…I’m so glad transit responds to increased ridership with the exact same amount of busses that still arrive late.
But let me tell you two more trends that I am beginning to see.
The first, and completely irrelevant point, is that bus drivers are getting hotter. Yep, I said it, the days of ugly old fat bus drivers are over. I’ve seen QUITE a few cute guys and a couple nice lookin’ gals sitting in the drivers seat. And I must say it does make it quite a bit easier to smile as you get on the bus and leave that “thank you” as you get off.
Secondly, you CAN get onto that late packed bus. Because even though those busses are full, they manage to pack you in there until you can’t breathe. And they have stopped respecting that red line that apparently you “must stay behind” at the front. In the old days we’d call that bus driver super nice. Good on ya for accepting more kids so we can get to school on time. Now I know translink is just being sloppy and cheap.
The days of zero personal space on the bus is gone. Now we’re in negative personal space territory and seriously hip to hip.
Unless you can provide a bus experience with me in a sea of incredibly attractive men, I want my personal space back.
Not only that but today I saw the first of what I bet will continue. A woman leaving the bus came running back andknocking on the bus door- she told the bus driver that some guy on the bus just stole her wallet. Bus driver sort of shrugged like as if to say “what can *I* do? He’s right..what can he do? Nothin.
I can see this happening a lot…we’re rubbin up against eachother on a packed bus- you can’t say anything because that’s just how packed the bus is and it’s not like the person next to you WANTs to be in your personal space. The road is bumpy so you fee no invasion of bag zippers opening or pockets being picked. And there. You just lost your wallet.
I experienced this way back ago one summer on a bus trip to UBC. The bus was absilutely packed, hot sweaty..disgusting. And there was this gross perve that would rub up against girls on the bus. I was one of his victims. You can’t really say anything at first because on packed busses you can’t help but be in other peoples space and touch them. So his hand would conveniently hit up against me anytime the bus would jolt. And then I finally knew he was a total perve when he decided to become bolder on the rocky road and just go for my chest. I freaked out and pushed his hand away but you didn’t’ hear a peep out of me because I didn’t’ want to make a scene! He quickly jumped off the bus after. To this day I still feel sooooo dirty and taken advantage of. Disgusting.
So what.. is THIS ecodensity? We get a smaller ecofootprint if we pack more people on transit. Well if this is ecodensity I don’t want it.
The comment to be made here is that EcoDensity won’t work without the proper amenities and infrastructure. You can’t zone for high density housing and do shit all with the rest.
These are points that the EcoDensity Charter does touch upon but in these EcoDensity meetingsI don’t think council is speaking enough towards it. And specifically, how council will guarantee funding for the amenities and infrastruc. There is this assumption that the larger tax base will take care of it all. But we need that tax base to also create supportive social and affordable housing too.
Highlights of tonights EcoDensity meeting- second meeting
1) Peter Busby- There should be an ecological imperative. Carbon footprint should be used as a measurement tool. He thinks laneway housing is a bad idea. Building with high eco-standards. i.e. LEED
My issues: carbon footprint is good. I like it. I even like Bill Rees quite a bit. But if you’ve actually seen the research and his stuff you have to take his approach with a grain of salt. It’s a good way to frame the problem because it is such an easy and simple concept that appeals to the masses. But do yourself a favour and look at the research and just..think about it. I love it and I do think we shold use it as a tool, but the Eco Footprint should not be our only assessment of progress.
2) Kim Capri asks: What happens if we get tough on the building standards such that it is too tough and developers won’t want to play the game anymore- developers will go eslewhere for profit.
My issue: Oh Kim Capri.. there are nuuumerous other “world class” cities that have incredibly high standards. Many in Europe have requirements of eco-design and they don’t’ bend to developers at all. They do fine. And really, your concerns of losing business to the ‘burbs? Never going to happen. Vancouver is just so damn nice. Yes there will be ferocious development in other places if we’re stricter, but as long as we want buildings to go up there will be developers to do it. Bob Rennie wouldn’t let us down.
3) Carnegie Community Action Project- very vocal about #12 on the Charter- to increase density in DTES area. She made excellent points on the idea that condos are inanappropriate for the area and even if they were they would not raise enough money to subsidize social housing. She stated that there would need to be about 20 000 condos in the area going up for the amount of money they need to subsidize social housing. And by that time you’d totally change the character and area, not to mention gentrification. Good work Carnegie CAP.
4) Charter says that Eastside can accommodate EcoDensity better. I think that’s true because the Eastside is just so much more dense with public transport. But the problem is they are envisioning the city as the way it is now. Council should be completely revsioning what the city should look like and increase public transport infrastruc in the west side (ahem- arbutus).
5) Gordon Price- always a fan of the black turtle neck.
And I also have to say he has a great speaking voice.
Price made a lot of good points. He said that we don’t have the confidence to proceed with EcoDensity because the public is just too fearful, suspicious and distrustful of the project. I think tha’t so true. And he said that’s indicative of where it came from, who it came from, and how the process is taking place. He said we have to reconcile trust first before we implement a plan- it dones’t matter how good the plan is because if the residents don’t trust it it’s going to suck. Plain and simple. I love that he said that because in all this consultation process I’m finding that a lot of people are confusing the PROCESS with the ACTUAL CHARTER. You see, the process is messed up. Sullivan rode the publicity train from the World Urban Forum and its come out of the office of NPA gov’t who, prior to Ecodensity, never said they’d touch zoning. But I think if residents actualy read the charter and the basic principles, EcoDensity is a good thing. And in general people just want it done right. The problem is that there is absolutely zero confidence that it WILL be done right. So the solution? Keep the charter, get rid of the party in power.
Ladner showed frustration during the meeting on the same topic. He kept asking, “what does the ideal city look like” and really, people were describing exactly what EcoDensity reccommends. It’s just that nobody trusts that EcoDensity will be put through the way they envision it.
6) WERA- brought a rep to rant about Burrard Bridge again. Wants realocation of car lanes into bike lanes instead of widening the side walks for extra bus space. TheVancouverManifesto fully supports this idea. Burrard bridge is one of Vancouver’s insanely beautiful heritage structures and it would be uncounscionable to change it, ESPecially when the change is so clearly unnecessary.
-also wanted zero parking space on the West End. I support this too but we need the infrastructure for zero parking. We have to provide people with good alternatives apart from the car.
7)Micheal Gellar- disappointed that there is so uch opposition to EcoDensity charter- thinks that charter should just be put through. But still wants to make sure that the City takes a strong stance with resepct to developers. i.e. make developers our bitches and noth the other way around. And let people see models of the types of communities they intend to build to quell publci concern and gain trust. Also against action 12 for upwards density in DTES
8) Heather Deal still loving the microamenities idea. I still like her- she’s good. But she needs to just let people finish talking before she motions for a question. I don’t’ want to hear her say, “please finish your question” before she asks her own question. Just wait until they are done and then motion to speak if you don’t’ want to interrupt them.
9) The crazies at the meeting. Crazy #1 the old blind deaf woman who was in hate with Sullivan and shamed him. That’s right..she shamed him like a bitter grandmother to a little boy stealing cookies from the cookie jar.
Crazy #2: dude who said we should limit/stop immigration. Dude- immigration is federal and we can’t stop people from comign here. Anyhow, we need them. Who else do you think is going to support our underground low-wage worker chain and what would we do witout all the phillipino nannies tha ttake care of our elderly, children and well.. all of the people in the hospital. And really.., nowhere else can you get a cab and ALSO get medical attention from a doctor who won’t be certified in Canada.
10) Damn.. Cadman rocks. Again. He pulled the big guns out and got all emotional over Sullivan being a dumbass. Cadman yet still the only councillor to connect EcoDensity with more than just housing. Cool points he raised a) int’s not all about housing and all Sullivan ever focusses on is housing. Trasport and commerical needs to be entered into this talk. (Sullivan countered by saying, “this is not what is at issue now”…but seriously, ecodensity as a concept should inlcude all of those things..they are so interlinked that you can’t just isolate housing and call it a thorough or fair discussion). And b) we should build nothing that doesn’t meet green standards. And he addressed problems with his statement too. For one green standards are expensive and it wil affect affordability. However if you don’t’ address green standards now you wont’ do anything for the environment and it might be just as costly in the long run because you’ll have to retrofit. And finally c) Even if we build by green standards can we still call it ecodensity if the purpose of that building is antithetical to ecodensity? i.e. big box retailers. Busby countered with: people need these goods and need these retail options otherwise they will go other places to get it and that will increase emissions anyway. Seriously Busby, nobody is going to DIE if they can’t get cheap bulk toilet paper. Many people deal without the big box.
We still have over 100 speakers to go. Nextmeeting on Monday @ 6