PlaceSpeak is a program developed in Vancouver that enables people who are interested in identified community issues to participate in on-line discussions.
On June 8, 2013, former Councilor and candidate for Mayor, Peter Ladner, posted a comment in which he seemed to be saying that PlaceSpeak, which advocates nothing, should not even be providing a platform for what he considered the other side:
What's going on here? Why is Placespeak advocating for a certain outcome? Who is Placespeak representing with this (half-baked, I might say) opinion? *** I am strongly in favour of closing Pt. Grey Rd. to through commuter traffic (of which 37% is cars not even registered in Vancouver) and thereby opening it to pedestrians and cyclists from around the city who can appreciate the last link in the seawall/greenway around the entire Vancouver waterfront. This is a huge civic amenity. 4th Ave west of McDonald, which is where the biggest increase in traffic will be, has lots of space for more cars. No driver will have to drive an extra inch if PGR is closed to car traffic.
Ladner’s comments, like those coming from City Hall, are disturbing if not weird. All roads belong to the public including people driving to work. People traveling from Point A to Point B whether commuting to work, or to shop are entitled to use their roads. We all paid for them. Ladner favours restricting use by people in cars who originate from neighborhoods like UBC or Dunbar at the Western end of Point Grey. This is to be done in favour of pedestrians and cyclists, who, he notes, are capable of appreciating it. It would seem that bike riders as a class are more attuned to nature and the universe than the swine who ride in cars.
This is, “A huge civic amenity,” Ladner intones.
It is, in fact, a street through a low density very rich waterfront neighborhood. He concludes therefore that only the noble bike riders are qualified to enjoy it, while the rest of us trash can line up on 4th Avenue.
The situation on Point Grey Rd is not analogous to the street closures in the high density West End. Like South West Marine Drive, Point Grey Rd is an important connector for traffic that passes through a relatively low density area to connect with a high density one.
There are 30 or 40 times the number of people in cars (including passengers) on this street at any given time than bike riders. That doesn't matter because Mr. Ladner, who lives in the neighborhood, rides a bike and, as a locavore, grazes on locally grown foods. He will soon be joined by the Mayor who just bought a house there.
People in cars, even electric ones, are to be shunted off to 4th avenue at the whim of a gang of perennial adolescents who consider that they and they alone have the innate ability to commune with nature. Why should I listen to them when I have children of my own.
To be allowed to travel to or from downtown on this scenic drive requires that you be special.