A V I E W F R O M C H A R L O T T E T O W N , P R I N C E E D W A R D I S L A N D
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For the last few months a small committee established by Mayor George MacDonald has been looking at transportation in the city. I don't know if you have been following this issue, but a number of people and groups have been contemplating the matter.
The Tipping Point, a best seller, written by Canadian (now New Yorker), Malcolm Gladwell talks about something that is very interesting: issues get discussed, sometimes for years, and then suddenly everyone is saying the same thing. That's when something good can happen.
I can't even remember when people began talking about making Charlottetown more pedesterian friendly. I do remember when the Women's Commitee of the Confederation Centre talked about it away back. We thought of having fashion shows on friendly walking-fashion with market baskets etc., and the friendliness of streets with a lot of people on them. We didn't get it off the ground at the time, but we were on the right track.
It's time to bring it up again and a lot of people are now saying the same thing. The paper given by the Seniors recently to Premier Pat Binns had some startling data on demographics, for example the aging population, insurance companies with heavy hands -- even the Motor Vehicle people are looking at we aging drivers in a different light.
As a province that has no public transportation system at all we have a problem! The Charlottetown Review on Transportation has been very interesting... as one point look at how our parking lots are expanding and ask how much farther we can go. Must we tear down more blocks for cars to accommodate the people who are coming to Charlottetown to work or to visit? What blocks would we choose?
European cities are keeping cars out and so are some North American ones - at least they are toning them down.
The last few days that I have been delivering the notices for the Downtown Residents Meeting, I have been hearing a lot about traffic and noise and dust and safety. It is an important issue to be discussed. it is on the agenda for June First.
Think about it and its impact on your Capital City. The Tipping Point may well have been reached!
Written Saturday, May 27, 2000 at 04:40 PM