Comment 95866

By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2013 at 12:50:06 in reply to Comment 95854

Yeah, I was none too happy with this, but I talked to Councillors about it and it's less of a big deal than I originally thought, but there's still some things about it that piss me off.

It's understood that it's only a one-time reduction in the budget, and it's specifically the budget for new cycling infrastructure projects only - so only for a project like Dundurn between York and King where there was no resurfacing or anything done - it was 100% a cycling project. The funding levels will be returned to regular levels in 2015.

The main reason why the reduction is happening is because there's an understanding that even if the extra $100k was there, staff likely wouldn't be able to spend it. They're going to be busy building the Hunter Street lanes which got delayed to the point of not getting done this year (primarily because the ONE staffer in charge of cycling infrastructure was put on the bus lane file because, you know, the city can't afford to move a traffic engineer onto that file...), building the Cannon St. Cycle Track and dealing with bike share and the other planned projects, so they'll be plenty busy.

What this shows, however, is how terribly under-staffed the active transportation file in general, and the cycling file in particular, is at the City. I've been using this as an opportunity to highlight the low staffing levels and ask for new resources, but that's always a particularly tricky ask.

The other part of this that pisses me off is the whole issue of Councillor veto. There's been a couple projects that were designed, planned and ready to be implemented only to be vetoed at the 11th hour by the local Councillor. Since they're vetoed so late in the process, it's not like the one staff person has time to go and design a whole new project to spend that infrastructure funding on, and then the money carries over and council cries foul because it's not being spent.

Main point: vetoes have to go, and we need another staffer on this file to help out the one who's there.

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