The anti-auto left loves to dismiss claims that there is a war being conducted on personal automobiles. It is rather undeniable that this war on cars does indeed exist when we look at things such as the report linked below which was created by Edmonton city administration at the behest of the City council.
The insane, anti-car ideology is unvarnished and there for all to see in this document. The goals are utterly unrealistic and the measures that they would like to see in the pursuit of these ridiculous goals are disturbing. The amount of economic and social damage that will be caused by implementing these recommendations can’t be overstated.
The report begins with the current ride-share breakdown as of 2015. It is quite a reflection of the efficiency of city bureaucracies that they couldn’t get more contemporary data. The numbers look much the same as those in Calgary and other similar cities.
Despite decades of efforts by city administrations and ideologically driven city planners, people are refusing to abandon their personal automobiles, Citizens do not want to ride bicycles to work, walk to work or cram themselves onto public transit for their daily tasks. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people using public transit is even lower and likely won’t grow for a long time as people just won’t feel eager to sit in close quarters with strangers for awhile.
Nearly 8o percent of people use personal automobiles for their daily tasks. This includes getting groceries for families, getting kids to school etc. This has to be noted at the main anti-auto proponents tend to be urban-dwelling hipsters who don’t know or care about the real transportation needs of families and older people. They just assume that we will all ride bicycles for all that we do in all weather.
Look at the outrageous suggestions they have to drive us out of our cars.
They want to double the cost of having a car. They intend to do so by increasing parking costs by 400 percent, adding toll roads, adding taxes to our fuels and adding taxes to our registration costs. Thankfully much of this is outside of their powers as municipalities for now but you sure can see why Naheed Nenshi salivates at the thought of having a municipal charter that would give him those powers.
They also want to make more automobile free corridors. Head on downtown in Calgary to see how well those sorts of spots are doing. Count the “for lease” signs along Stephen Avenue mall or have a look at the echoing and empty Eau Claire Mall which is in the heart of pedestrian paradise.
They also want to further subsidize transit use. Transit already only charges half of what it costs to move a person. We can’t reasonably go lower.
Expensive parking was already a huge factor in why people won’t go downtown and patronize businesses. Quadrupling the cost to park will put the final nail in the coffin for the few remaining downtown retail and food service businesses. Calgary has a 30 percent vacancy rate in the core already. Do they really think that new companies will want to come in and set up shop only to have their staff stuck paying $50 per day to park? Again, they just aren’t going to get on the bus no matter how dearly our ideologically driven municipal gangs want them to.
The goal of these anti-auto ideologues is to hound and harass people to the point where they will throw up their hands and get rid of their cars. This will not work. All these efforts manage to do is to move further from the city core and into satellite communities.
There is no reasoning with the cult of anti-automobile zealots. These people have taken on the religion of urban density at all costs and they feel that any move is justified no matter how likely it is to fail. They live by a bizarre (if it could take just one car off the road) mentality.
The only way to keep these fanatics from compounding the economic devastation we are already facing will be to vote their representatives out of office this fall. Nenshi and Iveson have built councils around themselves who are obsessed with this anti-automobile theology and senior city administration reflects that. It would seem like a crazy conspiracy theory if their own documents didn’t actually lay it out so clearly. If you really want to take a walk down crazy street, look up Imagine Calgary. Nenshi was a part of creating that insane plan and it really shows in his governance,
If folks don’t flush their municipal governments this fall, economic recovery is going to be terribly stunted. We can’t afford to put these nuts back in office this year. This will be one of the most important municipal elections in a generation. Let’s hope that voters realize it.