Friday, December 01, 2006

Cars Are King!

This week in Vancouver we had a bit of snow. OK we had a lot of snow, even by the rest of Canada's standards. We probably had 50 cm or more. That's a lot of snow! Especially when Vancouver is in no way prepared for anything but rain -- which we have also had a lot of this fall.

Now rain is OK. Although, when it is combined with fallen leaves it is a bit of a problem. It's slippery, there is flooding so it is tough riding in, but nothing like snow.

Since the snow last Sunday I haven't been able to ride although some others have tried. Since I have kids and I don't have a death wish I haven't tried. The roads have been atrocious, but not nearly as bad as the sidewalks. I don't think Vancouverites own a single snow shovel between them. On the other hand the City works departments have been doing their best to get the roads cleaned. I cleaned my walk the other day only to have a snow plow push it all back on to the walk. Hmm I guess they really don't want pedestrians out in this weather.

What I find amazing is the City sort of cleans the roads so that people can go out in their cars and get in accidents. I suppose the snow wasn't enough to snarl traffic, we need idiots in cars to crash and cause more chaos on the streets. But the snow plows continue to move the snow so that drives in cars with bald summer tires can get to the grocery store to buy water (I forgot to mention the whole of Vancouver has been under a "boil water advisory" for 12 days), because they are too lazy to boil water.

On the upside the snow plows have kept the roads open so that buses can still run. Although I have no idea how people are getting to the buses -- the sidewalks are being covered by the snow plows and people aren't keeping their sidewalks clean. So really the only hope , if you want to get anywhere, is to get into your car -- provided you have one -- and drive.

Later in the week I felt the roads were passable by bike, and I could have made it to work -- provided I didn't need to cross a bridge, which I did. Now the bridge decks for cars have been clean and drivable since Monday. Today on my way to work with a co-worker I noticed that the sidewalk is still impassible. There hasn't even been an attempt to clean the side walk for pedestrians and cyclists. So again the only hope for people getting around in Vancouver is to get into your car and drive.

This absolute disregard by City authorites for any form of transportation other than the private car is appalling. There is no attempt to keep people from using their private, unprepared for winter cars and get them to use transit or allow them to walk or even to cycle anywhere. Priority one: get the roads clear so that cars can use them.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

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  • Some people coplain that Bellingham doesn't have enough snow ploughs. Why buy a bunch of ploughs that sit idle except on the rare year that turns out to be really snowy?

    Instead, city officials ask people to ride the bus. Whatcom Transit routes are top priority for sanding. Buses have chains and get through better than cars in this town where people don't buy snow tires.

    Still, the sidewalks and road shoulders get ignored.

    By Blogger Robert, at 8:13 PM  

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