The world keeps turning, even if I have been crazy busy with various non-bike relating things. So I present a grab-bag of fun links and commentary on news stories:
- Packed in like sardines. It is a cliche and yet our buses (and public transit across the world) often feel more like a can of fish than a pleasant way to travel. To drum up political support for fixing the problem, a couple of Swiss decided to ride around dressed literally as sardines.
- After dropping off my grandmother at a ferry today I got caught by this accident on Cordova Bay Rd. Apparently the cause was an 82 year old man having a heart attack. Why are we still building cities that require 80+ year old people to drive?
- Speaking of my grandmother, two Saanich workers scared the crap out of her the other morning by walking into her back yard, looking for a storm drain cover. Turns out they were looking for the source of this oil leak into Douglas Creek, a salmon-bearing stream which runs through Mount Doug Park right behind her house.
- Arthur Erickson, Vancouver architect, has died. He had a bit a love for concrete and brutalist buildings but also did a lot of good work including a building in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
There has also been a whole host of news about community planning today:
- Victoria is updating its community plan and is going out to non-traditional places like coffee shops to gather feedback.
- Saanich is considering how to deal with slipping voting numbers and general disengagement, watching how Victoria succeeds or fails in its efforts to reach out.
- Engaging citizens also is a two way street, something Vancouver might be discovering as they potentially embark on the open data bandwagon. The motion (PDF), put forward by Vision Vancouver’s Andrea Reimer, has been read into the record (YouTube video) and is up for debate tomorrow night. For a good idea what freeing the city’s data might allow, the Vancouver Freebase page might enlighten you.
- I saw in a notice in the Saanich News that Saanich is also looking at expanding its Local Bike Connector Routes and is seeking community input, as it requires an amendment to the Official Community Plan, but I cannot find the notice on the municipality’s website. I will keep digging but in the meantime, a quick look at the minutes of Saanich’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Advisory Committee shows just how quickly a well organized government can move.
- Esquimalt is the latest municipality to consider legalizing secondary suites.
And lastly,Transportation Alternatives, a bike and ped advocacy group in New York City that has gone from guerilla activism to advising the city’s Department of Transportation, has launched “Biking Rules: A new street code for NYC Bicyclists” campaign that is coupled with a slick website that also allows users to show safe biking routes they have found (via Streetsblog). The map is driven by data from OpenStreetMap. More of that free data empowering people and communities again.