To the editor,
“In my experience, city-making choices are as easy as we make them,” said former City of Vancouver chief planner Brent Toderian.
So the question arises, Nanaimo. Are we making city-making choices easy? Are bold decisive actions being undertaken?
Consider: We begin to express to visitor and citizen alike what we value – regardless of what dozens of policy documents try to tell us – on our most visible street, our point of entry and introduction, our front street: Front Street. The street that more than any other belongs to all of us.
Policy documents say we value the rights of the most vulnerable users of city streets: the pedestrian, the disabled, the young, the old, the bike rider, the transit user. We all know from daily experience that the reality on our streets puts the lie to these policy documents.
Front Street is a wide waterfront arterial, high-speed and very dangerous to the most vulnerable street users. It’s also an effective barrier between our much-loved and utilized waterfront and our downtown.
These arterial speedways, especially on waterfronts, have been removed across North America by cities with a genuine commitment to becoming 21st-century cities. This needs urgent attention now, Nanaimo, not put in a five-year plan five years from now. Now.
“We city planners are taught to be patient, to be long-term thinkers. But many of our critical challenges require strategic impatience … Cities doing remarkable, unexpected things aren’t those with easy conditions. Those don’t exist. It’s those who’ve traded excuse for action,” Toderian said.
Frank Murphy, Nanaimo
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.