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You get your say on Olympics transportation — well, a part of it

March 18th, 2009 · 4 Comments

I was so excited when I saw the following public announcement from the city, thinking this was going to be the public’s chance to remake the Olympics transportation plan, even though it’s already been announced. But when i called to get more information, it was clarified to me that the forum and public consultation will mainly be about the 32 blocks of pedestrian zones in the city not the zillions of Olympics-only traffic lanes and blocked off roads. Oh well, go anyway. Think of it as the city’s first Olympics “live site.”

City holds open house on Host City

transportation plan for 2010

The City of Vancouver recently released its Host City Olympic transportation plan for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, which includes locations of Olympic lanes, parking restrictions, pedestrian corridors and more within Vancouver.

The City will be holding an open house on March 30, 2009 – with information booths and staff available – to answer any questions that residents and businesses might have about the plan, including details on how the downtown pedestrian corridors will function during the 2010 Winter Games.

    Monday, March 30, 2009
    4 – 7 pm

Main floor Promenade
Vancouver Public Library – Central Branch
350 West Georgia Street

More information on temporary changes to the City’s road network during the 2010 Winter Games is also available on the City’s Host City website at

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  • glissando remmy

    I just read about this new initiative coming from the City Hall and my water almost broke. Mop and bucket nearby, here you go.
    Common people, when is anybody going to acknowledge that all these “open houses” are a waste of time and money?
    I appreciate the fact that this idea may allow seven lucky City employees to spend some quality time in the “general population area”.
    I do, I feel their pain, but seeing them out there, glimpses of hope in their eyes that one of us walking by, will stop and ask questions and pretend to be interested in their topic, is heartbreaking.
    You shake hands, you chat, you lie, how are the kids, how is Uncle Leo, where are you from, here’s my number call me when you get out, no problem, sure I’ll take it from here, oh look at the time, I have to go… And all of this so we can go home saying “gee, they are listening!”
    In truth the only message coming from the City Hall and from all levels of Government in general is “when we’ll want to hear your opinion we’ll give it to you”
    Hello, as far as I know the egg-plan has already been fertilized! This has become a simple exercise of telling the remaining erratic moving sperm “yap, we thank you all for coming, we appreciate your interest however the position was filled, of course you are free to stay some more… if not please follow the yellow line to the bottom of that corridor and… flush. Again, thank you all for coming and good luck!”
    Sometimes I wish I was a fly on the wall in one of this “after-open house” staff meeting rooms.

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • MB

    Well Gliss, I am a city employee, but not with Vancouver, though I live there. You are wrong, but I’ll spare everyone a verbose way listing the reasons.

    Open houses really do allow vital public commentary on projects. All written responses really are tabulated and recorded and really do influence the end product.

    Further, I can’t vouch for senior governments, but my direct experience as a citizen with Vancouver planners, designers and engineers from various departments has been exceptionally positive.

    Kudos to municipal staff everywhere.

  • glissando remmy

    I beg to differ, MB.
    These open houses may be a source for the city employees to gather written opinions, true, but the final worth of these so called public opinions carry as much weight as if they were written on toilet paper. Just because someone organizes and puts a figure on these responses it does not mean that they are really taken into consideration by the people who ultimately have a say that matters.
    Somehow the real voice of these pamphlets is lost in translation between the planning and development departments, engineering, urban design panel and ultimately the development permit board. From my direct experience too as a citizen, with ALL the aforementioned Vancouver professionals I have to say that I have NEVER seen any “public opinion” affect a building development in a critical way ( architectural expression, mass, density, use, sustainability features…)
    In the end money talks!
    Of course the best excuse I heard over and over that “council sets policies” does nothing but sets the pace and perpetuates the mediocrity.
    I don’t usually follow up to explain my posting but in your case I remembered that I owe you a dear borscht recipe, you’ll understand.
    Bon Appétit!

    Splash of olive oil or pat of butter
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 pound of cubed or shredded beef. Leftover roast is perfect.
    12 cupsbeef stock or broth
    6 large beets, peeled and roughly chopped
    1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
    Juice of 1 lime
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Sour cream, chopped green onions for garnish
    1. Heat oil or butter in soup pot on medium low heat. Add onions and salt, sauté until onions are soft.

    2. Add beef, cook for a few more minutes.

    3. Add remaining ingredients except garnish. Bring to a boil, reduce and cook covered for about an hour.

    4. If you prefer a creamy texture for the borscht, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
    5. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkled with chopped green onions or chives. Do not stir the sour cream in, as makes a nice visual contrast to the rich color of the soup.
    One traditional item missing from this recipe is shredded cabbage. I like to add mine after I have pureed the soup, and cook the soup for about 20 to 30 minutes longer. You might need to chop the beets a bit finer than normal in order to be able to puree the soup earlier.

  • MB

    Gliss, I run open houses. Elected councillors and committee members are always consulting staff about results of questionnaires and general comments on projects.

    I give them a great amount of credit for respecting the objectivity of staff when public opinion influences a project or proposed policy and the recommendations found in public reports seeking approval.

    Sometimes the politicians take courageous stands that may go contrary to popular opinion (on especially sustainability we need leadership), or we experience poor citizen attendance at an open house, but those occasions are few compared to the vast majority where citizens have a say.