Hawkins Bike Helmets Won’t Help Regina

But Brandon Wright of Bike Regina argued enforcing safety equipment is the least effective way to improve safety because it puts the burden of safety on the cyclist. Wright says educational campaigns are needed because many road users do not know cyclists have a right to be on the road and taking up a full lane.

“Helmets give a false perception of safety and there have been studies that show that motorists act more dangerously around cyclists wearing helmets,” he said in a written statement Tuesday. Instead, he’d like to see better biking infrastructure in the city in order to isolate cyclists from road hazards.

Through recent discussions with city administration, Bike Regina has said they are not in favour of mandatory helmets because it increases barriers cycling.

Hawkins says if a bylaw discourages cycling, so be it.

“If the choice is between unsafe cyclists and no cyclists, I’d take no cyclists,” he said. “I don’t want to encourage people to ride bikes if they’re going to be unsafe, and I especially don’t want to encourage children to ride bikes if they’re going to be unsafe.”

Councillor Hawkins isn’t looking to make children safe and healthy, because living a sedentary life isn’t safer than biking. He’s out to attack people who use bikes, and that’s deplorable behaviour for anyone, but especially a public official. He’s doing as much harm to people who (would) bike, as vandals who slash and break bike wheels.

General Parking Woes

I’ve a simple solution to the parking problems at the General Hospital:

Do the opposite of what Mayor Fougere says.

“I think that the employer should be providing safe parking for their staff,” Mayor Michael Fougere said after a budget vote on Tuesday. “It’s just so obvious to me it’s painful to say it.”

The employer shouldn’t be the one providing safe parking, it’s the CITY the employer provides healthcare in, that should be providing safe transportation, and it’s so obvious that it’s painful for me to say it.

His Worship is doing a disservice by putting the focus on a parkade and away from his responsibilities. To meet the Mayor’s transit shortfall, the SHAuthority is providing a park & ride shuttle service at some hours of the day. This hasn’t eliminated the problems, in part because the shuttles are not useful to the general public who also needs to attend the hospital as patients or visitors. If the provincial money going to the staff-only shuttle went instead to Regina Transit, then fewer people would be parked as more would take a free & convenient bus to and from their home or their place of being parked.

The Mayor is being dishonest by focusing on a parkade. It’s not the best advice given to him, it appears to be another gift to the construction industry that he had close ties to in his previous profession outside of Council and the Mayoralty.

Electric Buses Overdue in Regina

Years ago there was an electric bus in Regina. It was on a cross country tour. It stopped in Saskatoon, and in Alberta too. An Albertan city ordered some. The Canadian government put up millions of dollars for Regina to build a new bus barn that could accomodate electric buses. Has it happened yet? No.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1749083742066254/permalink/2227052834269340/

BYD is a big deal.

Saskatoon is about to lap us.

Mayor And Some Councillors Embarrass Regina

Regina mayor says Patrick Moore should have stayed on conference agenda

Sorry it’s a Postmedia link, but the Mayor is now defending the climate change Denier Patrick Moore, soon after a conference organizing committee booted the contemptible crank. Take a look at what Moore said about Regina, and the renewable framework conference this year, after he was booted. What is the Mayor of “Canada’s greatest city”, doing defending that two-faced twerp?

All this is a huge distraction from the purpose of the 100% Renewable Regina motion that the Mayor and Council adopted unanimously in 2018. Moore rejects the mere possibility of making Regina renewable, so he’d be less than useless for the conference anyway. Now he’s invited to speak at Conexus Arts Centre by Rebel “Media” to take money from suckers (other than those at City Hall who are on the hook for thousands of dollars to the crank Moore).

Council Switches Meeting Time

Jim Elliott helps to put things into context:

Thanks Andrew (Stevens for the response). I realize that you may be coming to this point in time through a very shortened and perhaps limited view, but I have been involved in this for over 20 years now. What I have seen in the last few years is an inevitability. There is fundamentally no rigorous method of engaging and having a dialogue on the various features and issues that have impacted Regina residents. And more recently, the method of engagement has been very much truncated by the limits put on engagement either at committee or Council or even through city administration. We have been dealing with some of these issues and the delays in truly getting down to solving problems for decades. They are known. They are institutional. They are skewering any chance to get down to solving them through an unwillingness to change the current power dynamics.

If you are only looking at the ability to interject into the dialogue between Council and the administration, you only have to look at the continued diminishing of time allowed for discussion or dialogue to see why people are staying away in droves. First, the time for presentations went from 10 minutes to 5 minutes. Now we are taking the dialogue away from any communication with the public by changing the times for the discussion. Also, many of the meetings now held are away from the camera and are not visually and audibly recorded. We don’t see any manner of dialogue if you aren’t there in person. And the media if they are there only capture the 5-10 second sound bites or a simple phrase from whomever is given the spotlight.

If you end up at an open house, the opportunity to present your concerns are pushed into a simple set of orchestrated boxes. Do you like it or not. Is it good or bad. Most of these are taken at the end of the dialogue rather than at the beginning. Examples of this are the intensification of inner city question and the Wascana Pool replacement. There is no discussion of what the intentions are prior to being given the proposed solutions.

As well, in recent years, the ability of the public to be there for advice and engagement has been cut off. In the past, we had citizen advisory committees. They had an ability to review policies, programs and respond. Even in the past, the Parks & Recreation Board had a majority of citizens on the committee who could make concrete binding decisions within the framework of the city and could see budgets prior to their being tabled less than a month before the decision is made. There was a time when almost half of the Regina Planning Commission was made up of resident elected representatives. We had an Environmental Advisory Council made up of scientists, academics and a variety of knowledgeable citizens to look at some of the bigger topics of waste, water protection, pesticides and would be a very good mechanism to tackle the newer issue of climate change and being 100% renewable.

You have also seen recently the need to address some other systemic problems that don’t readily fit into the silos that we currently have, homelessness, food security, safety and sustainability of this city. These are further problematic because they also include an intransigent provincial government and a recent minority federal government. Money could be saved. People could be housed. Crime could be reduced. But the current silos only allow us to either put more cops on the street or punt it to either another government or to a future council. And we are very good at that rationalization.

Compounding much of this is the various existential threats we face every day. So you wonder why people are shutting down or getting frustrated in not being able to be heard? Why would you spend a few hours writing a 5 minute presentation, take time off of work and have your thoughts thanked politely and ignored again and again? As a matter of survival, we attempt to protect ourselves from the onslaught of problems, one day at a time.

To deal with this lack of engagement and frustration, we have to begin to imagine a different future, a future where more of our community is given some decentralized authority. We have some of those mechanisms in our community associations and zone boards. Much of this now is around culture and recreation but could be more involved as citizen boards for zone level planning. If, for instance, there is a need to densify the inner city, then give the inner city the role and resources of figuring out how that will be done. If you want a plan for 100% renewable city involve the citizens working in active transportation, renewable energy and waste management. If you want to reduce crime, work with the people that are dealing with the results of crime every day, the schools, those working with building social capital and development community. And if you want people to give you direction on how to spend the city’s funds, set up a participatory budgeting process and give the citizens the ability to develop their own budget.

Free Election Day Transit in Regina/Saskatoon

How did it come about? Twitter played a role. Regina Transit initially wasn’t going to offer free transit on election day, despite doing so for a previous municipal election.