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.

Put Your Opportunities In Order

My job, trying to change the world, is at least twice as hard as a conservative’s. I have to overcome others’ instinctual fear of change and new technology. Monday evening I proposed my condo board “investigate” using solar energy, if the association’s Winter expenses don’t exceed our budget. 2 Board members opposed the idea! The motion passed anyway, but why would someone oppose an investigation of saving money on electricity? They stated it was an opportunity cost. Let’s look how that claim stacks up:

They suggested raising property value by installing carpets as a competing example. If we spent $10K on carpets, property values rise, but owners never get that $10K back to spend again (except, potentially, through selling their condo).

3rd Solar Tour
-Solar heat installed on a Regina apartment building years ago.

Consider the other way. Buy $10K in solar PV panels. This will unquestionably raise property values. In ~10 years we have ~$10K saved through offset power bills to SaskPower. Then buy carpets & have both new carpets and solar power!

There is some sort of mental or political block involved to recoil from solar energy, and to even call it a “pipedream”, while it’s real technology available on store shelves and roof tops now. It’s no pie in the sky, but it may as well be if we make defensive reactions against smart changes that reduce pollution in our world and improve our energy generation options.

Solar Tour Regina
-Solar on another Regina apartment building.

Brick By Brick

When I was a young boy, maybe 8, I visited a friend at his farm. While our parents visited inside, my friend and I worked from the late afternoon until the sunlight failed us, moving a neatly stacked pile of bricks behind the garage, around to the lawn where I’d envisioned us arranging them into an awesome fort. When my parents decided it was time to leave, our building project was incomplete. My friend’s parents were not too pleased about all of our industrious brick moving, and the new pile in the wrong spot.

Filmmaker: Connaught

This past Sunday, I got to help atone for my brick moving sins a little, by helping society remove some misplaced bricks at the Regina landfill. They are what remains of the Connaught School. They’ll go into making some nice community infrastructure, instead of providing a base for an ever climbing pile of waste.

Connaught

Holiday Bus

“Holiday service will be provided on the following stat holidays in 2014:

Family Day
Good Friday
Remembrance Day
Boxing Day

On each holiday, the Sunday schedule will be used.”

So on Tuesday evening, Jeri and I won’t be able to take the bus for our semi-regular nacho night with friends, because there’s no return trip.