Thursday, March 12, 2009


Yesterday, given a hint of the chaos that will visit this city next February, I wrote in this space that I think I'll go to Melbourne during the Olympics.

But I really had no idea just how disruptive and destructive this little party would be.

Nor, it turns out did any of the many rah-rah-rah businesses that will suffer hugely. When the Downtown Business Association - perennially the biggest civic cheerleaders about almost anything - are kvetching, you know you've got trouble right here in River City.

VANOC is now apparently the highest form of government in the land, unelected though it may be. VANOC can close streets, re-route traffic hire or buy buses by the freight load and do just about any darn thing it wants to in order to make its famous Games work.

VANOC vice-president Terry Wright said yesterday that while the message will be "There's no room for the car," it will also be "There is room for you - on transit."

Really, Terry?

Which transit system is that exactly?

Portland? London?

Because the transit system that I know right here in Vancouver is and has been for a long time an unholy mess of insufficiencies.

Anyone remember the Cambie Merchants and how they have been screwed by the Cambie Line construction, not once, but ten times over?

Well, folks, you're going to see it all over again. On Robson and Granville and Hastings and West Broadway to name just a few choice locations where businesses will suffer mightily for the 17 days of wonder and awe.

And will any of those businesses receive compensation for Gord's Interruption?

Hahahaha...take another pill.

And were any of those businesses, most of whom proudly wore their "I'm backing the Games" buttons and banners and bows, told that they would be asked for this personal pocketbook sacrifice so Gord can have an emotional moment or two? Doubt.

Then, for those of you deranged enough to brave the Sea-to-Sky so-called highway, be prepared for the stop and security check. Be prepared to prove that you are not The Mad Bomber, that you have been a tax-paying church-going nose-cleaning citizen of the province for several decades.

Several commenters on yesterdays blog item asked if they could join me on my escape to Melbourne.

I think we should charter a plane and make a whole Vancouver Escapes thing out of it.

Maybe we can get a Canada Council grant or a government bail-out.


Anonymous said...

David, it is far worse than stated. Here we have an organization of 'elite's', telling an organization run by 'elites' that we all must take transit. And this from people who have never taken a bus in Vancouver!

The bus system is at capacity on main arterial routes during rush hours. At capacity means no more people can take it; that is why VANOC and the BC Government wanted schools to shut during the 2 week spend fest, students make up a large portion of ridership on TransLink. Remember those discounted U-Passes for UBC and SFU students? the U-Pass is clogging the system and will do during the 2 week drama.

Now SkyTrain is not and I repeat is not at capacity during peak hours (we found that little lie when the Puttallo Bridge burnt and 20% or more of the SkyTrain fleet is out of service at any one time!), yet it only services two routes, which one (the Millennium Line) goes nowhere to nowhere!

The reason why SkyTrain is not at capacity is simple, not as many people are taking the metro as claimed by TransLink, which needs high ridership figures to justify new cars. Idiot politicians don't ask questions about transit because "transit is good for you!"

That's why only 12% of regional commuters use transit, it doesn't work! And about 60% of that 12% come from Vancouver, Richmond, New West and Burnaby!

Now comes the sticky part, if it snows, kiss all of it goodbye because our buses and SkyTrain do not operate well, if at all in the snow!

If it snows during the 2010 elite fest, watch out for Vancouver becoming world famous - but not what the good burghers of Vancouver want to be world famous for!

What we have is 'village idiots', telling 'The ship of fools', that "golly gee whiz we all gonna take transit and it will be wunderful, even Bill Good put his seal of approval on it!" 'nough said.

We have the makings of an international embarrassment, where those rose coloured glasses will be ripped away from Vancouver's cheerleaders and politicians.

Sleepwalking into a fiasco should be the title of your next posting.

Anonymous said...

Global announced that merchants downtown seemed happy with the arragements. What the heck are they smoking? Getting to work is going to be hell. Getting store merchandise is going to be hell. Deliveries will have to be done late at night. Regular customers won't go near the downtown area. Cabs can't go everywhere.I sure as hell won't be going anywhere near there during this ??? I wonder if after a few days the merchants might be singing another tune when they have a few days to think about it.

Anonymous said...

David, I'm sure all the stores selling Olympic-branded junk will be easily accessible. Perhaps we can all just hang out there during the Olympics, filling the shops with so many locals that no one else will be able to get in.

Anonymous said...

If you're planning to go to Melbourne, Australia, make a stop in Auckland, NZ. It's worth the trip.