I open my mouth with a guess that disappointingly turned out to be completely accurate:
@YQRTransit turning one of the busiest interections in Regina into a seat-free wasteland for customers, isn’t a smooth move.”
“What could make this decision worse is to have
@reginapolice describe how they can’t give tickets for loitering on @YQRTransit benches.” – Me. Why did I open my mouth? It got worse. Global learned that some anonymous officer advised Regina Transit to remove the benches there.
Walking over to the bus stop on Friday to meet with the Global News crew waiting for me there, I observed a woman standing in the mud at a stop on Victoria Avenue. This is the sort of infrastructure that defines Regina transit users’ experience in our city. One year you get the Mayor posing for a photo-op in front of a fancy new bus shelter, and the next year you get your bus stop benches taken away. You can stand while you wait in the mud and muck.
It seems the only time City Council decides to put significant money into our Transit system, it’s to stave off a Human Rights violation conviction. The all low-floor bus fleet can be attributed to such, and perhaps we’ll get improved bus stop facilities only due to the threat of more legal action. It shouldn’t be too much to ask our civil servants and elected Council to do the right and best things for us, instead of putting the screws to our most defenseless population of adults. Are we Florida or something?
Bench Removal – Sarasota, Florida
In response to complaints about gatherings of “vagrants” in public parks from downtown Sarasota FL condo residents, the city decided to remove the presumed host of these gatherings: benches. Sarasota went forward with its plan to remove the benches in Selby Five Points Park in May 2011 in order to please those who pay “the highest property tax value in the county” by discouraging the homeless (and apparently everyone else) from using the park. Combined with a panhandling ban around parking meters and a smoking ban in certain public spaces, which the City Commission originally proposed to further discourage the homeless from using parks (#8), it is all too clear that the Sarasota Commissioners are willing to go to ridiculous lengths to keep their poorest citizens out of the sight of their wealthiest.
Make enough benches for everyone to sit and gather in public. It’s time to make great public spaces with the new Federal government’s infrastructure money coming. I’m sick and tired of Regina refusing to strive to make great public spaces out of a fear that homeless people would have a comfortable place to spend time. Why is there so much pee in places we don’t want it downtown – because we don’t even offer public washrooms (outside of the Library and City Hall) downtown, yet we’ll spend $150Mil on a water treatment plant for our excessively polluted Wascana Creek.
Medicine Hat Housing First makes it first city to eliminate homelessness.