A Few Steps Forward, Regina Moves Back

The progress of a city is not assured by the passage of time. Regina has unquestionably progressed in some areas of life, and unquestionably regressed in others. The following is an incomplete list.

100 years ago, chickens were allowed to roam free.
Now, the City prohibits them even in a backyard.

60 years ago, Electric Vehicles were common on some Regina streets, in the form of streetcars. Now, only a few dozen or so EVs are in the city, as electric bikes, cars, and SUVs. We also had a bus route to the airport, but no bus is available to the airport today.

Also 60 years ago, we allowed toxic waste dumping into our soil and groundwater, all over the city. Now that’s only permitted at the landfill.

28 years ago, you could leave Regina by STC bus, or by Via Rail train. Now, in 2017, neither of those modes of transportation are an option due to government cuts without environmental reviews being undertaken to guide those bad decisions.

27 years ago, Parking enforcement used sensibly sized vehicles. Now they use GMC gas burning SUVs.

January 1990 Parking enforcement vehicle

An Ideal Cyclist

An ideal cyclist wouldn’t read such perfect prose about a pedaling pastime.

“The Ideal Cyclist is patient. He has been known to wait upwards of days for the removal of a traffic cone. When the Ideal Cyclist reaches a four-way stop near the same time as drivers, he stops, looks, waves the others through and hails a cab.”

“The Ideal Cyclist will sometimes drive her bicycle to a street where there are bike lanes to begin her trip and ask a friend to pick her up where the lanes end. She shares the road by vacating it.”

There are so many bike lanes in Regina that end no where near a potential destination, that I often joke they expect Ideal Cyclists to poof out of existence when the end of the lane is reached.

You’ll hear shock jocks on Saskatchewan radio talking about how there just aren’t enough Ideal Cyclists, and all they encounter are less than perfect people on bikes who cause them great stress while contributing nothing to society other than grief.

Regina’s Forgotten Mode of Transportation

Dear Editor,

Last year’s Leader-Post article “New stadium to encourage move away from cars”, on July 28, 2016 indicated the City of Regina’s plan to build a Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) from Downtown, to Confederation Park.
“Those without wheels (or only two) aren’t being forgotten.”
Turns out, people on bikes were forgotten, and the reporter was misled. The MUP was never built. I asked the City about it a couple weeks ago. The administrator didn’t know what I was talking about, and they took 2 weeks to confirm they’ve shelved the idea, without giving a reason. It remains advertised on the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) website as I write this. In what appears a cruel irony, the City was just awarded a Federation of Canadian Municipalities grant for sustainable infrastructure related to the RRI.

I’ve never been very pleased with the RRI Stadium or Railyard projects. I suffered through the megaproject bluster for years to give the City a chance to deliver on its promise of revitalizing the area and improving it as they advertised. For them to shelve, rather than build, the safe bike route promised, is the last straw. It was a bait-and-switch swindle.

Imagine the City got you interested in a mega-project with the promises of a new stadium to be built Downtown, with a dome, and food and drink services for the advertised price, but then didn’t deliver on a word of those promises. You don’t even have to imagine, to know how I feel. I feel cheated.

Sondors Battery Charging Details

You may not care about this stuff, unless you have an electric bike. If so, read on…

For those curious, and without a Kill-A-Watt meter, the standard Sondors THIN battery (and Original which I also have), on the standard 2 Amp charger, starts out charging at about 1.45 Amps, 88W, when there’s only about 34V left. When it has charged for 2:50, it’s dropped to .33 Amps, 21 W, and 220 Watt.hours have been put into the battery.
10 minutes later it’s .28 Amps, and 18 W, with no detectable increase in the 220Wh delivered. This is what I’d expect, knowing a little about how lithium-ion EV batteries charge. Some vehicles suggest charging to 80%, and not to 100% to extend the life of the battery (if overheating is avoided). It’s not really possible to do this with a Sondors charger, without a Kill-A-Watt meter to tell you when it’s almost full.

For those less familiar with electrical figures, that means that the battery could run for about 220 Watts (plus what it had remaining before charging), for a full hour. Those with the LCD which can display Watts currently being used, will notice that Pedal ASsist 1 gives about 80W of thrust. I’ve heard that a fit cyclist can generate 150W of power by pedaling a bicycle.

Last Night In Regina, Another Person Run Over

Hours before I met with dozens of cyclists at Artful Dodger at Bike Regina‘s latest advocacy meeting, a 21 year old man was hit by a truck on 7th Avenue.

No one there had heard about the tragedy, but many including myself expressed a desire for the City to quickly install safe infrastructure so that we might avoid serious injury or death at the hands of an inattentive or aggressive driver.

How many more people will die or be injured needlessly before our City installs safe bicycle infrastructure for the thousands of people who want to move around our city on bikes?

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: