, parking lots and bridges. Cars cost the city money per kilometre driven through wear and tear on this infrastructure and other indirect costs. Bikes actually save the city money per kilometre ridden (Mims, 2012). Car prioritization enables low density sprawling developments at the edge of the city. The cost to put in and maintain sewer systems, transit infrastructure and service, roadways, and water service is higher than the residential taxes produced (Edmonton Administration, 2013).
Mass transit has many positive benefits for a city. A full city bus replaces 30 to 40 personal vehicles, and produces dramatically less pollution than the cars would. A bus places less strain on the infrastructure such as roads and bridges than the cars needed to transport the equivalent number of people (Gary & Fraser, 2006).
Designing streets to accommodate a variety of transportation users (cyclist, pedestrians and transit users) encourages different ways of moving around and provides benefits to the city and the community including reduced pollution (Litman, 2013). Putting in bicycle infrastructure, such as bike lanes, reduces collisions between pedestrians, cyclists and cars by more than 40 per cent (NYCDOT, 2011). Streets that are more accommodating for pedestrians and cyclist are also good for local businesses, promote an active, healthy population and increase tourism (Tolley, 2011).
Residents who walk, bike and use active transport are healthier and have less health problems. Cars produce NOx, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals which have an adverse affect on the population’s health, especially children. Transit and active transportation (walking, biking) produce less or no pollution (Burda, Laufenburg, Bailie, & Haynes, 2012).
Sustainable transportation doesn’t mean a “war on cars.” There are a variety of ways to move within a city such as on foot, by bike, or as a passenger in a personal vehicle. Promoting sustainable transportation means acknowledging this, and making streets “complete” so it is equally safe and convenient to drive, walk, bike or skateboard.
Edmonton is a winter city. This doesn’t mean that a personal vehicle is the only way to get around for the cold months of the year. A northern city such as Denmark sees significant number of cycling even in winter because it is safe and convenient (Lindholm, ND).
Promoting a variety of transportation methods means cost savings for a city and residents who are healthier and have an improved quality of life and a more livable city overall.