Vancouver Up To Its OLD Tricks

As a community activist one of the first things you learn is that the Vision dominated council is not interested in hearing from you. They don’t want to know what you have to say and it is assumed by many that their decisions on development projects and urban planning have been decided by them and their cronies well before any meaningful public input or response can be gathered.

In the not too distant past, at least, this elitist we-know-best attitude also permeated a number of important civic departments, especially planning. Their methodology shifted, over the course of a decade or more, from a bottom-up City Plan approach to a top-down EcoDensity insistence that those at the top can do the thinking for those at the bottom, i.e., the residents of the neighbourhood about to be pillaged and altered beyond recognition.

That’s the case today, and oddly enough, it was also the case in 1910. In that year, the engineering department wanted to radically alter the shape and appearance of Salsbury Drive (the details are not germane, but can be found here). However, as the “Vancouver World” reported, the residents were outraged:

“They protested. They signed petitions. They went down to city hall. They got a committee of the board of works to look over the situation again. It was all useless. Wilful board must have its way.”

And by that September, the “World” was able to say that the work had been a disaster and city taxpayers and property owners both will be on the hook for “more thousands than have already been spent” to fix.

Sound familiar?

Does it make me feel angry that residents have been messed around here for more than a hundred years, and therefore it is somehow “normal” in Vancouver? Or do I feel the cold dread that this will keep going on until the people of our city wake up and realise that Vision Vancouver is the developer’s plaything and not your friend?

Either way, things have to change.

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2 Responses to Vancouver Up To Its OLD Tricks

  1. George B says:

    Given that the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board were founded by screwing the original inhabitants, the First Nations Peoples, out of their land while destroying their traditional sources of food and trading there’s really no difference between the original carpetbaggers the COV/VPB were built on and today’s municipal parties in Vancouver and their backers which includes hand-picked managers at the COV and VPB.

    The push for bike-lanes along Commercial Dr is another attack by the COV on the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. Denying them parking to access their local businesses may force them to move. We’re seeing the same along West 10th in the VGH district and others like the Permit-parking changes in the West End.
    The same reason the COV allows public sidewalks to be blocked-off for months on end by construction, no respect for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities.

    By eliminating parking along Comm Dr the COV will expand the sidewalk’s width so that the increased building heights and maximum footprint they are pushing for will not look as imposing in mock-ups as it will in real-life. When the COV’s done destroying another nbhd many ground level stores along the East-side of Comm. Dr will not see the sun during winter months, bathed in shadows and rain and the monoculture of money.

    Switching from one municipal party to another including the Greens come next election will not change anything, they too have repeatedly supported decisions that are bad for nbhds, bad for the economy and bad for the environment.

    What’s needed in Vancouver is strong Independent candidates committed to bringing about real change which means the elimination of municipal parties, running the VPB as a dept of City Hall like every other city in Canada does and the creation of a ward system so that those who are elected can’t hide from their neighbourhood residents.
    True financial accountability and efficiencies by all depts at Vancouver City Hall is a must. Plus the time is long overdue to eliminate free or subsidized parking for municipal employees.

    When you run for municipal office Jak you’ve got my vote.

  2. Clement says:

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