Another letter from a buddy of Peter Ladner.
I’ll say this: Peter Ladner’s buddies are a literate bunch. They have no hesitation in writing him extensive letters with their thoughts. And since the streets in his neighbourhood are now so quiet these days, he can consider them in peace.
So Peter,Today must be a day of celebration for you. You have achieved something that you and your Vision Vancouver allies have dreamed of for some time now. The closure of Point Grey Road took effect today..I am sure that you will guffaw when I tell you how I feel about it, but let me tell you, this is a day of mourning and being filled with a great sense of loss. Today and in the past few weeks, as I saw the traffic signs advising of this sad change, I vacillated between great anger and a deep sadness and depression..The Vancouver that I knew, has been lost..Special privileges for the elite few, in this case, residents and cyclists who disdain the use of the established 3rd Avenue cycling route, have replaced the democratic process that we used to cherish. You, of course, fit into both of those beneficiary categories..The unique access route to the west side that was unfettered by red lights at every single block, has been lost. All of the traffic that flowed east and west along this road for over 70 years, about 11,000 cars per day according to the newspapers, will now be shoved up to 4th or Broadway, after they have waited for the new 3rd Avenue light, needed by you and the privileged few that still get to use PGR in order to get onto MacDonald.As a result of all the pedestrian lights along both 4th and on Broadway, necessary as they may be, the pollution levels on those roads, and the entire area, will increase, as a greatly increased number of cars are constantly stopping and starting, giving rise to much more pollution as a result. Commuting times will increase, though fortunately not for me, as I don’t commute anymore..As we drove over to West Vancouver this morning, we could not miss the “Local Residents Only” signs that were posted along every street along 4th Avenue, including yours. Later this day, I went down to the marina, and saw the same thing along Alma..You must be thrilled!! You now live in one of the most elite parts of Vancouver! You would never have achieved that up at Cambie and 21st, living among the ordinary people!.Vancouver is becoming more of an elitist town than it ever was. Point Grey Road is now available only to the locals and those fit enough to get there by bicycle or on foot. Aging in Vancouver will mean exclusion from those places that we were always able to enjoy in the past; but no more..Where will this end? Parking along PGR in front of the park west of Alma has been reduced to less than half of what it was. A separated bike lane has been added on a quiet street that already had speed bumps that kept traffic out or down to a very low speed, so surely cycling there did not pose a hazard. Overnight parking is no longer allowed there, so if I want to take friends along for a sailing weekend, they can no longer come by car. Taxi rides in from Surrey or Abbotsford? Maybe not, as not everyone is in the elite class that can afford that..Maybe we should close Stanley Park Drive as well? That would be a great bike route..Exclusionary and elitist politics make for a mean city, and that is where Vancouver is going. You have been supportive of this type of thinking, at least privately in our discussions, and I suspect you have spread those ideas elsewhere, so I suspect that you share the blame for this sad development..In the upcoming civic election, I will support, financially and with my time, those who dare to propose to reopen PGR and to return Vancouver to a civil city that can be enjoyed by all of its residents, and those who must pass through to partake of its’ amenities.
The most effective play, whether you’re the elite or the average guy, is the one where you hold the Victim Card.