Do you see what NPA Park Commissioner Tricia Barker is doing here?
In Vancouver, the civic government has a “transportation hierarchy” list. I propose we put compromised seniors and people with disabilities at the top of this list and give them first priority. …
For too long we’ve put seniors and people with disabilities last. The city’s “hierarchy of transportation modes” says it will consider the needs and safety of each group of road users in the following order of priority: 1st walking; 2nd cycling; 3rd transit and taxi/shared vehicles, and 4th private auto (Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 condensed plan, Page 13). Seniors and persons with disabilities aren’t even mentioned.
Of course seniors and the disabled aren’t mentioned. They’re people, not modes of transportation.
Seniors and disabled people* can be walkers, cyclists, transit and vehicle users. What Barker implies without having to say explicitly is that they’re all dependent car users. So in order to give them top priority, motordom must be maintained.
On that she is explicit:
As we move forward, let’s make a promise to never take away something that has already been given. … Let’s enact a policy where you can’t take away a necessity because it’s convenient or others may like it.
What are these necessities that can’t be taken away? Parking. Road space. Motordom: the city designed for the car, which, by her argument, seniors and the disabled see as essential. Hence, any diminishment of motordom is a sign of disrespect. Their right to easy access everywhere by automobile must be maintained as a first priority – something to be encoded in policy to be used as the basis for planning.
It’s kind of a brilliant strategy: use the disabled to disable progress towards active transportation, towards progress on climate change, towards safer cities and greater choice – all the policies you don’t want to publicly oppose but can frustrate by out-woking the progressives.
Here’s another example:Read more »