Comment 26154

By Campbell (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 19:17:55

I’m glad the conversation has moved beyond one-way streets. Clearly the issue is much greater.

Mr. Whitehead, there are still some important points that you have not addressed. First of all, you talk about “finding a practical way” of calming traffic on King and Main. What’s there to find? The “green wave” is synched for 60 km/hr. Since, as Ryan pointed out, the correlation between pedestrian injury/death and speed is well understood, you cannot credibly advocate pedestrian safety without addressing this in council.

What about my proposal for 40 km/hr synchronization, plus lane reductions for streetcars and sidewalk widening? (Sorry folks, I don’t share your enthusiasm for on-street parking for King/Main. On-street parking would probably mean little chance for an east-west bike corridor.) What about the proposal to convert some of the lesser streets?

You’re still not communicating clearly on the political ethics of this whole thing. Which is it? You started by saying you support two-way conversions (and presumably other things) if the neighbourhood supports it. Then you went on to invoke the tastes of Mountain drivers and the supposedly central role that they play in downtown renewal. Then you went on to invoke their tax burden. Downtown people are clearly in favour of some sort of shift in land use away from cars and toward pedestrians/transit/bikes. Does this matter to you and the other suburban councilors?

Speaking of taxes, I’m skeptical about the imbalance from which you allege Ward 8 residents suffer. How do you calculate that? Do you include the greater per-capita infrastructure costs (sewers, water, ambulance, road maintenance etc.) that low-density like Ward 8 areas incur? Do you include the greater use of the super-costly RHVP and Linc by Ward 8 residents? Is your calculation per capita or global? Your claims seem spurious. Maybe someone from CATCH can weigh in on this.

Nevertheless, even if such an imbalance does exist, I would urge everybody to consider the notion that true democracy is not about “taxpayers” or “constituents” or the special interests of BIA’s. It’s about citizens, inclusively! For too long North American life has suffered from the prevailing image of the city as a kind of private driving club.

This much is clear: Ward 1 and 2 residents are in favour of a shift in land use away from the automobile and toward a more pedestrian/transit/bicycle-oriented environment. This is clear from voting patterns (Bratina, McHattie), as well as the numerous statements of neighbourhood associations.

Whether two-way or a radically altered one-way, do you and the other suburban councilors intend to respect this? If so, what concrete ideas do you have to implement it?

Respectfully, I hope you can see to it to answer at least some of these direct questions and think about the others.

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