January 8, 2014

What’s New: Seating space on the Comox Greenway

Another piece of the Comox-Helmcken Greenway was added just before the new year: a public seating (and people-watching) area at the northwest corner of Denman and Comox:



Sturdily built of (hopefully) vandal-resistant metal, it is nonetheless inviting and flexible, each seat able to revolve, with tables for intimate conversation and a bar designed to scope the passing parade of peds and bikes.


Note that the seats are big enough to cosily accommodate a couple.


Though the cost was likely in the thousands, is this too extravagant a waste of taxpayers’ dollars (a criticism rarely if ever applied to road-widenings and left-hand-turn bays, priced in the millions)?

I suppose there’s an argument that such public improvements actually increase private value – here, a 7-11 – and that those increases will come back in the form of property taxes.  (Indeed, one wonders if the 7-11 will be replaced by a new structure that would take advantage of this amenity.)



But what a futile argument.  Isn’t something that attractively adds to the community, encourages contact and interaction (and hence, as Charles Montgomery documents, to our happiness), and benefits both public and private sectors justification enough?

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  1. That’s a Gordon Food Service truck – it’s probably stopped to unload supplies for a restaurant (and turning radii, traffic islands and curbside parking being what they are, that’s where he ended up).

  2. This wonderful amenity has, over the last two or three years, become a disaster. Who can I talk to either at City Hall or elsewhere that can work towards solving issues at this corner?