City Emperors Have No Clothes: BENN


Saturday columnist Ron Benn takes on the issue of city employee driving to work:

Pre-pandemic more city employees reported to work in Centrepointe (~2,000) than downtown.

The 1,600 parking spaces in the lots adjacent to the two buildings were filled daily. The off-site parking (side streets, private parking lots) was a major issue. As an order of magnitude that represented about 80% of the staff driving to work. Note that both city office buildings are less than 200 metres from Baseline Station.

Now that the city has settled into its post-pandemic routine, I estimate that about 3/4 of the 1,600 parking spaces are used on any given work day. Likely more a reflection of the number of people reporting to work on site than an increase in the use of public transit.

Gov’t PR: Alice In Watsonland: THE VOTER

I asked planning department personnel on several occasions how they could insist on limiting on-site parking for high-rises within 600-800 metres of Baseline Station, while their colleagues were not embracing the concept. No answer was ever given.

I asked our then College councillor Rick Chiarelli and those same planning department personnel if the city had ever asked its own employees why they don’t use OC Transpo. No answer. When I asked if the decision to not poll its own staff was because they feared that the answer would not be consistent with the planning department’s fairy tale assumptions about no need for a car when you lived or worked adjacent to a major transit hub, the response was a shrug of the shoulders.

The emperor has no clothes, and he knows he has no clothes. He has known he has had no clothes for decades. But he continues to parade about as if he does. And that says about all you need to know about the quality of public transit in Ottawa – then and now.

Digital illustration on front by AI generator Bing Image Creator.




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