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Something strange happened last week. Something the likes of which I never would have dared fathom. This may well be the end of the Universe as we know it! In a highly nominal, barely noticeable sort of way that is. Last week, someone I voted for... was elected! Crazy, I know. To put that in context, I am more of a huge supporter of the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, and the Monster Raving Loony Party. None the less, when the rare opportunity of voting for someone competent for the given role is available, you've gotta run with it. So today we swear in Naheed Nenshi, the new mayor of Calgary. It'll be nice to have someone with an even greater interest in long term civic planning and urban development than even I in charge of the city! A radical idea if ever there was one. The thing is, the city has never had a long term plan, or even a short term plan, or any plan, at all, ever; and the city has become big enough to really start feeling the ramifications of not planning anything. Frankly city council has never updated its perceptions since the sixties, and our ongoing policy of running the city as 'a city of 200 000, only bigger' is nothing but asinine. The other million plus people really kinda changes the dynamic of how things work; particularly in terms of transportation. This is why there are chunks of the city the size of Amsterdam (a better laid out city of the same population) that just don't connect to anything! A city big enough in area to swallow New York (population 8+ million) where you can't drive anywhere, but you also can't get anywhere without driving. Even if you do manage to get to drive to work, you can't park, because the city has determined there can be no more then ten percent of the needed parking capacity downtown, to encourage people to use mass transit (which is about thirty years behind where it should be, mostly lounging in the 'We'll get around to planning this sometime' stage of development.) But I'm not going to start in on the bad urban planning of North America, that's a topic without end! I mostly just hope that the new guys can finally gut out the massive, blatant and obvious corruption left over from when Ralph Klein was mayor. Now, if only there was some way to clean out the massive, blatant, obvious corruption in the Province of Alberta left over from when Ralph Klein was in charge. Sigh. Bob help us, we're just not that bright.
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