Wascana Calls Back

I took a call from Wascana’s CEO who explained their position on spending $193000 to expand the parking lot[PDF] at Candy Cane Park. Their view is more cars that already park illegally on the street will use it, and as a result kids will be safer because they won’t run out between illegally street-parked cars, presumably.

Can’t say that’s how it will work, I said “mark my words, there will still be spill-over onto the street, and more cars overall”. She had to concede at busy times, that’s how it will go. It’ll take more than my voice to end this #strandedasset project. Oh, it also increases runoff by replacing soil with pavement, reducing the water quality in Wascana Creek.

It’s 2017, and if we don’t limit air pollution quickly, our kids will have a rough go of things. Putting a dollar more into auto infrastructure before cycling and pedestrian infrastructure makes kids less safe, not more.

On the upside, Wascana is putting some trails through the arboretum near Wascana Rehab and Hillsdale St.

Also they will now consider manually clearing Broad St. Bridge which wasn’t being swept clear of snow like everything else the last two Winters. I explained that the City of Regina builds nothing for cyclists, so it’s really up to Wascana Centre to provide cycling infrastructure for Reginans.

Added two more important points:

Money Where Its Motor-Mouth Is

Good article by the Leader-Post, on how City Council talks an okay game, but then gives $193,000 to paving more of Wascana Park for cars, and next to $0 for cycling infrastructure so kids can bike to the parks on our streets safely.

No Evidence Of Dangerous Driving

CBC: Police (RPS)  have charged a 37 year old man with “leaving the scene of an accident” [sic].

Leader Post says, “Elijah J. Beros is charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm or death.”

The criminal code should be updated to include “leaving the scene of a fatal or injurious collision“, to get rid of the archaic term “accident”.

“Police spokesperson Les Parker said it was late at night when Gallon was hit and he was wearing dark clothing.
He said there is no evidence of dangerous driving at this time.”

That comment leaves me dumbfounded. Did RPS spox Parker not see the evidence of a human corpse lying in the street?

No evidence of dangerous driving? Look at the result! If you fire a gun into a crowd, the law says you’re guilty of murder when someone dies because of it. You intended to aim and shoot, it doesn’t matter you didn’t intend to hit the particular person who died. If you run over a human on a highway, you should be charged with killing them too, it’s straightforward.

A dead body isn’t evidence of safe driving. If a body is an example of normal driving, then driving is too unsafe.

It’s beyond offensive to excuse the accused because it was “late at night” when human decency and competent driving are not expected from people by RPS, apparently. And it’s offensive to blame the victim’s clothing on the collision. Maybe the victim had a flashing light that was knocked so far from his body by the truck, that police never found it? Then would RPS lay an additional appropriate manslaughter or dangerous driving causing death charge on the driver who took a life? How can you have a “leaving the scene” charge, without dangerous driving to have caused the scene that was left?

Looking into the possible sentence for the charge, I’m a bit miffed at the CBC. I’ll be asking they clarify their story’s details.

Offence involving bodily harm or death

(1.3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life if

  • (a) the person knows that another person involved in the accident is dead; or

Without knowing the charge isn’t simply “leaving the scene of an accident” as CBC stated, left me initially with the impression that someone could one day kill me or someone I love, on a street, and their charge would be akin to that of someone who backs into a car in a parking lot and takes off! If Beros is sentenced to life or serious jail time, an additional conviction would be moot, aside from acknowledging that it takes dangerous driving to kill a person on a street.

Ode For a Sidewalk

Give us a sidewalk?

No.

Give us a sidewalk.

It’s a medium priority.

Give us a sidewalk!

Sometime in the future.

Give us a sidewalk, a cycle track, bus route, and safe streets!

Now!

End Of A Life

A careless, criminal driver left a man on a road to die, in Regina.

Watch Global Regina tonight for an interview with my thoughts on this tragedy, and what the City should do to prevent it from happening to anyone again.

UPDATE: Global didn’t include my comments about what the City must do to prevent deaths. A 30km/h speed limit would slash fatalities in the range of 90%. Improved, separated cycling and walking infrastructure everywhere (but first on major and recently deadly streets like Ross Ave. and Victoria Ave.) would help a lot. It’s possible to aim for 0 traffic related fatalities, and we should set that as our vision and start passing bylaws to meet it.

If streets are made safe enough that parents can comfortably let their children bike to anywhere in the city, we’ll have succeeded in improving our infrastructure.

(Side note: It’s always disappointing when I speak with the media for ~10 minutes, and 15 seconds is all they can/bother to include. I guess Luke made one of my points about infrastructure lacking, but it’s irritating that visibility of cyclists was covered as an angle in this story, when the critical factor was a law requiring the cyclist to use a street where they could be AND WERE run over by a motorist. Lighting would have played less of a role if the car had had automatic braking installed, or the driver had been required to drive at 30km/h so they might have reacted to the slower moving cyclist.)

Update: police are looking for a white damaged F-150 Ford truck.

http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/daughter-of-man-killed-in-regina-hit-and-run-says-her-father-loved-his-family-with-all-of-his-heart

UPDATE: Police have charged a man with leaving the scene of an accident [sic]. The Act should be updated to include “scene of a fatal collision” with conviction resulting in a sentence similar to that of dangerous driving causing death.

Police spokesperson Les Parker said it was late at night when Gallon was hit and he was wearing dark clothing.

He said there is no evidence of dangerous driving at this time.

 

Sondors THIN eBike Battery Review

Most people won’t care about the stats below, but someone looking on Google about the Sondors’ performance may find the reference handy.

Regina is a really flat city. I went about 26.5km (16.5mi) before the battery showed dead on LCD, flashed, and it only worked on PedalASsist sometimes while pedaling the next km to my destination. I had been hoping the range would be more like 40km (while using the throttle a fair bit), but I guess the 50mi* range maximum advertised is far too optimistic, or only pedaling with PAS 1 makes a huge difference over using the throttle too. The PAS 2 setting I tend to use is about 79W ~24km/h, and the throttle spikes to 420W and cruises around 250W at 31km/h (19mi/h), so the stock THIN battery just doesn’t last like I’d hoped.

The bike is still really useful to me, but I’m going to need spare batteries before I attempt an inter-city journey down the Trans-Canada Highway to Moose Jaw 70km away. I expect ebikes like the Sondors THIN and Original fat bike to become standard equipment for commuters within the next decade. I haven’t felt this way about a technology since I first saw the iPod Touch around 2007, and now everyone has one of those (or their enhanced equivalent) in their pocket.

*My tire pressure was a bit low about 40psi (of 50psi max), and there were some head winds at times. I’ve not checked if the front brake is perfectly adjusted so there’s 0 rubbing, which would impact the range somewhat too.