Congratulations to the 62 per cent that voted “No” on the transit plebiscite. Despite an unlevel playing field (campaign) the electorate has sent a clear message to government. If Christie Clark has any urge to ignore the results and push an increase through anyway, she should remember that she could not even get elected in her own riding during the last provincial election. In fact most of the mayors group (18) should now be looking for other work.
Never has there been a more blatant display of arrogance and disdain for voters who elected them and who pay their salaries – promoting their own agenda and paying with taxpayer dollars by trying to intimidate the issue in lieu of staying neutral. Being elected means working for the people’s agenda.
That we can use improved transit is not questioned but changing how government operates is. Two main issues need to be resolved before a new transit program is created. First the province has already tapped the taxpayer – tax increases from numerous sources such as reduced income tax exemption, hydro rates after new meter installation, auto insurance, ferry rates, bridge tolls, medical premiums and more ad nauseum are far above the inflation rate. In fact these taxes are not included in the inflation rate and so increases to our costs of living are wildly distorted… and what are they doing with all the extra money anyway? Second, traffic is not congested, it is saturated and it is as much engineered as it is overpeopled. It originates with the Fed and is exacerbated by lesser ranks through ill thought tinkering.
Consider the following… creating bike lanes at the expense of vehicles (bike lanes should be elevated or out of the way instead of robbing road space), eliminating right hand turns and increasing intersection light intervals for many blocks to accommodate bikes, buses stopping in moving lanes instead of pull outs, shutting down “fast” lanes during morning rush for centre median gardening or street sweeping (the rest of the world works a 24-hour clock so why not gardening), permanent road closures, underused HOV lanes (I’ve even seen HOV bike lanes), overkill/installation of speed bumps and turning circles (turning circles on provincial Highway 99 which is a truck route and trucks have to drive over the top), still building two lane roads and bridges knowing that a million people are on the way, desynchronized traffic lights and now they want to build road level light rail and eliminate the Georgia Viaduct. As a former host of the 1986 Transportation Expo to showcase the world, maybe now is the time to bring back the rickshaw.
Maybe transit and token fire dousing is not the real problem because there is still a 38 per cent that wants to give government more and more control in spite of achieving results that would bankrupt any private organization.
The term is called plutocracy (I wonder if that has anything to do with Pluto being way out there). Donald Trump has it right. “Why are we allowing government to do this?”
Richard Keill, Langley