The Bayers Road Corridor from Hell

Sometimes I wonder if some our elected officials are just stuck in the “Hot Tub Time Machine” you know, that hit movie where the characters go back to the 80’s in a hot tub, or if they are just oblivious to the times that we live in today.

Whomever came up with this archaic, out dated and completely asinine plan to increase the size of a residential street from 4 lanes to eventually 12 is either spending too much time in that “Hot Tub Time Machine” or quite possibly hung up on the 70’s, or both.

Let’s face it, this is one project that has been beat, whipped, euthanized and put out of its misery a few times now, but like the Energizer Bunny it keeps on coming back for more.

When I presented a question to Mr. McCusker, the city manager of strategic transportation planning, at the recent citizen’s  information meeting, on whether any environmental, sustainability or health studies were performed, Mr. McCuster, with what looked like an uncomfortable, sheepish moment, meekly said, no.

Here’s a project that firstly will not only cost taxpayers 290 Million Dollars (2009 estimate) including highway expansion to Fall River, but will also displace residents from their homes, split a longtime neighborhood in half,  and completely destroy the community on the peninsula’s west end, forever.

Now I don’t know how stupid or gullible they think residents are, but even a cave man could see that this is so wrong, on so many different levels.

How in the name of cripes could so much time, resources and money be wasted drawing up a plan of this humongous magnitude, without someone doing due diligence and looking at what this could do to the affected residents, health, happiness & welfare, their community and homes, along with the health of the land base.

Other than the fact that the human element was removed from the equation, the planners seem to think that it’s business as usual, no matter if it’s today or in the year 2030. The reality is that we live on a planet that is much different than the one you and I we’re born on. We’re faced with runaway global warming, thanks mostly to our love affair with fossil fuels, we are pretty well at peak everything, oil, resources and planet, and to put it bluntly we are at the crossroads in our existence, you can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet.

That’s a fact Jack!

So knowing all this, is it really such a grandiose idea to displace an entire community and way of life in order to put a few more fossil fueled cars on the peninsula, at a staggering cost of 290 Million Dollars, knowing full well that the age of oil is coming to an end? Well not unless you’re stuck in the “Hot Tub Time Machine” or hung up on the 70’s, you’ll probably agree, It’s time to put this puppy to rest, once and for all.

To find the answer to our nightmare, all we have to do is gaze across the pond at our European brethren.

Many cities have chosen to become more people friendly than car friendly, with better and more bike lanes, alternative transportation and walkways for pedestrian’s, they have actually made it a focal point to discourage people from driving, by making it an inconvenience and a hassle to use their cars.

I guess they don’t remember the 70’s nor have a Hot Tub Time Machine’s in Europe.

All it would take for a paradigm shift is to elect leaders and representatives that have vision and an imagination, ones that are able to think outside of the box, instead of in.

These are two attributes that seem to be nonexistent in this case.

Wider roads and more cars is not the answer, not even close. We can no longer operate like it was business as usual, because it’s painfully obvious that it’s not.

Halifax has an incredible opportunity here, we are at the precibus of either making the most expensive mistake in our city’s history, or we could be the ones who are the change we want to see, in setting the groundwork for a more sustainable, viable and community oriented future that will outlive us.

If we choose the former, what do we tell our grand kids, when they ask the question, Why did you choose cars over people?

The choice is ours, the future is watching.

By: Master Tim Bell

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One Response

  1. […] pm – Wrote a new blog post – HERE 44.637534 -63.666051 Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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