Score One for the Good Guys
I usually don’t stick my head into politics (mostly because I heard it gives you crabs), but this week it was hard not to be at least a little curious about the goings on at Winnipeg City Hall. The hot topic du jour was a bike and pedestrian strategy proposed by Mayor Brian Bowman, which had several city councillors’ panties in a knot – I’m assuming because it did not include a free trip to Disney for every thousand litres of gas purchased, plus a bonus turkey at Thanksgiving. The strategy earmarks $335 million over the course of 20 years, and would make badly needed improvements to Winnipeg’s bike and pedestrian infrastructure. This will, in effect, bring us up to where Copenhagen’s bike infrastructure was when Jesus did his first alleycat.
Councillor Russ Wyatt (who bears a striking resemblance both physically and philosophically to a certain crack-smoking ex-mayor) was an outspoken critic of the strategy, claiming Winnipeg elected Bowman to fix potholes, not build cycling paths. I know this Winnipegger sure did, because nothing makes a city greater than having no potholes. Wyatt also claimed that Bowman was strongly influenced by “the dictatorship of the Tweeting Class”, as opposed to good and honest folk who pay taxes.
Tonight council voted 12-3 in favour of the strategy, in spite of Councillor Wyatt’s clever tactic of tabling 20 individual motions in opposition, which would, in theory, have taken all night. I’m no political genius, but it sounds to me like the equivalent of a bratty kid at the dinner table eating their peas one at a time, chewing each one a thousand times. Not surprisingly, Council would have no part of it, which prompted Wyatt to pack up his Bob the Builder lunchbox and storm out of the room – but not before sticky-taping his 20 motions to Mayor Bowman’s door, Martin Luther-style, with “Democracy Denied” scrawled across each one. Mayor Bowman called the performance “unbecoming”, but Fringe Festival reviews are still forthcoming.
I don’t know much about the strategy, but I do know that it is a step and a pedal in the right direction. And I say that sincerely as a cyclist, pedestrian, and driver – not to mention HTA thumping, tax-paying, and crab-riddled citizen of the city of Winnipeg.
Right on Andrea! So glad you stuck your head into it!
Rock on, Winnipeg Cycle Chick!
Bicycles rule!! Let them eat car space.
Bahahahahahahahaha. Love it CC.
give Wyatt a bike, he could definitely loose weight. His expense audit shows extremely high telephone bills …. so who is he calling, definitely not his constituents. Holidays ….. obviously not a family man …. won’t you like to spend more time with family and friends, know I would especially in the summer, but we have no pools, our parks given away and told to book ourselves into Buhler Park, which is miles and miles away. Can’t get to it, no good travel routes to get out of Transcona and then he could bike through lanes and streets because our streets are backed up with major traffic and yet he tells us find a different route, leave it for others who don’t live in our area . Seems to like developers, non-profit and special interest groups, come see me I will approve (and autograph as such). Now his age, given as 44 when he changed his mine about running for federal politics. We have a few new councillors, new mayor, maybe he should take lessons on what to do, as well create a internet website, maybe a facebook page. Good article, keep up the good work.
We love bikes too much to give one to Wyatt, even an old school steel frame would feel pain. Then after 20mins of him huffing and pufffing it would be left outside behind his house in the rain. Right next to his social skills, deductive reasoning, and hopes for a future in politics.
Much like the allusion to the “tweeting class” being some kind of loopy special interest, I heartily reject the notion that cyclists are some kind of special interest. I pay as much property tax as any average Winnipegger, and am entitled to as much consideration as the ‘vehicle lobby’.
Oh no! Another blog which is too good and funny not to follow…. 😉
It’s September now…come back Shane…
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