Archive for ‘ideas’

December 4, 2010

Bike This

Works cited have links provided at the bottom of this page.

New bike-only lanes in Vancouver’s already congested city-scape has had citizens up in arms for nearly a year. While budget commuters are riding safer and greener than ever, the city’s motorists are insisting these barrier-separated portions of major streets are causing traffic-movement problems and a higher chance of car accidents due to changes in the infrastructure. And not only motorists may suffer, but small business owners as well, due to loss of parking spaces. Laura Jones, VP of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses in Western Canada stated in a press release “mayor and council think losing customers is no big deal. It is a big deal when your customers keep your business viable and your business supports your family and your employees.” [See link]. While this is an argument worth considering, Yvonne Bambrick a Toronto activist and avid bicycle commuter in a city that already benefits from existing bike lanes, points out as a guest poster on the Canadian blog Enviro Boys; “more people on bicycles means fewer people taking up precious road space in cars… Bike lanes add a greater level of predictability to our roads by showing more clearly where we can expect each transportation mode to be travelling.” [See link]. Regardless of the controversy, the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson is still moving ahead with plans to develop the greenest city in the world by 2020. “This plan is not just about having a healthy environment that keeps us all alive, it’s about the economy and the community. It’s about keeping things in balance,” he said during a presentation at the Gaining Ground-Resilient Cities conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre. [See link]. So while small-business owners and motor-commuters may suffer temporarily, a quick enquiry on the internet, or on the street, will go to show that the majority of people support the bike-lanes – and because of these lanes, more people are already cycling. With so many positives and a few temporary negatives, it is clear that bike lanes are the avenue to a greener future and a healthier lifestyle.

Works Cited:

By: ctvbc.ca [author name N/A]. September 8, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010. http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100908/bc_hornby_bike_lane_100908?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

By: Yvonne Bambrick. May 21, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010. http://www.enviroboys.com/2010/05/guest-entry-bike-lanes-serve-all.html

By:Gerry Bellett. October 20th 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2010. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mayor+releases+plan+make+Vancouver+world+greenest+city+2020/2124455/story.html

November 17, 2010

Bubblegum slavery

The Snooty St. neighbourhood of Van, BC is a sweet plastic bubble. It’s almost as if Snootyville, the whole thing meaning coffee shops, community centre, movie theatre and skinny, yuppie Snootyville Mommies walking dogs in sweaters and kids on leashes, had been manufactured in a small third world country by a nine-year-old kid. After they made Snootyville, they wrapped us up in way too much cellophane [or bubble wrap, haha, get it?] and shipped the whole neighbourhood to Canada, dog-spas and everything.

Yes sir, If you want to raise kids raise them here, but not before you shell out a million or so for a doll-house beneath the maples.

To qualify myself, I was born and raised here, so I’m a Snootyville expert. Despite the immersion in Bubble-dom I’ve kept myself snoot-less enough to speak on the subject from an objective stand-point: You see, due to a dragnet of economic stuff my family lost the house we owned here in 2002, and now we’re renting. We probably have official paper status as the poorest family within a thirty-block radius, so despite living here, breathing here, and seeing Snootyville fathers come home from ninety-hour work weeks to kiss their beautiful wine-dependant wives, I am not part of the Bubble.

There’s more to this Snootyville Bubble crap, but let me sum it up like this: Snooty St. people are very self-aware, mostly because they’re aware of nothing else, except Club Med and the latest issue of People. Everyone recycles, no one smokes, sins are well hidden behind closed doors, and every weekend there’s a baby-shower or shopping party going on. That being said, it’s not like that nine-year-old kid in the third world country who makes it all possible is aware of Snootyville either.

November 17, 2010

Black vs white vs grey

This is one of those things you can dig yourself into. You can touch them, arguments like this, but why invest in them? They go around in circles. Its like sitting at that dinner table with friends every second holiday, ‘solving the problems of the world’, going through every current event and sometimes arguing but always coming to the same shake-your-head-conclusion, a brief silence, and then moving on to other more uplifting topics. The way I see it now, which might be different from how I see it in two days, is that big world issues [price-fixing] and facts as old as gravity [the rich get richer and the poor get poorer] are there and always will be. There will be Ignorants and Illuminati in every age, always someone working to help people and always someone getting rich from exploitation, whether they know it or not – and quite frequently they don’t know it.

One thing we can do is ignore it until we die, at least in the city where I live. We are part of the group getting rich from exploitation whether we know it or not – even those of us who’ve joined the trendy ‘fight’ against it are still benefiting.

The following post is something I wrote to a teacher as part of a get-to-know-you exercise, not just shits and giggles. I shit and giggle about many things, fiction for instance, but topics like this are exhausting aren’t they?

PS. I promise as best as I can that this blog will never become one of those super-concentrated-on-righteousness sites. The computer I’m writing on was doubtlessly made in a large low-paying factory, possibly by a child. The other side of the coin is, these tiny little notebook thingys were developed to be cheap an affordable for people doing online education in developing countries. Anyway, let’s face it, if we told that kid to quit his job because he was being exploited, he wouldn’t in most cases. Not because he was working in captivity for instance [though some are], but because he needs the thirteen cents a day for food. Difficult world we live in.