Wednesday, November 09, 2011

If We Like it, Then We Better put a Ring on it

I hate being led by the nose. I hate being offered shiny baubles to distract me from something that has started to smell. Most of all I hate when the shiny baubles are only a tiny fraction of a giant pile of gold that is currently sleeping under a smiling dragon.
Just recently Edmonton held a giant forum to discuss the proposed, now confirmed, arena that would cost an additional 100 million that we do not exactly have. Although it was not unanimous, the feelings of the city were apparent; No arena. Not with the current financial plan that was laid out. When the provincial government, the people we had planned to ask for 100 million dollars, reneged on a 92 million that was allegedly promised to us for a new museum (whether actually or by simply implying they would pay and then changing) I, for one, reevaluated my assessment of the probability that the province would 'chip in' to zero. But the arena progresses.

So now, in the Edmonton Journal, we are offered a choice; Would we like to finish the Anthony Henday, the celebrated ring road encircling the city that even Yours Truly has used in the past 24 hours? Or would we like to finish the LRT that has long been a source of embarrassment for a city our size? We have to pick one. Maybe we should just paint two balls, white and black, then let Mayor Mandel pick one from a bag?

How about both? Is that an option? Can we have both internal and external convenience when it comes to transportation in the city? Especially when you consider the Arena would be considerably hampered by a lack of effective transportation to and from the site. Apparently not. Truth be told, I retain a fondness (bafflingly and in flagrant defiance of the evidence) for our Mayor, but I really believe he needs to step back from this arena deal and revisit it in 5 to 10 years when we have the ability to travel around our city without busting a blood vessel. This is not a case of having my cake and eating it too, this is a case of having a plate and some utensils to eat my cake before making the icing. Otherwise it's just going to be a huge mess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oooo, well done!
I think the city might try looking for a new person to head their transportation infrastructure department. Residents have put up with nonsense like miss-timed traffic lights for years; the city is just now getting around to figuring out how to time them properly.
The bus system is dysfunctional, yet they won't put any energy into actually fixing it so that people will use it. It doesn't have to cost a bunch more, they just have to look beyond what they've always done: don't have full-sized buses on every run if the shorter ones are cheaper to run; add more express runs; add more strictly local runs. And mostly, stop blaming Edmontonians for not using a system that doesn't serve them well.
lol, mapa