Betty Sirus 
Member since Feb 28, 2009


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Re: “Signs for Urban Wilderness Park go down

Since, 1: there is already over an acre of asphalt at the Sportsplex/station site and
2: the park 'n ride function of the sportsplex lot is currently providing the facillity with much needed income - proving the utility of marrying transit with amenity parking - my question is about the highest and best use of the existing parking lot. Is it really better to bulldoze trees before we explore adding value to the existing cleared land? How come when it comes to buildings everyone wants to build up thirty storeys but when it comes to parking no one wants to go up even one. Is the added cost of structured parking really that much more than the loss of more greenspace, especially at that particularly barren location? I would rather see a creative arraingment between the 'plex and metro transit since both stand to benefit greatly from each other.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 08/23/2010 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Transit plan: not perfect, but necessary

Honestly, how many times do we (and the professional consultants we hire) need to say LRT before we act on it.

Amen to the comment on students' u-passes supplying predictable and substantial annual income for Metro Transit, but getting shafted on late-night runs. Sure the post-bar buses would be a drunken gong show (like they are in every "big city" we dream of emulating) but at least we'd get the mob out of downtown before they killed each other.... which makes me wonder how Gaudet feels about the city interfering with bar shot specials to control closing-time mayhem, but not offering drunks an alternative to duelling over taxis by way of transit. And while I'm on Gaudet's comments, it has been my experience that privately run buses are no better than public ones only they have less access to city data resources, no transparency, can jack fares willy-nilly (which they do, especially when they offer shitty service) and they tend to compete - not within the transit industry - but with the planning department. Land use and transit are too closely related to be run by different interests. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to explore the Metro Vancouver - Translink relationship.

That being said, I'm open to the idea of running private shopping shuttles from transit hubs to the harder to service retail parks, like BLIP and DT. Get the BIA's to fund them since it's big box who created the demand in the first place by locating out of town where they saved a bundle on land. It's only a handful of multi-national conglomerates who will see increased profits from better service so they should fork out a little for it. Better yet, keep MT running those routes and just get the BIA's contribution to transit to come in the form of a bus pass stamped on my receipt when I buy something, I might not even use it, but a few cents off every sale would go a long way to financing routes that have little use other than servicing big box retail. The city centre and residential service should be kept publicly funded and accountable.

Since I'm on shopping, I would like to draw attention to the fact that we axed the Sunday shopping ban years ago, but left the Sunday bus schedule the same. Exactly how are all these shoppers and employees supposed to get to the stores?

55% of operating costs is an reasonable expectation of the farebox, ask any city with decent transit. And since we're dropping a bundle on fancy boxes to ensure no one skimps a dime (how poor/desperate would you have to be to try and steal a bus ride!?) I hope we're also making sure that these fancy boxes can be swapped from bus to bus so that when the damn fangled things break down we don't lose a whole day's worth of fares or else have to take a bus off the road, because they WILL break down.

And if I could make one last suggestion: make bike racks mandatory on ALL buses - I might not live very close to a bus route or I might not feel up to commuting from Kearney Lake to downtown. But I might throw my bike on a bus as far as Windsor St and ride from there, that way I'd have my bike to do all my downtown errands after work on our lovely car-free downtown streets. Heck, I might even surprise myself and bike all the way home! Alternatively, I might not feel up to biking up that mother hill to BLIP, but it sure would be nice to have my bike there to ride home on... not to mention ride around the park which has no transit or sidewalks. This tiny detail will make a HUGE difference to ridership of both buses and bicycles, I promise. The knowledge that a bike can go on any bus if you get tired or your destination (or the weather) changes is exactly what is needed to encourage people to try cycling as a real alternative to cars.

On a personal note, I'm glad the ferry has been ignored. Yes, we need transit to Bedford and fast ferries are efficient and sexy, but I fear if we offer the best transit option in the city to the ripe-for-development 'burbs we are only inviting sprawl. We need a regional growth stategy with some teeth first. I'd like to see the modes we've got supported and maybe some office jobs funnelled out there before a brand spanking, easily expanded, new mode is added. Bedford is more than just a commuter sink...heh, even if it is a basin.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 11/11/2009 at 7:17 AM

Re: “True Story by Tom Scharpling

Beautiful. Congrats Mr. Holmes.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 06/19/2009 at 3:43 PM

Re: “Dartmouth students protest Metro Transit plans

Fact: The teminal needs improvement
Fact: That location is a great location
Fact: That location is a hot spot for crime at night.
Fact: That location is already a barren wasteland of blacktop and extremely exposed in bad weather.

Question: with so much added capacity, are two entry points really going to be adequate?

Question: If every bus must make a loop of the entire terminal, is that really efficient?

Question: By the looks of the HRM planning map HRM owns most of that block. If that's the case, and the self-evident benefits of mass transit are what we are using to dismiss these "kids" then why don't we eat into the Oversized Sportsplex Parking Lot rather than the Wilderness Park. It's never full, and if it was smaller, well people going there might actually take the bus.

It seems to me that the design is downright uninspired, will exacerbate the already existant atmospheric problems of that swath of Dartmouth, is not efficient or esthetic and will piss off a lot of people. Once you pave it, it'll never be the same - I'm not asking anyone to buy the bank land, but at least use some of the bitumen that's already there, the last thing that area needs is more pavement.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 06/19/2009 at 2:14 PM

Re: “Premier Rodney MacDonald's demise

Totally negative?! Is it Kimber's fault an astute assesment of the situation is uncomplimentary? That being said, I would vote for Kimber in a heartbeat - or anyone else willing to break this stagnancy that is squandering our intellectual resources. I want a leader, not a party.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 05/30/2009 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Holiday dispirit

do you hear any complaints about the brightly coloured prayer flags that hang year round in our Sanga city? What about the pushkas? No, it's called tolerance. Just because Christian (associated) symbolism is common doesn't mean they should be treated with less respect. In fact, as you mentioned before, the fact that xians borrow their symbolism from other traditions is all the more reason to let them be. It's not for you to decide what Christmas is "all about". Dr Fever, you have proven you know about the history of Chirstmas, and nothing about it's real meaning. You need to revisit Miracle on 34th street, Fat Santa and all.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 02/28/2009 at 8:37 PM

Re: “Holiday dispirit

Dr Fever, your logic is laughable and deliberately inflammatory, just because you don't find meaning in someones' traditions, doesn't mean there isn't any. This article made me sad, not just because it could have been reduced to a Love the way we Bitch paragraph, but because complaining about someone's decorations because you get grumpy in the winter is petty. I guess the Christmas spirit has an expiry date. tsk.

Posted by Betty Sirus on 02/28/2009 at 4:10 AM

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