This story was made possible by blogger Kenton de Jong’s blog post last week.
Actually, you can, especially in Regina where we are a decade behind the times.
Regina is behind by a decade. Mayor asks if we should try to catch up:
“I wouldn’t say we have fallen behind,” Fougere said.
With the report coming before April 1, the hope is that the bylaw could be in place before patio season arrives.
“The idea is we want to move on this quickly,” Fougere said.
A little late for that, but good to know he’s finally on the right track.
In other lung disease news, in the previous Leaderpost tweet:
The LeaderPost editors asked some good questions about a delayed report:
Noting that [school board] controversy, and a need for good relationships with other governments, Nicol said, “That’s why it came out after the election. I would stand by that thinking that it was a prudent decision.”
Taken together, these statements raise some questions:
• The city and its staff work for the taxpayers of Regina and their elected representatives. Does that not necessarily include being critical of others when needed — and letting the political chips fall where they may, rather than taking pains to avoid controversy?
• Would any senior city employee take it on himself or herself to delay a major report? Who controls council’s agenda: our elected representatives or bureaucrats?
• If there was, as Nicol as indicated, a serious misunderstanding between senior managers, why did somebody in authority not take a few minutes to write an email formally setting things straight — to get a correction “on the record”? If such a correction exists, now would be a good time to make it public.
• Finally, all this transpired about eight months ago. Is this week’s disclosure coincidence, or is whoever released the emails involved in a little municipal election mischief making?
All in all, the city’s too-delicate response to one election is now a distraction during another.
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.
This idea from the City really is the worst. No one taking the bus from points to or from Vic, Albert or Broad would be in favour of this. We already have Express buses on those streets that address the perception of some riders that there are too many stops.
Here’s a workable theory:
TMLfan in exile writes:
The only reason for this is because they got complaints from people getting tickets for parking in the BUS LANES when the signs are large (at least double normal) and clearly marked indicating no stopping between 8:30am and 5:30pm.
Buses are so infrequent, on their very long routes, that it’s often faster to walk to your destination than wait for a bus. If you start walking, and see your bus coming down the street, the City’s bad idea will make it much less likely that you’ll be able to run to a remaining bus stop in time to get picked up. This proposal is entirely about increasing free street parking (which makes pedestrians and cyclists less safe), and nothing to do with improving the quality of transit service.
Regina Transit drivers have explained to me since the R-Card fare boxes were installed, stop times have increased as people struggle to feed coins into the fare box. Free transit removes this expense from the buses, and would increase efficiency of the service.
“The city is also looking into removing a transit stop within the Wal-Mart and Sobey’s parking lot near Rochdale Boulevard in the north end because of traffic congestion.”
Seriously? The whoever said that at the City, is trying to make Regina into a laughing stock. Why would you attempt to degrade mass transit service in an effort to improve traffic congestion? It’s not buses that are congesting Regina’s traffic.
ADDED: Look at what Saskatoon is proposing to improve transit service instead, for growth?
“For the first time we’re seeing public transit at the centre of the discussion for long term planning.”
ADDED: There are studies that show longer walks will decrease the number of people taking a bus. I do not know if there’s any study showing that removing stops will usefully decrease delays for people on buses and prevent them from leaving transit use for alternatives.
UPDATE: Regina Transit responds.
Paul Dechene also unloads on Council’s hypocritical messages sent by their focus in the meeting.
…our city council postponed signing onto a declaration saying that a healthy environment is a human right because they needed to get a report from administration about the possible implications from being party to such a declaration. You know how it is, signing on to a non-binding feel-good doc like that isn’t something you leap into recklessly.
…fleet additions he argued against.
There are times when I get very disappointed with our City Council about their lack of leadership and failure to do the right things. Instead of passing Councillor Fraser’s motion to recognize a healthy environment and please the citizens involved with Blue Dot, the Council deferred the question to the City’s lawyers and financial planners. It’s obvious who really runs this city, isn’t it?
Councillor Hawkins dares to make this unfounded claim:
The gall to claim that, while delaying unequivocal support of the Blue Dot message, is staggering, frankly.
Apparently the legal and financial ramifications of Blue Dot are paramount, while the environmental considerations take a back seat for the majority of Regina’s Council. This isn’t the case in at least some other Canadian municipalities.
In October 2014, Richmond was the first city to adopt the Blue Dot Declaration, and since then, more than 100 other municipalities have done so.
Surrey has now joined that list and according to the group, there are more than 1,000 supporters of the Blue Dot petition in the city.
Meanwhile, south of the border…
Flint, Michigan had its water supply poisoned by decisions of municipal and state politicians to ignore and then cover up unsafe water being used in their pipes. It’s clearly a crime to poison a city with lead in their water. Society has agreed it’s a crime because it makes people sick, and suffer to deprive them of potable water. It was a crime justified by “financial considerations”.