Wednesday, 17 July 2013


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.


  1. Great Posting

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Jonathan, you are always poignant, and in this post, I laughed aloud to my computer.
    I was curious as to Peter Ladner's position, and another chap, a Mr. Wilson, who is completing a very nice home on Pt Grey, would no doubt love a quiet bike lane in front as well. I guess the rest of us hoy paloy, who no longer ride bicycles, are not worthy either. Darn, it I had so loved that lovely drive in my hybrid!

    1. Mike,

      I am curious as to how far the public can be pushed by this morally bankrupt gang of unemployables before they fight back with more than 100 people with signs.


  4. ...Anonymous said nothing, but


    A huge civic amenity Peter Ladner? What are you smoking down there in Kits?
    Where were you and your partner Gregor when Council was busy giving the green light on the termination of the Ridge Bowling Alley.

    The City should not be funding a special interest and very politically active group Called "the HUB", which is leading the charge to shut down our Point Grey road. Our Mayor and Vision councillors have approved tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to be given to HUB for various reasons including to teach people how to ride bicycles. Sure? HUB and Vision seem like they are trying to make the masses angry enough about cyclists to allow the government to push through regulations that begin insuring and taxing cyclists. You can read between the lines at the HUB website.
    We are all cyclists and we don't need more government. We need better government.

    Back to Peter Ladner and Civic amenity. That is very weak. If the city was run properly then we could afford to have purchased the Ridge Bowling Alley and made it one of the only Civic owned Bowling alleys. That could possibly have been called a civic amenity. Maybe that is a bit crazy but if Vision Inc or Ladner had ever been there, they would realize what a huge anchor of the community it was. It was loved by the community and was a tragedy that we lost it. It is horrible that we are losing places like The Hollywood and The Waldorf to the wrecking ball. Or how about the proposed Oakridge Centre Mall redevelopment which has tentatively been given the green light by council and the planning department to take a cash payment from the mall owner instead of requiring 10% of the project become a "Real Park" on site.

    That is alright though in their eyes because it allows for more donations to Vision INC.

    And before anyone tries to wave the "green" flag I will have to raise the pro consumer policies of Vision Inc. I question how their support for an astronomical increase in consumer shopping space at The proposed Oakridge mall re-development can be justified. More shopping space or towers is not going to make this a happy planet or make it more green unless the developer uses a lot of green paint. Which I think they are actually planning to do. How will more consumer waste be fit into less garbage pick up service. All of these things are connected.

    Point Grey Road is connected to McDonald which connects to Broadway which connects to Commercial. Vision is pushing for many high rises at Commercial and Broadway and a subway down Broadway which they tell us we will need after they remove many of our roads and inject a quick 50 towers citywide that nobody in Vancouver but Vision Inc and the developers wants.

    It makes a person sick when you start to pay attention. That is why most don't want to talk about it. This is just another example from the last few months of how close Ladner, the NPA and Vision truly are.

    Please register to speak against this strange plan to shut down our Road.Call Lori Isfeld, Meeting Coordinator, at 604.871.6355 DATE:
    Tuesday, July 23, 2013,2 pm,PLACE:Council Chamber
    Third Floor, City Hall.

    And please sign the petition to require a REAL park at Oakridge Centre Mall as stated on title.
    Good Luck to us all. We will only turn our City around if we fight for it.


  5. As someone who drives west on Point Grey Road each mid-afternoon, I find the published statistic of 10,000 cars per day very questionable. The densest traffic is always between MacDonald and Burrard Street, with quite light traffic between MacDonald and Alma. I believe that once the construction of the two new and large homes west of MacDonald is completed, that traffic will flow smoothly and slowly in that section, with plenty of room for both cyclists and drivers. Diverting more traffic onto MacDonald will have negative effects on the residents of that street.

  6. Dear City Council Member,

    A year or two ago as traffic increased markedly past our place, I attempted to find out how and when Point Grey Road had been posted with 30kph playground signs between Alma and MacDonald, while cars whizzed by real playgrounds on nearby streets.

    In many emails, I was never able to ascertain that, but at length after first being told it was a staff decision, it was admitted that council in the 90's had a hand in it.

    So remembering that it was an arterial when I lived there in the 70's, but was downgraded in the 90's, I suspected that the movers and shakers that lived there had used their considerable influence on a NPA council to effect the nonsensical change.
    I have since found out that was indeed the case,

    However, even the "right wing" NPA councils and mayors, or others, did not succumb to shutting it down for this special interest group, as to do so would divert traffic onto the other already congested thoroughfares.

    Now that traffic has increased to a much higher level with the expansion of UBC in every respect, our Copeless and Visionless council seems poised to do just that. Sheer bloody lunacy.

    You people sell us out, and you're dead to me and my neighbors on 16th at Highbury, where traffic is backed up for blocks several hours a day most of the year.

    Where do you stand on this?

    Sincerely yours,

    Jim Howden
    3784 W 16th Ave.