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Winter Walking and Cycling
(02-01-2019, 06:40 PM)Canard Wrote:
(02-01-2019, 03:08 PM)timc Wrote: I'm constantly confused by the salt argument when it comes to city sidewalk clearing. In my mind, we would use less salt because sidewalks don't need to be cleared down to bare concrete. Or do we think that government just has no idea how to use salt?

The bit that confuses me is they're all "DONT EVER USE SALT!!!!!!!!!! SALT KILLS UNBORN BABIES AND KITTENS!!!!!!!!!111" and then you see this:

Hey, where is that, I need to pick up some salt for my driveway!

(I know where it is, just funny to think that enough salt to supply my house for a season is probably dumped like that in each of many locations every time there is a large snowfall)

More seriously, you’ve located another example of bad-faith argumentation. Those people don’t really care about salt; if they did they would bring it up as a separate issue applying to all snow clearing, not as a “but, but, but…” with respect to City clearing of sidewalks. It’s like people who say “shouldn’t we consider Hyperloop?” when an LRT project is about to begin construction — usually they don’t really want Hyperloop, which doesn’t actually exist now anyway, they just want to stop the LRT project. And I’m sure there are other examples.
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(02-01-2019, 06:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Boy, I didn't even read this page, until after creative's comment.

Ugh, this is pure insanity.  Anyone want to meet with Davey this weekend and try to walk...literally anywhere outside of a residential neighbourhood.

I hadn't looked at the page until just now, and during my walk downtown this morning I was seriously considering e-mailing him to invite him along for a walk with me and my kids, to see me lifting the stroller over snow banks and walking down busy streets, and see how impossible it would be for all kinds of people.

But I read the editorial, and it's pure bad faith, and talking to him about real experiences isn't likely to change his position. To actually believe the stuff he is writing in that editorial, he would have to be a moron. He almost certainly isn't, so statements like "City staff has already stated they would need to use four to five times the amount of salt we already use" are dishonest. That's simply not true. There is no way sidewalks would require more salt than City-cleared roads, and certainly not four or five times.

The figure of "3.5% increase" is an example of being dishonest without lying, too. "3.5%" sounds like a fair bit. He says it's "in the stratosphere," which is an expression without definition. But it's about $35 for the typical ratepayer. Davey's committee just approved a water rate increase that is about double that for the typical water user.

Anyway, he doesn't say anywhere in the editorial that sidewalks aren't poorly maintained. He probably knows that. So seeing us struggle to get around or actually observing uncleared sidewalks isn't going to move him- he probably already knows that it's terrible to get around on the sidewalks, he just doesn't care.
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I tend to agree with MidTowner's assessment. He has already made his conclusion, and facts will not change that.
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I've reached out to him before about it as well, and he didn't seem very open to even considering alternative positions. It's likely why he didn't support the pilot project - his mind is already made up on the matter.
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(02-01-2019, 01:39 PM)creative Wrote: Municipal Snow Cearing is a Bad Idea

https://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/...-bad-idea/
Just getting around to reading this now but have so many thoughts!

1 - When did the argument become either the city clears all of the sidewalks with sidewalk plows or we leave it 100% up to citizens? The appeal of the pilot project for me was the chance to try out a few options and see what works best in our community.

2 - I find it incredibly frustrating to say 'the value is just not there'. There are some things in society that are more important than financial value. I would argue (quite forcefully!) that an accessible city is one of those things. We are getting much better as a society in seeing the importance of things like curb cuts and barrier-free infrastructure (though we still need to improve) and to me, this fits in the same place. Might it be more expensive? Perhaps (though I'm really not convinced) but that does not mean it's still not the right and important thing to do.

3 - Of course complaints increase when the city takes over because there is a very different expectation from citizens. It does not mean that the city is doing a worse job than the status quo. I can not emphasize this enough! People seem to think that because complaints increase with city run clearing it's because the sidewalks are not as clean. I don't believe that to be the case.

4 - 22 kms of segregated bike lanes every year? OK, let's make a deal then. I'll stop advocating for clear sidewalks and you build and maintain (and clear) 22 kms of bike lanes every year from now on...then pedestrians can just use those spaces when the sidewalks are impassable Wink
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(02-02-2019, 05:04 PM)dtkmelissa Wrote:
(02-01-2019, 01:39 PM)creative Wrote: Municipal Snow Cearing is a Bad Idea

https://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/...-bad-idea/
Just getting around to reading this now but have so many thoughts!

1 - When did the argument become either the city clears all of the sidewalks with sidewalk plows or we leave it 100% up to citizens? The appeal of the pilot project for me was the chance to try out a few options and see what works best in our community.

2 - I find it incredibly frustrating to say 'the value is just not there'. There are some things in society that are more important than financial value. I would argue (quite forcefully!) that an accessible city is one of those things. We are getting much better as a society in seeing the importance of things like curb cuts and barrier-free infrastructure (though we still need to improve) and to me, this fits in the same place. Might it be more expensive? Perhaps (though I'm really not convinced) but that does not mean it's still not the right and important thing to do.

3 - Of course complaints increase when the city takes over because there is a very different expectation from citizens. It does not mean that the city is doing a worse job than the status quo. I can not emphasize this enough! People seem to think that because complaints increase with city run clearing it's because the sidewalks are not as clean. I don't believe that to be the case.

4 - 22 kms of segregated bike lanes every year? OK, let's make a deal then. I'll stop advocating for clear sidewalks and you build and maintain (and clear) 22 kms of bike lanes every year from now on...then pedestrians can just use those spaces when the sidewalks are impassable Wink

That's a trade I'd make.

As for 3, this is absolutely the case, when I lived in London, I complained all the time, I lacked perspective...

Not to say that Londoner's shouldn't ask for better, when there are improvements to be made, but just because there are more complaints doesn't mean that it isn't better.

In fact, complaints have more to do with people caring, than with the service provided.
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OK, I finally read his dumb article. He’s convinced me that we should significantly reduce the level of service for road plowing, and use the money to plow sidewalks, build multi-use trails, and reduce taxes.
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(02-02-2019, 09:31 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: OK, I finally read his dumb article. He’s convinced me that we should significantly reduce the level of service for road plowing, and use the money to plow sidewalks, build multi-use trails, and reduce taxes.

Let's make it happen Smile
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Well, nearly all sidewalks are now clear, after about a week. The system works?
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(02-04-2019, 08:26 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Well, nearly all sidewalks are now clear, after about a week. The system works?

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The rain and temperature did wonders for the uncleared sidewalks near us Smile
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Here's a new article about proactive clearing: https://www.therecord.com/news-story/916...roperties/

And Mike Boos absolutely shredding it! https://twitter.com/mikeboos/status/1093504257096073222

And for bonus, Scott Davey using the, frankly, imaginary, person who's 3-4 dollars from losing their home as justification for forcing those people to own a car: https://twitter.com/Scott__Davey/status/...5622871041
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(02-07-2019, 10:44 AM)danbrotherston Wrote: Here's a new article about proactive clearing:  https://www.therecord.com/news-story/916...roperties/

And Mike Boos absolutely shredding it!  https://twitter.com/mikeboos/status/1093504257096073222

And for bonus, Scott Davey using the, frankly, imaginary, person who's 3-4 dollars from losing their home as justification for forcing those people to own a car:  https://twitter.com/Scott__Davey/status/...5622871041

Keep up the good fight.

Does Scott Davey own a sidewalk-clearing company that is afraid of losing contracts from individual property owners, or is he just not very smart, or is there some other explanation?
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The simplest explanation is that, like most people, he's stubborn, and perhaps more stubborn than the norm. Thus, now that he's stated a position on something, it's almost impossible for him to change it. That's why he has to invent arguments like those concerning salt usage.

This quote from Gloria MacNeil in the article jumped out at me: "Generally our biggest concern is ice. Somebody could have done a fantastic job but there was one section where there was some ice, and we issued a notice. There are people who are very frustrated about that."

I'm one of those people who is very frustrated to hear that. Her "concern" is not about keeping sidewalks clear, but what kind of flak she's going to get from ratepayers who get notices. The bylaw officers should not be wasting their time writing up notices when homeowners have done a generally "fantastic job," not when there are properties which have not been cleared whatsoever and are literally impassable.

She's explaining that the bylaw officers have no discretion to issue notices in support of the goal of keeping sidewalks passable, or that they have another goal entirely. It's a purely bureaucratic exercise.

One way to fix this, now, this winter, would be to focus on complaints first. We can see from the numbers that those are more likely to be actual scofflaws that will never be clear (perhaps to any extent) without intervention. And by not "proactively enforcing," the municipality can avoid wasting time issuing notices to people who have done "fantastic jobs" for purely legal reasons, and focus on the properties that are causing enough inconvenience to get people to call in.
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I'd really like to see that series of tweets written up as a post I can link on the TriTAG site.
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