My Great-Uncle’s memorial bike rack

Last spring, my great-uncle (my maternal grandmother’s younger brother) died. As part of his legacy, he requested a bike rack be installed in his home town of Port Alberni. At his memorial service a few months back, the rack had been installed in front of the Cup & Saucer Eatery but the memorial plaque wasn’t. Today it has been:

Memorial Bike Rack
Memorial Bike Rack
Close-up of memorial plaque
Close-up of memorial plaque

If you want to visit it, the rack is right in front of the green roofed building:

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Biki launches and Akerley charged

Montreal’s pioneer bike sharing program, the first in Canada, has just launched with 3,000 bikes spread across 300 stations. This is only a small part of a very ambitious plan of stations across Montreal. Just take a look at the map of stations to get an idea. Like it’s inspiration Velib,the first 30 minutes are free, the rest of the day is $5 and frequent users can get monthly or yearly rates. They both also share cute contractions for names, bike + taxi in the case of Montreal and velo + liberte for Paris. Lastly, Velib is also not “dying”, so ignore all the hysteria.

In other good yet tragic news, Daniel Marc Akerley has been sentenced to just over a year and half of jail time for his hit-and-run of Byron Harris in Port Alberni. Sadly he only got convicted of one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. Sorry, but this was attempted murder or at a very least, assault with a deadly weapon. Why, when they charged him with attempted murder, did they let him plead guilty to such a minor offence? And more importantly, will this guy ever be let back behind the wheel? I am not exactly holding my breath for that. But I have beat this drum in the past.

Driver who hit pedestrian charged with attempted murder

On Saturday, when I sadly noted that killing a person with a car nets you a $1500 fine, I also was pleased that the RCMP seemed to take the recent hit and run in Port Alberni seriously enough to consider it attempted murder. Today we learn that the driver, one Daniel Marc Akerley of Port Alberni, was charged of attempted murder.

While it is nice to see charges of attempted murder in this case, it was a pretty hideous crime. It seems there was personal bad blood between the victim and Mr. Akerley and he chased the victim down, missed him once and then when he finally hit him, drove over him a second time. This is not your usual hit and run. It is pretty clear you need to have motive in order to get charged if you hurt or kill somebody with a car.

So if we are not going to charge these drivers, we should at least be building our streets to slow them down, so that when they do hit somebody and get away with it, there is less likelyhood that they will kill somebody. After all, the chance of a pedestrian getting killed drops from 45% to 5% when the speed of the car drops from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.