Here are the key quotes, as I see them, which also directly apply to Regina and its thinking.
It can be awkward, going from a small city to a big city. And by the time we get done with the 30-year plans, we’re going to be a big city. We’re going to be half a million people. So all of the things we’ve done for the last 100 years has all been manageable in a small city way, like our transit system, like the way we plan neighbourhoods, like how we design our road system. And how we relate to the region had all been pretty much stable for the last 60 years or so.
Those things are all changing and we can’t ignore it. They’re just coming at us. We will have to deal with it. …
Transit — that’s another one. It’s a big one. We have a small city transit system. It has to evolve or it’s just going to fail. It’s starting to fail already. When you have buses congested in traffic, there’s no way anyone can keep a schedule. If you can’t keep a schedule, nobody’s going to use it. Four per cent of the population. It might go down from there. Who knows? But why would you use transit?
Under the radar for a while, but everything eventually percolates to the top: Homelessness. Homeless counts are going up. They’re not going down. How that’s being addressed is kind of behind the scenes here.
…Although roads will continue to be built, we can’t rely on the automobile as much as we are — 1.1 drivers per car is our average. So that’s one person in a car driving all over the place.
…You see a lot of cars driving in and out, so we’re using our cars an awful lot. Maybe we’ve made it too convenient to do that and I think that’s true because we’ve been able to, but you can’t continue that.
I think environmentally, we need to pull up our socks a little bit. We’re lagging behind in some respects. We just brought in recycling in the last five years. So we’re not exactly leading in any great way.
…We have an awful lot of sunshine here and I don’t know why solar hasn’t taken off. While not being too unkind to our Saskatoon Light & Power folks — they do a wonderful job — but that should be an energy company. Maybe it’s time to cut the tie with SaskPower and maybe generate, create energy and sell it.
George C. Sharpe of Regina writes to the Leader Post:
Regina is at least three steps behind similar-sized cities such as Saskatoon.
For example: There is still no transit service to Regina International Airport in spite of pleas and requests from the airport authority. (It is much like having bus service denied to an entire neighbourhood.)
No ban on smoking on outdoor patios. Saskatoon has been doing this for 10 years.
Still no bylaw making it mandatory for all Regina residents and businesses to clear their sidewalks after each snowfall.
The first snarky response to his letter from the public?
“So, move to Saskatoon then.”
That’s a bad attitude, and possibly why Saskatoon is ahead of us. If everyone who wants those common sense improvements is told to “Move to Saskatoon”, Regina will continue to be left behind. I’ve tried pressuring the Mayor and Council to reinstate bus service to the Airport for years, but it won’t happen without greater public support for my George’s and my position on improving Transit.
In Montreal you can drive into a cop car and cause injuries for two $30 fines, or in Regina you can ride your non-kid bike on the sidewalk (not hit anyone), OR ride at night without a headlight (and not hit anyone) for $60.
I challenge someone to take a bike, or walk from City Hall to Peavey Mart in the east end. From a lack of takers, we can assume it isn’t safe and the City of Regina has to fix it so there are sidewalks and cycle tracks available down Victoria Ave.
It’s only 6.4km, just 2km farther than City Hall to the University of Regina. Many people go this distance on their bike every day, or run around the lake this far for fun.
I was in the newspaper the other day asking why pedestrians always come second behind people getting around in cars, especially in construction zones
. Conveniently there’s another construction site underway to test my theory…
Hi John Klein, the pedestrian sidewalk on the south side (under Ring Rd. overpass) is closed for safety during certain aspects of construction, but is usually open. It is closed when traffic is closed on Victoria Ave due to overhead work. Pedestrian access will be closed under the bridge this weekend when the road is also closed to traffic. Please use the north service road. Thank you.
Build the TransRegina Sidewalk.
Underwhelmed is the polite word. Embarrassed for Regina. Disappointed in the City’s lack of initiative. Angry at their institutional disregard for cyclist/people safety. City Council is not funding the infrastructure needed to reduce the risk of deadly collisions, nor to encourage more people to take up cycling in their daily lives.
The answer then becomes “We don’t have budget approval for that,” which means City Council is waiting for more people to die on the streets before they identify safe street infrastructure as a priority.
“It will be slightly better to have a painted bike lane, it’s not anywhere close to safe as a separated bike lane would be though. And other cities that are light years ahead of us are doing those sorts of things. So, I don’t know why we can’t learn from the cities that are doing the best infrastructure and copy that, instead of seemingly muddling along with incremental changes.” – Me
If we don’t change the infrastructure, I don’t think we can reasonably expect people to change their behaviour.
Will Regina paint more “sharrows” or will they do the right thing for cyclist safety?
Neither, this week. They’ll meet on Thursday with the public, planning to extend a downtown bike lane only 1 more block. This gives them room to extend it another 2 blocks sometime in the future and look busy at another time changing less than 1 tenth of one percent of the city’s streets to be safer for people.
Meanwhile in real cities like LA…
Who would want to cut injuries in half? That sounds far too safe. Better to pass a helmet law instead of building roads properly so they are safe.
Real safety is determined by environmental conditions. While clearly useful, mandatory seatbelts do not reassure me that driving on highways during a blizzard is a smart idea. In the same way, mandatory helmets would not reassure me that navigating [Arcola] Avenue on a bike ever is.