Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's hard to dismiss an entire 'Master Plan', but ...

Here I am for the second time in one day! It's an odd thing to have waded through 2 inches of paper, then make the decision to not comment on any of it. But here goes ... :-) Why's Woman

January 26, 2011

Transportation and Planning Divison
London City Hall

Dear Mr. Elmadhoon,

I did attend the Smart Moves Transportation Master Plan meeting on Wednesday, January 19. I left with the workbook, because I wanted to think. Previous to the meeting I did look over several background reports and the survey about transportation; I actually made quite a few notes back in late November.

This is the letter I would like to have included as my input. My comments are not based on the workbook or the reports.

The current Smart Moves Transportation Master Plan is nowhere near the radical path we need to get ready for 2030. We don't have until 2030 to get to that radical planning place.

I believe that 20 years from now we will be living through a situation that is not at all covered by or anticipated by any of the scenarios offered in the reports which you, your colleagues, and thoughtful Londoners have prepared.

The level 3 goal of 20% of trips being by other than personal vehicles (cars) is a figure that will soon cause much debate at council. But it is woefully low and does not reflect the 2030 I foresee.

I expect that in 20 years individuals will not have the financial resources to pay for fossil-fuel-using, personal cars, the type of vehicle which underlies transportation planning at municipal and other government levels.

I anticipate that in 2030 we in Canada and in most other countries will be involved in resource struggles, and that these struggles will cause huge stress on neighbourhoods, cities and rural communities, provincial relationships and international relationships.

I do not anticipate that, within the next ten years anyway, senior levels of government will make the big decisions necessary to deter individuals and corporations from the current production/consumption cycle. I do not anticipate that senior levels of governments will make commitments to development of 'green' technologies on the scale we will require. I do not anticipate intergovernmental or international commitment to the big issues of climate change and environmental problems that we face. And those big issues underlie transportation planning.

As things are now, a status quo complacency is reflected in the filtered-down text of most reports at all government levels; this is a fault of the process-heavy government system.

To speak on a positive side, I know that right now there are amazing green technologies. As they become used more and as they are innovated further, good changes will occur.

and technologies are not the only things we need to develop, however. We need to spend more time making things for ourselves - our individual and community selves - and move away from the corporate production/consumption model. Our way of thinking about everything - our worldview - needs to change. And that new worldview needs to bring us back to the connection we have with the natural world. That change is going to have to come from individuals, move on to communities and go up the levels of government to international. It may even have to dismiss some of the higher levels of governance.

As an individual I'm trying to find my place with others and with community organizations to bring about changes so that we will be ready for the challenges that are going to be in 2030.

Municipalities are a mid-level between individuals and higher levels of government. I hope sincerely that municipalities will be incredibly important places for change. The efforts of the Smart Moves Transportation Master Plan so far are important, and it is only the very first toddler step.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this.

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