Contact the City for an Airport Bus

We’ll have to offer Service Regina our support of bus service to the Airport. The online survey Regina Transit has set up isn’t as useful as it should be, because they don’t list the obvious Airport Route as an option! There’s also the budget suggestion page where you can increase Transit’s budget as they need.

The Mayor is still confused about the need for a Regina Transit bus to go to the Regina Airport.
“We know there are employees that go out there, and certainly does that warrant having a bus system that goes out there continuously? We don’t know that.”

Councillor Hawkins: “I do support Transit going to the Airport, but we have to do it in the right way… [we] don’t want to run empty buses.”
Mayor wants “a business case made”.
It’s the Design Regina Official Community Plan. Follow it!

Otherwise we’re left with people unfamiliar with Regina following my terrifying example:

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Transportation Master Plan Back At Council

I’ve been waiting a lot of years for Regina to have a plan that includes more bicycle infrastructure. Now you have the opportunity to improve the safety and convenience of Regina for people moving around it.
Two years ago, Councillor Young was quoted in the Leader-Post about the Transportation Master Plan (TMP):

“We’re hoping we get to talk about it early in 2016 and then we’ll bring it forward for the 2017 budget,” said Coun. Barbara Young, who chairs the public works committee.

She also said the reason for the delay is the expansiveness of the TMP.

“We need time to take it apart and ask how it was done, what was the methodology and who have you consulted with?” Young added. “We aren’t ready to take it public. We need more information.”

A majority of Council was not here in 2011. I was, as a member of the public and as the President of a corporate stakeholder, actively involved in Design Regina and then TMP planning meetings. I hope you’ll consider my insight into the plan.

We each have our own vision for what Regina can be. Some want smarter cars, others want safe cycling infrastructure, some great Transit, and others are pleased with how things are now and want nothing to change. That last option is the worst, and must not be permitted by this Council if Regina is to be successful at growing. I often hear members of Council expressing their desire to see Regina grow, yet the voting tends toward policies that keep the status quo. Regina now favours automobile traffic over active, healthy, happy people. 8 out of 10 people in Regina go to work in a private car. Regina cannot grow as laid out in the Official Community Plan, if 8 out of 10 people use cars as their primary mode of transportation.

Young people want to move to Regina, or stay here, if their quality of life will be better than it is in Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, or Assiniboia. If we offer them traffic jams, parking tickets, no commuter cycling infrastructure, and mediocre bus service, will they choose ‘here’, over ‘there’? Regina is presently poised to miss the boat. The TMP moves us toward catching it before it sails.

Here’s a short list of problems I think the TMP might help fix in the near future:

-Parking-minimums

-soaring bus fares

-the loss of regular bus service to Saskatoon and most Saskatchewan cities

-no bicycle infrastructure installed during sidewalk and road repaving happening today on Broad St. and elsewhere.

-lacking evening and weekend Express bus routes.

Support the TMP and with it, the review of antiquated bylaws intended for an outdated and now harmful reality of a bygone century.

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!

Saskatoon City Planner on Environment etc.

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.

North of The Tracks #RRI #DesignRegina

Assuming the land in that spot isn’t horribly contaminated by PCBs as one person familiar with the area told me 3 years ago, I’d like to see mixed housing, a grocery store, and a pedestrian/cyclist bridge or tunnel into Downtown constructed. If it is contaminated, then it might only be useful for a pedestrian bridge where no one will tend to spend much time. Or if it needs longer term use by residents and businesses, then decontamination is available in Montreal by rail for a billion or more dollars. Why was the City in a hurry to buy the land once it was known the Stadium II wasn’t going there?

Since a train station will one day need to serve Downtown Regina, a suitable space north or south of the tracks should be set aside for that purpose.

Also, a space for a school would be a good idea, to make Downtown more of a ‘complete community’.

Regina Budget Concerns Too Numerous To Mention All

Council is evading needed upgrades to our Transit system maintenance facility. Maybe they’re counting on big infrastructure dollars from the Federal government next year, but I really think they don’t care if our Transit system falls into disrepair, and lacks any usability.

From a capital perspective, the TMP recommends increasing transportation funding from $50 million to $61 million (in 2015 dollars) to expand the roadway network and build a new transit garage.

“We’re hoping we get to talk about it early in 2016 and then we’ll bring it forward for the 2017 budget,” said Coun. Barbara Young, who chairs the public works committee.

TRANSLATION: We’re hoping you’ll forget about it like you did the Parking Study and the Our Wascana reports we’ve recently suppressed.

She also said the reason for the delay is the expansiveness of the TMP.

“We need time to take it apart and ask how it was done, what was the methodology and who have you consulted with?” Young added. “We aren’t ready to take it public. We need more information.”

TRANSLATION: It’s really big and comprehensive, and we don’t know how to spin it into meaning we need to pour more money into roads instead of transit and cycling.

The TMP was created with public input at public meetings, you don’t need to “take it public”! This reeks of how the Mayor and Wascana Centre Authority are suppressing the Our Wascana report.

“One thing Young is looking forward to when the TMP is discussed is how the bike lanes are arranged, but said enhanced transportation is important for Regina.”

So “important”, we don’t need to do anything about implementing recommendations in the report until 2017 or later.