General Parking Problem

The Leader Post is calling for more single occupant vehicle infrastructure in already car-friendly Regina. A parkade at the General Hospital comes with the obvious problem that it costs a lot ($30,000+/stall), and displaces existing parking during its construction.

To fix that displacement, the presently half-hearted park-and-ride shuttle run by the Health Region could be fixed, so it runs at required hours to serve people working on shifts (24/7?), and free up enough spots on the streets for residents, and for staff who want to juggle their cars, cruising for parking every 2 hours.

This problem can also be traced to City Hall, where their support of an effective city Transit system is not visible. They’ve uploaded the cost of this service to the Province, who must then spend money on reinventing a transit system specifically for staff. This specialized and limited bus service isn’t efficient, because it doesn’t even let the public use it, so it runs empty.

An effective transit service would solve two problems. Staff would have a safe escort to their vehicles, and vehicles won’t have to crowd into the residential General Hospital neighbourhood.

Sunrise While Biking

It was +2 this morning, and I was on the other side of the Lake, so I took the opportunity to bike to work. I’m very glad I did!

#YQRbike sunrise
Saskatchewan Conexus Arts Centre of the Centre of the Arts

#YQRbike sunrise
Canada’s FNUniv

#YQRbike sunrise
New Residence towers, with the older LI tower invisible in front

Surprised I was the only bike at the Library this morning:
#YQRbike sunrise

But you don’t get to 561km in a year (more than half after a cardiac arrest), if you stay in a car.
#YQRbike sunrise

Saskatoon Transit, “Choice” Riders, and Hard Decisions

Originally posted on yxesimonsays:

Fortunately the illegal lockout of Saskatoon Transit riders ended before my bike commuting season ended. I switched over to Transit just after Remembrance day, so my bike commuting season for 2014 was about 7 months. So if I was to answer the question in the National Household Survey (NHS) detailed in The 4%? I would have to answer that cycling is my primary means of commuting to and from work.

On the actual commuting front, so far so good. I haven’t encountered any major problems, other than a few slight weather related delays. I suppose I’ve been fortunate. From the complaints on Twitter and on the Bus Riders of Saskatoon Facebook page, I appear to be in the minority. But since I’m white, male, and middle class, I’m used to that. (insert uproarious laughter here)

I’ve gotten involved with the Bus Riders of Saskatoon organization that got its genesis in…

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Regina Transit Day Passes Still Need Impovement

I’ve spent years now asking Regina Transit to catch up to OC Transpo’s Day Pass system available in 2002, 12 years ago now. The technology is on all Regina buses even, just the software hasn’t been made suitable for printing day pass tickets.

I do not accept this answer, it’s not the end of the story. Technology can be changed, especially software. What is the holdup?

I sent this to Tourism Saskatchewan in hopes that they’d wield more influence, and advocate on behalf of tourists in our city:

Hi,
Regina Transit offers day passes, but only for sale at their transit office. This isn’t ideal for tourists, as they should be able to buy them using the transfer ticket printers on all buses. Could you please work with Regina Transit to fix this? Ottawa has had day passes for sale using similar technology on buses since 2002.

Thank-you,
John Klein

Winter Cycling in Regina

Ink Online wrote about Winter cycling, and who was someone they thought of when they were thinking about bikes in Regina? Me!

“I put on my ski pants and I feel invincible,” said John Klein, an avid cyclist in Regina.

Klein throws on a tuque before buckling on his helmet over top, grabs his coat, puts on his gloves, ties his scarf, pulls on his ski pants, jumps on his bike and starts pedaling – slowly. Cycling in the winter in Regina isn’t easy.

“Go slow and stay slow if you don’t know what the road conditions are,” Klein said.

He sticks to the cleared sidewalks or wherever snow is packed enough to ride over. Sometimes, if the sidewalks haven’t been shoveled in residential areas, he ends up walking his bike.

“If you go through deep snow, even like half a foot, then you end up slogging through it and it feels like skiing,” he said.
Continue reading

An Idea That Sinks – City Prepares to Close Pools #YQRcc

When I heard today that outdoor pools were not being replaced until the end of this decade, my heart sank. Almost two years ago, the Mayor claimed during a City Council meeting that he’d heard the cries of the people to keep outdoor pools like Maple Leaf Pool open. People took the Mayor at his word, as he had only been on the job a short time. The planned 3 more years of consultation, wasteful half-measure repairs, and eventual reconstruction or closures, are a broken promise by Mayor Fougere.

In 2013:

Mayor Michael Fougere says council listened to the public and amended the administrative report, which was released at executive committee on Jan. 21, and will now review options to invest in and make the pools more sustainable.

“We can’t be coldhearted and say we won’t listen to what the public says. They want those pools open and we are going to do that, we will just make it work,” said Fougere at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

2014:

The report says the money needed to rebuild the pools “may outweigh the benefits to the community at large for a program with such a short season.” Still, Shalley said, “At this point in time there are no plans to close any facilities.”

In 2013, the city considered a plan to decommission two pools. Residents lashed out at the proposal and it was dropped.

One option presented in this most recent report involves enhancing Wascana Pool, decommissioning Maple Leaf Pool and replacing it with cheaper recreation amenities.

That’s not what the Mayor suggested 2 years ago, and the outdoor pool party wouldn’t have backed off had he not backed down then. He’ll have to eat some crow, and stop being a pool party pooper if he doesn’t want another hard time over this latest thoughtless report from the City.

“A recent report into the condition of the city’s five outdoor pools, which range from 50 to 68 years old, offers this bottom line: They need to be rebuilt and money spent on maintenance is a waste.
In the meantime, the city anticipates spending $300,000 annually for pool repairs starting in 2015, up from about $160,000 in previous years.” – Emphasis mine.
Why spend $1,000,000 on wasted repairs over the next three years when that money could be put into rebuilding a pool next year?

““It’s not an easy decision and so we have not made the decision yet, we want public input before we make that decision,” Fougere said.

Fougere says that if they closed [2] pools they would take $800,000 to refurbish the other three.”

I’ve mentioned before that my tiny hometown rebuilt their Regional Park outdoor pool. There are fewer than 20 people in the nearby village. If Regina can’t keep up with the pools in rural Saskatchewan, what’s going wrong at City Hall? The Mayor thinks Regina has more pools than a city our size needs.

People of Regina have to reactivate their activism against this Mayor and Council.

Maple Leaf Park
-Maple Leaf Pool is behind this new playground equipment provided by the Heritage Community Association.