Considering the generally sleepy nature of Calgary’s electorate when it comes to the near endless stream of stupid and expensive ideas coming from city council, the response we are seeing to Druh Farrell’s notion to close a portion of a major artery for traffic is a virtual groundswell of opposition. Farrell has hit such a new height in stupidity that even the left-leaning crowd are scratching their collective heads over this one.
Druh did the usual political work of finding some figures to applaud this initiative. The executive director of the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone thinks this is a good idea. The head of the Sunnyside community association has endorsed Druh’s foolish plan as well. What people need to keep in mind is that both of those individuals are compelled to keep their noses buried deep within the recesses of the collective butts of city council in order to get funding for local projects. Should they be critical of crazy Druh’s ideas, they can kiss applications for new public swimming pools or sidewalk resurfacing goodbye.
What we are seeing now is the response from the real community. Instead of speaking to some “revitalization” person, the Herald actually spoke to some businesspeople in the area in question. The people in this area who actually have to eke out a living are condemning this idiocy. These people have that quality that seems to be totally absent in city hall; common sense. Local businesses have no idea how snarling local traffic will help them in what are already hard times. They realize that all Druh’s initiative will accomplish will be to keep people away from that district in droves in order to avoid the traffic.
As for the head of the community association, I shudder to think of the questions that will be asked when it is discovered that the already congested residential parking is completely jammed with cars? There is little to no parking down there already. Assuming that some individuals come down there to walk on hot pavement on a summer weekend, they will indeed need somewhere to put their vehicles. How will the residents of Sunnyside like it when they find frustrated drivers speeding down their residential streets in hopes of avoiding the traffic jam on Memorial?
Druh has pointed out that there will be some entertainment to draw visitors to the area. Translation: Buskers.
Now, how many people are going to cross the city and fight for parking in order to watch an unemployed bongo-player who does not have an anti-capitalism protest to attend?
The few hairy legged sandal wearing types who may actually go out of their way to watch this fine artistic display are not exactly what we call a high-spending demographic. Unless a person is running a discount organic granola stand, their business will not exactly see a spike.
On both the CBC site that I linked to in my prior posting and the Herald site in the current posting, there is a comment section. This is the most telling aspect of how truly obtuse this idea is. These are everyday news readers speaking their minds. On the CBC, they are mostly left leaning. The condemnation of Druh’s stupidity is nearly universal.
It is unlikely that this clear lack of public support will have any impact on Druh’s plans to make us all a little more cosmopolitan. City hall is notorious for ignoring the wishes of those unwashed constituents. Part of that is our own fault. We barely get above 20% turnout in municipal electios. Should we really be surprised that we have found ourselves with a collection of idiots in city hall?
In the next election it is up to us. Get out the vote and vote out the fools.