There is no traffic crunch on Spencer Avenue that would require Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper to consider the idea of bike lanes on the street.
If a cyclist can’t negotiate that wide peaceful residential street without the aid of bike lanes, he or she is a menace to their own well-being.
This is the kind of idea that would well up in the mind of former Kitchissippi councillor Katherine Hobbs. Let’s paint lines and eliminate parking spots on a street that is so peaceful that youngsters play basketball and street hockey on it. Good grief.
It is reminiscent of city planners wanting to turn Byron Avenue into some confused mess of rules on biking and transportation in general. If it works, and Byron and Spencer are very successful at present, don’t change it.
That said, there are real issues that Leiper could actually address. Take for example the fact that the more-than-two-times-more-expensive-than-it-should-be light-rail project tunnels down the Macdonald Parkway where no one lives. Nice work. Did we hear a peep from Leiper on that travesty in his ward? No.
A grade-school child could tell you that line should be on Carling Avenue rather than a parkland expanse. Former councillors such as Clive Doucet and Diane Holmes saw the stupidity of the parkway route. Where was Leiper? Nowhere.
Voters in 2014 wanted change from the odd reign of Hobbs in the ward. They were tired of community icons such as the Westboro convent disappearing behind a wall of condos. Now the convent sits fallow in a construction site that is mostly an empty lot. That occurred during Leiper’s time in office. Where’s the action on that?
Meanwhile another community icon, the Trailhead building on Scott Street, is being replaced by a highrise. Zoning continues to be a suggestion with the perks of “gateway” neighbourhood buildings (a fob to developers) not being enough for the lofty-storey exemptions of builders. Where is the Leiper people voted for to change that?
Under Leiper’s watch, residents continue to see the erosion of a heritage-like community under the bulldozer and monster homes destroying the irreplaceable nature of an old neighbourhood.
Strange we don’t see this in Rockcliffe. Maybe the Rockcliffe rep is better at standing up for the ward. Hard to believe.
Has anything of significance changed under Leiper or was brought about by Leiper? Well there is the oddball debate on the need for bike lanes on Spencer and the planning-induced gridlock on Wellington West. Transitway buses will continue to operate on Scott and Albert into perpetuity during the middle of the night. That’s quite an innovation.
Zoning continues to be a suggestion as are community design plans. Is Leiper protesting? No.
What we’re seeing in Leiper is a facade of change that’s a continuation of the mess that was instituted by the previous councillor.
Leiper needs to spend time on the issues that matter to residents of Kitchissippi. And that isn’t putting bike lanes down Spencer at the expense of the wishes of the community.
The Spencer bike lane would just be a continuation of the odd ward policies of Leiper’s predecessor.
Kitchissippi residents expect more and a municipal election begins to approach when voters can do something about Leiper.
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