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Admin
21-09-2010, 03:41 PM
This thread is to ask questions of Candidate Cris Basualdo Councillor Ward 6.

All members are asked to allow the Candidate to post first in his or her thread. This is to allow the Candidate ample opportunity to introduce their background, platform, and any other information they may feel is pertinent to this discussion.

All decorum expected of members in the C2E Ask Forums will be expected here. An addendum is that posters may ask as many questions as they wish, but they are also politely asked to follow any instructions on posting or reply timelines that the Candidate expresses.

Thank you to all for participating in the 2010 Connect2Edmonton Election Forum!

Cris Basualdo
27-09-2010, 03:28 PM
Hello all! I am Cris Basualdo, Candidate for Ward 6. I have lived in a mature neighbourhood in central Edmonton for 21 years and for the last 15 years have volunteered with various resident-based organizations around development, traffic, crime and disorder, school closures and other issues of importance to residents of mature neighbourhoods in central Edmonton. My vision is for a vibrant downtown surrounded by healthy, diverse neighbourhoods of choice, with schools, which is key to creating a downtown that all Edmontonians can be proud of. I am concerned about urban sprawl, and the resultant increase in costs and decrease in services for the taxpayers. I believe in creating better accountability to the taxpayer by real community consultation rather than rhetoric, reducing waste spending by better planning and civic policies, dispersing non-market housing to provide better outcomes for residents of projects and surrounding neighbourhoods, including our downtown. I believe that all Edmontonians should have equal quality of life no matter what their street address. I was asked to run by people who live in central Edmonton due to my passion for the vibrancy of our central Edmonton neighbourhoods and my history of responding and acting on resident concerns. Please let me know what issues are of most important to you.

Medwards
27-09-2010, 03:36 PM
What are your thoughts on the proposed West LRT and SE LRT lines? Does this line provide enough coverage for people in Oliver?
Life in central Edmonton has recently seen a quality of life improvement with the phased closure of city center airport closing the runway that has approaches over Ward 6. How will you ensure that the city keeps this airport on its plan for phased closure?

Cris Basualdo
27-09-2010, 06:11 PM
I support the LRT development but have a few concerns with the proposed plan. First of all, I wonder if it would have been more feasible to "cut and cover" with street level stops in neighbourhoods and business districts (Glenora, 104 Street and Stony Plain Road) to provide better walkability and traffic access at these locations. I am concerned that Jasper Avenue may have made more sense as a route for many Oliver residents, also using cut and cover to provide better walkability. It seems to me that the suburban-type strip malls on 104 Street that have been recently developed (what's up with that?) are not as walkable or friendly to LRT development as Jasper Avenue is.
I will frankly say that the airport is not among the top three concerns of most residents that I have spoken to so far in Ward 6, and among those I have spoken to, the devisiveness of this issue is clear. That being said, I am sure the voters will speak clearly by their choice of elected Councillors on their views about the airport. Either way, the taxpayers have a right to clear, concise information about costs, risks and benefits to the project. I think that if Council had ensured that better information had been provided in the first place and that people felt legitimately consulted, this issue would not keep coming up.
However, regardless of this debate, we cannot forget that we have mature neighbourhoods that already have existing infrastructure and vast swaths of empty land in our core already zoned for higher density development. We're failing seriously if the shiny new idea of airport redevelopment takes our focus off making existing neighbourhoods and the land surrounding downtown great places to be.

Sonic Death Monkey
27-09-2010, 09:36 PM
Thanks for your participation, Cris. I have a comment and then a question.

Comment:
Your website doesn't elaborate on the issues you list, or what ideas you'd bring to the table if you were elected.

Question:
What are your thoughts on the proposed downtown arena/entertainment district?

Cal76
28-09-2010, 06:24 PM
Hi Cris, what would you propose to do for the continued revitalisation of 107 Ave and the community of Queen Mary Park?

Cris Basualdo
30-09-2010, 11:47 AM
Hello,
In response to the arena question, I think it's premature to give blanket support or not. There is the issue of public funding (how much will it cost the taxpayer) and I may support some of that but it really needs to be leveraged toward revitalizing the surrounding community. An arena is not going to resolve the social and crime problems of the surrounding neighbourhoods - and if those are not resolved will have little if any benefit to the surrounding neighbourhoods. It is possible that an arena could have a positive impact on Chinatown and 107 Avenue business districts but only if surrounding neighbourhood safety is improved so that people can walk. I'd also like to know what the plans are around parking and traffic impacts. I will say here that the people most affected by the development should have the most say about this project.

In response to the Queen Mary Park/107 Avenue question, I believe revitalization in those locations will be accomplished by dealing with the real quality of life issues - crime, street disorder, infrastructure decay, creating a healthier economic balance in core neighbourhoods. Those are the issues of concern for most people in Queen Mary Park and throughout the core, and the reason people have told me they are moving. To create a healthier economic balance, we must stop concentrating non-market housing (especially for people with addictions or mental health issues) in core neighbourhoods. I really mean stop. We need to encourage distribution of non-market housing and services throughout the City so that vulnerable people have more opportunities for success and so that neighbourhoods are less impacted.
In addition to this, we deal with decaying core infrastructure like roads and sidewalks. We provide better policing that does not tolerate disorder/criminal activities.
I believe things like decorative street lights and street furniture are simply "icing" and the "cake" is dealing with the real quality of life issues that are impacting people. Once those things are dealt with I think that a lot more people would be attracted to live near downtown for similar reasons to the others of us that live centrally - convenience, access to transit, eco-friendly, price.... If necessary, we could push start that with some tax breaks, but it may not even be necessary.

East McCauley
30-09-2010, 04:38 PM
Chris, I read with interest your answer in #4. My concern with your response is that while a cut and cover tunnel would reduce community impacts, it will significantly add to the project cost.

Wouldn't it be better to revist the decision to put West LRT down Stony Plain Road and use the 87 Avenue route instead?

Cris Basualdo
07-10-2010, 12:32 AM
Sorry for the delay in replying, East McCauley person. If we want LRT to be more than just getting people from the suburbs into downtown, then the 87 Avenue route makes sense for me. However, if it is done right we could have a really nice new Transit Oriented Development around Stony Plain Road Business District, and that would be a good thing. However, above ground has the potential to seriously harm that business area (and make Glenora less walkable) and a combination of both cut-and-cover, perhaps with some above ground, especially where the stops are, could be win-win for commuters, the businesses, and Glenora. I have heard from several people who were involved with planning the LRT (one a tranportation engineer) who have said that the cost is nickels to dimes and at the very least (especially when you consider the extra traffic controls required for surface LRT, I think that option needs to be investigated. If you google cut-and-cover light rail transit, you'll see that many Cities have chosen to use that option to minimize disruption around Business Districts. I don't know if that is the best option but I think it needs to be seriously considered. We only have one chance to get it right. LRT should encourage people to live more centrally not just be a means to bring them in from the suburbs.

Cris Basualdo
07-10-2010, 12:44 AM
Please check out my website - I have added more information to my Issues page. Let me know if you have other questions!
http://www.crisbasualdoward6.com/

East McCauley
09-10-2010, 02:00 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying, East McCauley person. If we want LRT to be more than just getting people from the suburbs into downtown, then the 87 Avenue route makes sense for me. However, if it is done right we could have a really nice new Transit Oriented Development around Stony Plain Road Business District, and that would be a good thing. However, above ground has the potential to seriously harm that business area (and make Glenora less walkable) and a combination of both cut-and-cover, perhaps with some above ground, especially where the stops are, could be win-win for commuters, the businesses, and Glenora. I have heard from several people who were involved with planning the LRT (one a tranportation engineer) who have said that the cost is nickels to dimes and at the very least (especially when you consider the extra traffic controls required for surface LRT, I think that option needs to be investigated. If you google cut-and-cover light rail transit, you'll see that many Cities have chosen to use that option to minimize disruption around Business Districts. I don't know if that is the best option but I think it needs to be seriously considered. We only have one chance to get it right. LRT should encourage people to live more centrally not just be a means to bring them in from the suburbs.

I appreciate your recognition that at least some grade separation is desirable for an urban rapid transit system as opposed to intentionally designing an LRT network to get in the way of cars, cyclists, pedestrians, emergency vehicles, and existing buses.

Going east from the WEM transit centre, 87 Avenue is already by far a busier public transit corridor than Stony Plain Road. The gap in ridership will only grow in coming years. Unlike residents along SPR whose existing transit service is second to none, those living further west and south have no easy way to get to the University area or Downtown.

Opening a new LRT corridor down 87 Avenue using a cut and cover tunnel to connect to the existing system south of Health Sciences will maximize ridership and avoid the need for a highly disruptive street level LRT line through the Downtown. The track length would be 60% shorter compared to SPR route.

The SE line should stay in a cut and cover tunnel through Boyle Street and terminate near Churchill Station south of the Winspear.

Medwards
10-10-2010, 03:46 PM
Cris,

What are your feelings about the Capital Region Board? Is there enough being done here, or do we need to further look towards a better way to coordinate our regional land use framework?

http://www.capitalregionboard.ab.ca/

Thomas Hinderks
13-10-2010, 09:46 AM
The Alberta Aviation Museum Association, in 2006 a small community museum now the 3rd largest aviation collection in Canada, is a feature tourism attraction in North Edmonton currently serves (5) veterans organizations, (3) Heritage organizations, (2) Youth organizations as well as a series of (6) modern aviation volunteer organizations such as the Civil Air Search And Rescue Association. The Museum also has the most advanced K-12 aviation education programming and is currently an operationally self sufficient not for profit operation that receives no operational funding from any level of government.



This is a facility that currently receives over 150,000 individual uses per year and attracts visitors from around the world.


What do you, as a candidate commit to specifically doing to insure the ongoing success and expansion of the Alberta Aviation Museum with the closure of the City Centre Airport and the damage it will cause to the facility?



I have been directed to ask on behalf of the boards of this facility.



Thomas Hinderks
Executive Director
Alberta Aviation Museum