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


Lessons On Rebuilding Streetcar Network

Here’s an interesting article on streetcars coming back to America, more than half a century after the GM conspiracy to eliminate them concluded.

If Regina were to embark on rebuilding our streetcar track network, we’d have to give them dedicated lanes in some portions of the city so they do not get held up by automobile traffic, for example.

This Was The Ride I Was Looking For!

China is going to build another highspeed train.
Vegas, baby!

I was in Vegas in August, and we drove to San Diego. It took all day to drive, when it should have been a 4 hour train ride (except that option isn’t practical, as there’s no train from LA to Vegas.) It will sure beat travelling by car, as you slow down for multiple traffic jams and checkpoints!

Why is Canada a Public #Transit Laggard?

Here are thoughts as to why Canada is lagging on public transit so badly. I think the roots of the problem are in our vast distances between cities, and our difficult climate.

A little over 60 years ago, we had an electric streetcar network, so why and where did we take a wrong turn for short term gains using personal automobiles?

The wrong turn had GM and Firestone among those corporate malcontents steering politicians’ hands toward fuel-guzzling buses.

$5000 fine for GM, and a $1 fine for the person at GM behind the conspiracy that has cost municipalities across North America hundreds of billions of dollars in misspent, high-polluting infrastructure.

Electric Vehicles Criss-crossing Regina

It sounds perhaps like science fiction to think of Electric Vehicles criss-crossing Regina every day, but that’s just what happened until the Regina Transit streetcar network was destroyed and shut down.
11th Ave. and Winnipeg St. Streetcar tracks in Regina. #transit
-Road work on 11th Ave. and Winnipeg St. reveals our transit history.

11th Ave.
This family stopped and talked with me about the road construction. The father noted that the bakery on Winnipeg St. used to deliver milk to the city’s residents.

Streetcar map of Regina

Others should find it disturbing, (and probably not surprising) that Council has given almost no new resources to Regina Transit to correct the shortfalls I listed for them over 2 years ago at a Council meeting.

Continue reading

How A City Makes You Sick #YQRcc

Not much need for community escalators in Regina (maybe parts of Moose Jaw), but there are other tips in this video for how Regina should think about its streets and community spaces.

If you ever drive through Broad St. N where the school zone is, and wonder why you feel like you should speed, it’s because there is no tree canopy and the street is much too wide at over 6 lanes across. Having a dedicated transit lane, and bike lanes on Broad St. would narrow it sufficiently to make it more appealing to walk or bike down, which improves safety too.

Rail Against Rails

Farmers are saying their grain isn’t being moved to port, in favour of increased crude-oil-by-train shipments.

I think the farmers have a point. Also, people get put behind grain and oil on railway priorities, causing Via delays. The solution is to stop holding our transportation system back in the 20th century, and start building high capacity railways including high speed rail networks for people in Canada and linking northern cities in the USA.

Part of the reason we’re not seeing progress on this front is that railways are owned by private companies now not looking out for the public good.

Rail service could be a question period issue when Parliament resumes sitting next week.

The Grain Growers of Canada has sent a letter to Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz . . . saying more grain has to move to port.

It says farmers are frustrated because elevators can’t get enough cars from the railways to move a record crop to export position. This is translating into lost sales and a serious cash flow issue for many farmers.