Home Publications Artwork News Links About
I have more than one issue with the Mare's ongoing program of installing "traffic calming" measures all over the city. My own neighbourhood has been infested by quite a few of them over the past 20 years, and I have seen no benefit or improvement from them. What I do see is the ongoing and huge cost of installing and maintaining all of them, money that would be much better spent on useful things like social housing or free public transit.
Take, for example, the "traffic calming" circle smack dab in the middle of the intersection at Haro and Broughton, installed a few years ago. I estimated that it cost at least $100,000.00, although there were on average 1 or 2 guys working while 5 or 6 guys stood around watching them work, and the backhoe operator sat there smoking all day waiting for his 5 or 10 minutes of work to occur, and the dumptruck driver was at Tim Horton's for donuts. This should probably be rounded up to $150,000.00 on general principles.
Now look at the entire city. How many of these circles have been installed? 100, 200 ... ? How many more are planned? Also, don't forget about complete and permanent street closures like Robson Street between Hornby and Howe (are you kidding me?), Bute at Davie, Broughton Street west of Nelson, or partial blockages like Barclay Street at Thurlowe, or the absolutely retarded "curb extensions" at places like Thurlowe and Davie. The former probably $200,000.00, the latter perhaps only $20,000.00 each. Take a wild guess and estimate how much all of this "calming" has cost us. I'd guess at least $40 to $50 million has been pissed away to date. That doesn't calm me down at all. How many people would that house or feed? Why are we building curb extensions when people are starving? At least the Mare isn't wasting money on filling potholes in our neighbourhood any more (or in other nay-bourhoods where he isn't very popular either).
The stupid and needless curb extensions cause their own problems. Stand at the corner of Thurlowe and Davie and watch for a while to see how they screw up traffic. If a car turns left or right onto Davie, they can no longer get out of the way of the two driving lanes. As a result everything grinds to a halt while the would-be turners wait for all the pedestrians to meander through the cross-walk, while traffic piles up behind them. I've seen traffic backed up to Nelson as a result of these curb extensions. There is no reason for this, so thanks again for nothing as usual, Mare.