Just. Like. Cars.

A comms person at the city stirred things up a bit with this ill-advised tweet over the weekend:


The condescending and accusatory tone was unwelcome and potentially damage to a city that wants to build a healthy, thriving city. There are layers to the inappropriateness of this tweet. As a friend noted, “Can we also discuss how they identify people with bikes as “cyclists” but cars have no agency?

But, today, the city admitted its mistake (well, sorta-not-really). It deleted the tweet and acknowledged the ill-will they’d generated, so I don’t want to pick on this one tweet or this one ignorant comms person. I do, however, want to use it as a jumping off point.

And to do that, I’m going to have to make a bit of a pedantic point. Okay, a really pedantic point, one at which you could rightfully roll your eyes. But bear with me, you’ll see where I’m going. Here it is:

Aside from being inappropriate, this tweet was factually incorrect. “Cyclists” do not stop “Just. Like. Cars.”. Bicyclists or people on bikes stop in a much different manner.

In a car, the driver takes his foot off the gas, disengages (but doesn’t stop) the engine and presses down on the brake pedal.

A bicyclists, stops pedalling (stopping the “engine”) then uses her own strength to apply the brakes*, stopping the momentum that was created by her own physical exertion. When she starts up, again, she’s not just re-engaging a running motor. Hell, it’s not even akin to merely starting your car again. She’s starting from absolutely nothing, with no assistance. It’s like a driver having to get out and turn the crank to get the motor running before driving away.

So, you might say these are minor differences. The braking systems work in a similar way regardless how they’re engaged or how the vehicle is powered.

Now, you’re being too pedantic!

Bicycles are not cars. And more importantly, bicyclistspeople on bikes aren’t cars. Sure, there are people who want to turn us into cars. They want us to always have helmets, always have lights, have mirrors, have reflective tape all over our bikes, wear reflective clothing, have reflective spray paint…there are even people who think we should have turn signals.

(Sadly, there are a bunch of, shall we say, Stockhom Cyclists who have been snowed into believing all this crap.)

But regardless, bicycles don’t operate like cars. They are nimble. They stop quickly. They are social vehicles.

Riding a bike isn’t like driving a car. Bicyclists are engaged with their surroundings. Bicyclists can easily interact with other bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists can integrate with pedestrians and other bicyclists.

And bicyclists aren’t cars. We don’t have motor oil; we have blood. We don’t have steel or plastic; we have flesh. We don’t get dinged; we break bones. We don’t have fender benders; drivers kill us.

So, no, the rules of the road are not appropriate for bicyclists. No, equating a living human being to your stupid car; your stupid consumerist, pollution-spewing, anti-social two-tonne death machine is beyond inappropriate. It is insulting. It is contemptuous (and contemptible). It is inhuman.

The bulk of our laws and our infrastructure are geared towards cars, and towards treating bicyclists as cars. They ignore they was bicycles function and the way bicyclists function. They ignore the needs of bicyclists. They ignore the safety of bicyclists. They create conflicts between bicyclists and cars. They create conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians.

Our laws and our infrastructure do not meet the needs of people–residents–on bicycles. And, to protect themselves and their children, bicyclists break rules. We break rules that actively endanger us. We break rules that are intended to endanger us.

It’s self-preservation. And it’s totally unnecessary…if only city planners, politicians and residents would learn a very simple concept: a person on a bike is not a car, and no one who has respect for the lives of people on bikes would treat them as such.

Go somewhere where it’s just bicyclists and pedestrians. Anytime there’s enough room, the two can co-exist (of course, Ottawa gives neither enough room, let alone both). There’s no need for stop lights or stop signs. There’s no need for intricate rules about right-of-way or proper lanes. People–people not vehicles–can co-exist. We can get along. We can make room for each other.

Yes, there have to be certain responsibilities because there are assholes out there. Bicyclists have to show concern for pedestrians, and they have to take care of them. Similarly, those without mobility issues must accommodate those with mobility issues. Adults must accommodate children. Everyone needs to look out for more vulnerable users.

And, by and large, it works. It works because bicyclists are much more like pedestrians than they are cars. Cars (and drivers, via automotive osmosis) are the disruptor. Cars are the entity that can’t co-exist peacefully. Cars are the entity that push others off the road.

Cars and drivers are the ones who threaten everyone else’s life…well, cars and drivers, and city planners and politicians.

So, yes, of course bicyclists should stop for pedestrians when they cross (though, why it’s not a stop sign, I don’t know) (and maybe the bike shouldn’t always be on the road with cars…). And, sure, remind bicyclists of this new (possibly ill-advised) type of pedestrian intersection.

But they are not Just. Like. Cars.

*Yeah, yeah fixies are different. Whatever.

Wouldn’t you know it…

So within an hour of publishing Uplift, public art and skateboarding, an acquaintance sent me this story from Philadelphia:

Philadelphia kicked off its new public outdoor-arts exhibition Open Source: Engaging Audiences in Public Space on Friday with two sculptures made for skateboarding on. The artist Jonathan Monk installed the “Skateable Sculptures” in Paine’s Park, a publicly funded skate park built in 2013, not far from the downtown Philadelphia Museum of Art. Monk’s sculptures appropriate, in some ways, some of Sol LeWitt’s public artworks found in the museum’s sculpture garden.

It’s great that Philly did this, especially considering the controversy that ensued when they banned skateboarding in Love Park…a controversy that led to the 92-year-old urban planner who designed the park getting on a skateboard in protest.

So my idea wasn’t totally original. Oh well, it’s cool that there are places that integrating public art and skateboarding. I’d love to see some of this (officially) come to Ottawa.

This one’s for Trevor

Some great new developments have been coming to Ottawa over the past few weeks. The city has embarked on installing parklets throughout the city. And despite concerns that taking up a parking spot or two here and there would cause some sort of driving armageddon, things seem to be going well.

Today in the Glebe, two parklets were opened. There’s a smaller one located on Third Avenue and a bit more elaborate on Second Avenue (although it’s not quite finished yet).

This really is a fantastic development. People have been musing on this idea for a few years (I wrote a bit about it once). It’s a great way to help animate our streets and neighbourhoods. It gives people a place to sit, chat, read a book, eat, rest or have a coffee.

Hell, I’m writing this from the parklet on Second Avenue (a lot of in-the-field reporting today, I guess). It’s an added dynamic–more than a bench or public seats. It can fit more people. There are little tables and ledges. It’s more comfortable and it gives a bit more separation from the road and the sidewalk.

It has the added benefit that it’s absolutely free to use. It’s not like a private patio (which I also I love!), where you have to buy a drink or some food.CBC’s Giacomo Panico noted recently that he asked city planners about this ten years ago (having seen it elsewhere), and the response was something to the effect of, we can’t do that sort of thing in Ottawa.

It’s a mentality that we hear a lot. Ottawa’s different. Ottawa can’t support things. Ottawa isn’t dynamic enough.

Well, guess what, Ottawa can do these things. Ottawa can take bold steps. We can undertake big and small innovations to improve the city. Fun hasn’t been forgotten. There are a lot of people who are willing to improve the livability of this city.

And this is great news. There’s so much to be cynical and pessimistic about (I can see the “mobility hub” from my seat in the parklet), but then we get things like this, it’s a reminder that there are people who work at the city, there are politicians, and there are private residents looking to make a difference.

This is being done in a partnership with Carleton University. Architecture students designed and built these parklets. Comments about unpaid labour aside, this is another great aspect of the project. We’re giving these students some hands-on experience. We’re getting people who aren’t stuck in a specific way of thinking working on this. And these students are also residents of Ottawa (even if only part of the year), and it’s great that residents get to put a bit of a mark on their city. It should also give them a bit more of a sense of ownership of their home.

I had the chance to chat with one of the students (he noted that he didn’t even think of people coming to the parklet to do work). He was pretty jazzed about the whole thing. And as I got up to leave, a father and son dropped in to enjoy ice cream cones. There’s little doubt these will be popular additions to our streets.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s for Trevor Greenway, who works for the Glebe BIA who has also been supportive of this endeavour. You can check Trevor’s Twitter feed for photos of the grand opening.

P.S. I’ve got some photos to add, but for some reason, they’re not uploading right now.

Uplift, public art and skateboarding

It’s 12:26 pm on Friday. I’m sitting by the water feature at Lansdowne Park, Jill Anholt’s Uplift looming above. Part of the great thing about living close to work is being able to run your kids to a park or a water feature over lunch time.

My girls love the water feature at Lansdowne. They love getting sprayed, running through the jets, sloshing through the troughs and walking through the waterfall within the statue. Of course, they’re doing things they’re not, allegedly, supposed to be doing. There was quite a row last year about how the city screwed up the installation, making a water feature and work of art that you’re supposed to walk on not quite as safe as it should be. (Of course, the city didn’t frame it this way.)

(Also, they kind of cheaped out on the design, but kids, being wonderful, are able to find the fun even when adults try engineer it right out.)

We often come here in the evening…but not too late. The water function of the water feature automatically turns off at about 8:07 pm. You know, in the summer, while it’s still light and hot out. No biggie.

There are always–always–kids (and others) around here at 8:07, mildly disappointed that fun has a curfew. I mean it doesn’t really, fun will often find a way to thrive.

There are still signs up, telling people to stay off the artwork part of the water feature (though the whole thing is nicely integrated). Some people adhere to that. Some parents (not me) keep their kids from going on that part. (I’ve got no quarrel with parents who do that. Live how you want to live…though this is some of the most adorable civil disobedience you’ll ever see.)

These two attempted restrictions on fun have a counterproductive effect though. (I know, really surprising.)

Many cities are openly hostile to skateboarding. Ottawa is mostly welcoming…mostly. You’ll see skatestoppers all over the place, but we’re also building a lot of skate parks and the city runs skateboarding classes (or, at least, they did a year or two ago). I’m supportive of all this. I’ve written a few times about the benefits to the city of skateboarding, the skateboarding community and a healthy skateboarding culture.

Skateboarders and, to a lesser extent, people riding scooters and BMX bikes are some of the most consistent patrons at Lansdowne. The skatepark is often busy (it’s about the only thing that is busy right now, except for the people prepping Asian Fest and the UFC fan zone), and you will often see skateboarders and BMX-ers spilling out to other parts of the park.

And they like Uplift.

Who can blame them? It’s hard and angular and has opportunities for jumps. It’s pretty cool watching the tricks they pull. There are no skatestoppers, and the city better not install any. It’ll be a massive danger to skateboarders and children.

So, the city essentially shoos children and others away from Uplift at all times, and away from the water feature at 8:07. It shouldn’t take much imagination to figure out what happens. When the target audience is cleared out, skateboarders and BMX-ers assemble.

And there’s really nothing much wrong with that. There might eventually be some damage to the water feature, but I haven’t seen any. And it is public art that’s supposed to be used.

But, y’know, I can understand why we might not want skateboarders on every surface in our city. And I can see how they can damage a lot of public space. (I recently watched the documentary Peace Park and the skateboarders do, in fact, damage that park in Montreal…but they also then repair it, which is cool.)

So there’s an inherent conflict in the use of this sort of art. It’s for public use, but we don’t want the public to damage it in such a way that no one else will be able to use it.

This got me to thinking. I would love to see public art–tactile public art–that was intended to take the punishment that skateboarders, BMX-ers and the rest of the public might unleash on it. Art that is supposed to be worn down, grinded upon, scratched up, scarred, whatever.

Art that is a true reflection of the life that has lived upon it. Art that is indelibly etched with that life.

I’m no artist, so I don’t know the best way to do that, but it would be quite the addition to an urban park.

The perils of naming stuff after living people

The city definitely gets a kick out of naming things (parks, bridges, etc.) after prominent local people. For example, we just named the pedestrian bridge between the train station and the ball park after Max Keeping. Certainly a lovely gesture.

But things can sometimes go awry when you commemorate people in this manner, especially the living. The best of intentions can turn out rather unfortunate. Something like that just happened in Ottawa.

Though not nearly significant enough to be a true scandal, the city just officially named a multi-use path out in the Osgoode area after Doug Thompson, former mayor and city councillor. It would seem like a commendable gesture, and, for the most part, it is. Thompson was a long-serving politician who worked hard to get the pathway built. I’ve heard very few bad things said about him.

If you’re thinking you’ve heard some other news about Thompson recently, you’re right. Last week, Thompson became the first candidate to announce running for the Ontario PC nomination for the newly-created riding of Carleton.

So nine days after he announced his candidacy, he got a nice naming ceremony thrown in his honour. That’s not really appropriate.

I’m not saying there’s much that could have been done. It would have been rather gauche to rescind the honour once he announced, and I get why you want honour a person while he’s still alive. But maybe, at least for politicians, we shouldn’t be so quick to hand out these honours, lest news breaks to complicate things.

Election Speculation or Speculection

Ottawa-Vanier MPP Madeleine Meilleur has announced that she’s stepping down. She said that she wants to spend more time with her family. Naturally, after the announcement, speculation began. The Citizen’s David Reevely suggested:

CBC’s Joanne Chianello responded:

And finally:

So, what the hell, let’s start speculating, starting with Reevely’s suggestions:

Mathieu Fleury: This is the pretty obvious choice. It’s long been speculated that Fleury had bigger things in mind. He’s considered a popular among area Liberals. And he’s young, but he’s got some good experience from being councillor.

Tim Tierney: This isn’t the first time Reevely has suggested Tierney might be looking to jump up a level in politics. A few months ago, he floated Tierney as a possible or likely replacement for Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Belanger (sadly, Belanger’s health means that a federal by-election will be coming). Tierney, a former community activist and second-term councillor certainly should have the name-recognition, the network and the work ethic to challenge for the seat. The question might be whether he wants it.

Tierney is pretty deep into municipal politics. Beyond his pre-political activities, he’s quite active with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Granted, those connections could be useful for long-term political aspirations, but it sure seems like he wants to be working on city issues.

Marc Aubin: Aubin looked like a really strong candidate in the last municipal election. He was, basically, chosen by community organizers to challenge Fleury in Rideau-Vanier. He had a long and seemingly well-organized campaign, but all that won him was third a distant second place [oops]. He was strong in Sandy Hill, but didn’t have much support in Vanier. One of his weaknesses was language. He didn’t quite connect with the francophone population, and that’s pretty important in Ottawa-Vanier.

Aubin has been pretty quiet since the election, and, certainly, no one can blame him, but it will be difficult to try to ratchet up his support if he decides to make a run at the nomination. Certainly, if someone like Fleury offers up his name, Aubin’s chances of victory would be slim.

Cat Fortin LeFaivre: Fortin LeFaivre, or CFL for short, also challenged Fleury in the last election. She launched her campaign after Aubin, and didn’t have the organized support, but Fortin LeFaivre was able to outpace almost catch Aubin, coming in second third (but still not really close to challenging Fleury).

Fortin LeFaivre was impressive in that campaign, and she has kept on working in the community, being quite active working on issues affecting lower income residents. The question still might be whether or not she has the network. Her roots in the area aren’t quite as deep as other candidates, but she at least is starting with a bit of name recognition.

(I wrote about CFL during the municipal election.)

Let’s move on to Chianello’s suggestion:

Emilie Taman: Taman was the NDP candidate in the last election, and, perhaps, she’s in line for the nomination again (I don’t claim to have any inside knowledge of the parties, unless I’ve heard rumours). She’s remained in the public sphere as the main protagonist for Bookmark The Core, a local activist group working to keep a library location (and, specifically, the new central branch) downtown. She also gained some notoriety after Tierney kind of blew up at her on CFRA. (Tierney apologized, and Taman graciously accepted, so that’s old news…but it did up the spotlight on her and Bookmark the Core a little bit).

I have no idea if an NDP candidate has much of a chance, especially without a strong leader. This seems like Liberal territory.

Moving on…

Lucille Collard: I recognize her name, which is pretty good for a school board trustee, but really couldn’t tell you any more about her. However, you can win some allegiances as a trustee, you have a track record, a network and the makings of a campaign team. So, that’s really not a bad starting point. But I’ve got nothing more.

Now, this speculation has a brought a couple other names to mind…

Tobi Nussbaum: If we’re going to start throwing around city councillors, might as well include Nussbaum. He’s made a name for himself very quickly. He can clearly handle the back-and-forth of campaigning. He has the makings of a team. It might, however, make more sense to peg him for pursuing the eventual federal vacancy. That would jibe with his background. He also has some prominent friends that could help raise his profile.

…but, I think it’s a little premature to assume he wants to move on from municipal politics. It certainly makes sense to think he might have higher ambitions (though city politics are quite important, too), but he also has a passion for city building. It’s clear when you talk to him about the zoning or transit. He has a love of cities and a deep appreciation for the works of Jane Jacobs. He really seems like he’d be a great mayoral candidate.

Jevone Nicholas: (At this point, I should probably note that I don’t know where everyone lives, I’m just kind of going by city wards.) Nicholas put on a good showing in the race in Rideau-Rockliffe, though losing fairly handily to Nussbaum. Though I thought Nussbuam was the best choice, I felt Nicholas would be another strong choice.

It was pointed out during the campaign (possibly by Chianello? I can’t really remember), that Nicholas had a good team and good campaign organization. This would be a solid help if he were to launch a campaign. He, too, has been rather prominent in working with Bookmark The Core, so he’s still out there working in the community.


So, what can I tell you for certain? Absolutely nothing. I’m not a reporter. I don’t have a wide network to tap into. I have a few contacts (and, to be honest, I am reaching out to see what I can learn), but not many. Everything I’ve offered here is conjecture, sadly. I don’t really know who’s going to run, who’s likely to win and, if it’s a current councillor, who’s likely to replace them.

…But if I do learn anything I can share, I’ll be sure to let y’all know.

[Update: I totes forgot the order of finish in Rideau-Vanier, sorry. I’ve made the corrections.]

The Good, the Bad and the Yogi

If you were following Twitter the other night, you may have seen yet another transgression against the public space at Lansdowne. The Citizen’s David Reevely (who found some drivers behaving badly the other week), was at the park and found the Aberdeen Plaza closed off so that it could be used for diplomat parking. (This is nothing against diplomats, per se, but there’s clearly a class issue going on.)

There are many unfixable problems with Lansdowne Park. It was a severely flawed design, and the public and private realm were very poorly integrated (in that they pretty much weren’t). However, Aberdeen Plaza is the one huge problem that could be easily fixed. First, either close off traffic at Lansdowne or close off the strip of “street” between the plaza and the pavilion. Either way, the Aberdeen Pavilion will actually be connected to the Aberdeen Plaza. It’ll be a much better situation.

Second, put some damned chairs and tables there, and add some awnings, umbrellas or canopies to offer a bit of shade. Hell, maybe even put in some strips of grass. But, of course, if you did anything to make the plaza particularly enticing, it couldn’t be turned into parking at a moment’s notice, and the city and our leaders won’t have that.

Reevely happened to find the mayor coming out of the VIP event. With his usual petulance, our worship chastised Reevely–a reporter, resident and neighbour to Lansdowne–for caring about the bastardization of public space.

I miss Rebecca Pyrah.

The thing of it all is, I didn’t want to write a Lansdowne-bashing post (you’ll have to wait until the next issue of the Glebe Report to hear my naked, undiluted anger at the development). No, I wanted to write about something good happening at Lansdowne, so that’s what I’m going to do now.

I was at Lansdowne Saturday evening. This was during a Yoga Festival. Sure, there were some annoying things going on; some cars were parked in pedestrian areas; there were too many ugly barricades guarding against more cars parking in pedestrian areas; the entire Great Lawn did not to be fenced off for what was a relatively tiny yoga session, but…

…This was Lansdowne as it was supposed to be. All those irritants (along with the usual ones of too many cars and a stupid valet service) were quite minor compared to what was actually going on.

The Aberdeen Plaza was busy. Holy shit, I’m not telling a lie, it was actually busy. And I mean, truly busy, not just full of cars. Many groups of people were walking around, chatting. Some had stopped and were just enjoying the evening. People were spilling out into the shared “Pedestrian Priority Zones”, and, ya know, cars weren’t totally dominating the place.

People were popping in and out of restaurants and cafes. People were heading to the movies. I’m sure there were people doing some shopping. It was great.

I was there with my daughter, who wanted to go to the play structure. It was pretty full…and full of little kids, not adults goofing around and breaking things, not teenagers dominating a child’s play structure, not skateboarders bored of the skatepark (which, thankfully, does not happen too often).

The skatepark, of course, was full, as it always is. So, to, the basketball courts, which have clearly become a favoured attraction.

After playing on the big green tubular monolith, my daughter wanted to head over to the water plaza. It wasn’t really hot that night, but it was warm and it’s always fun running through sprinklers, amirite? So she played, as did a bunch of other kids. Adults came and sat for a bit, and chatted. There were rollerbladers going by. There were people on bikes. And everyone was moving at a reasonable pace. Everyone had space to do things. Except for the handful of cars, there was room for everyone (except on the lawn, but oh well).

And everything was happening. There was a festival, and that was clearly a big draw. There were people who were coming for the commercial attractions. There were tons of people just interested in the public realm. And everybody moved through the park. And the different users were intertwined, to an extent. Activities weren’t silo-ed off. There wasn’t the usual segregation of users (except, again, for the lawn, but, again, oh well).

I have been going to Lansdowne since the day it opened, literally. I am there somewhere between three and ten times per week (because no matter how bad it is, it offers some utility, and my eldest daughter has developed an emotional attachment to the place).

I have never–never–seen Lansdowne like this before.

This is the only time Lansdowne has ever lived up to its vision. This is the only day I have ever seen it be what it really should be. One day out of a thousand. I guess it’s something.

A Better Bus Surcharge

Recently, the city (and OC Transpo) have been talking about charging fees to local festivals merely for the act of existing. It started with Bluesfest. OC Transpo didn’t want to run extra buses if Bluesfest wasn’t going to pony up some cash. (I wrote, generally, about the subject here.) It didn’t matter to Transpo whether or not Bluesfest attendees represented increased demand for transit, thus creating a need for added buses (nor did they explain the difference between increased revenue of these extra runs vs. the cost); it was basically a desperate attempt to weasel some cash out of one of the city’s most popular events.

(This weaseling made necessary by consistent underfunding and undercutting of our transit system by city council.)

In the end, Bluesfest and Transpo came to an agreement. Bluesfest will pay some money, OC Transpo will get some free publicity from the event and attendees will get “free” transit to and from the festival. (It’s not really free. The cost will, eventually at least, be passed on to ticket-buyers.)

It took all that just to get OC Transpo to do what it’s supposed to do, provide sufficient bus service in Ottawa.

(Again, not really OC Transpo’s fault. They’re getting screwed by the city and by the province.)

So with one rack of antlers up on the wall, it was about time for OC Transpo to go after another festival. Bluesfest was the big game, but there are lots of rabbits and squirrels to hunt, too. Enter Asian Fest.

Asian Fest isn’t Bluesfest. It’s not a money-making gambit. It’s not particularly big. And it doesn’t even sell tickets. Last year, about 6500 people popped over to Lansdowne Park to enjoy it

But this year, ain’t no fun if Transpo don’t get some.

OC Transpo decided that it wasn’t going to run any additional buses along Bank Street for Asian Fest unless they coughed up $18 000—a sizable chunk of their overall costs and funds.

(Again, there’s been no explanation by OC Transpo as to the increased demand for service, nor the delta between the revenue and cost of the service.)

There’s a lot to unpack here. Of the top of my head, here are the problems I see:

  • The city isn’t properly funding transit, so we can’t get necessary transit service without gouging event organizers;
  • As many have said, we’re punishing people who are adding some extra fun to our city;
  • Lansdowne should never have been the car-dominated development it has become;
  • The city should be doing everything they can to deter driving to special events at Lansdowne;
  • Hell, the city should be doing everything they can to deter driving to Lansdowne, period;
  • Bank Street (especially south of Somerset) is incredibly poorly-served by transit…especially on weekends;
  • (Guess when special events tend to happen);
  • The city, OC Transpo and Lansdowne are not on the same page.

Okay, so there are some issues (feel free to add your own!), but I’m not totally worried about all the problems right now; I’m more interested in solutions. So here’s mine:

We need a special surcharge to help fund transit in order to provide proper service for special events…we just don’t need to charge either the event, attendees or transit users.

We need to charge drivers…more importantly, we need to charge parkers…specifically, we need to target illegal parkers.

Whenever there is a special event in a dense urban area, let’s start restricting parking. Further, let’s start enforcing existing parking restrictions, even if we don’t have added restrictions. Everyone illegally parked within the general area of the event (so for Lansdowne, that’d mean throughout the Glebe and Old Ottawa South), gets ticketed (which does not happen on your standard event day or weekend). Double the fine and give that added revenue to OC Transpo.*

(I’d say give it all to Transpo, but we might need to cover the costs of bylaw officers.)

Here’s the beauty of it: we’ll finally start deterring people from driving to these events that can’t support parking (in areas where we don’t want parking of that magnitude of parking). This should have the effect of encouraging transit use, so OC Transpo gets both some additional revenue and additional ridership.

There’s the added bonus of a bit of justice. People selfishly driving to these sorts of events place a very high burden on other residents. Most of them really should be taking the bus, so all we’re doing is re-balancing the incentives and making our central areas a little bit better for everyone.

*Similarly, we could add an extra surcharge for street parking and any city parking lots, with added revenue going to OC Transpo. However, that might be more difficult to achieve, politically. It should be easier to only put this added charge on those parking illegally.**

**It should be easier, but council and the mayor seem quite reticent to ever make drivers pay the cost of their choices.