Comment 113603

By RobF (registered) | Posted August 21, 2015 at 19:07:26 in reply to Comment 113600

I wasn't commenting on why we need traffic calming, better pedestrian infrastructure or protected bike lanes ... or how to sell them. I was commenting from direct experience ... watching a comprehensive, systematic plan be modified, post-hoc by petitions from critics or unhappy residents.

That's happened already to the North End plan, and none of your three suggestions would have gotten proponents very far i'm afraid. I recall a public meeting after only a small amount of the implementation had occurred. One old-time North Ender got up and said "sure some children have been hit by cars over the years, but that happens everywhere." Another blamed the problem on "parents today" and noted that none of his children died and the streets were busier back in the day. Some in the audience were clearly unimpressed, but a surprising number nodded in approval. A couple of people in the audience shouted it was like urban renewal again with the city forcing stuff on us to fix the North End, etc. That last comment would give me pause about the new city rhetoric. It appeals to people who read RTH, but falls flat with many others ... some will misunderstand and turn outright hostile. Many people, when asked, will politely say they support 30km/h, but think the money for the traffic calming changes would be better spent on fixing the roads period.

I'm not raising this to suggest not pushing for changes ... your suggestions in the article make sense to me. It's more about the politics of actually getting and keeping the changes. Trust me I spoke up at one meeting and outlined the relationship between speed of a car and the death of person hit by car. I'm aware of the talking points in favour. The political problem is a little beyond rational argument ... that's my point.

Comment edited by RobF on 2015-08-21 19:08:52

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