H. Kyle on Dean Fortin’s sold-out Council endangering our heritage Johnson Street bascule designed by Joseph Strauss: ‘Is it not about time that the Mayor and Council put the Blue Bridge Project on hold until they actually have done a complete risk assessment and actually have a regional transportation plan to work with?’

JOSEPH STRAUSS’ EARLY MODERN BASCULE BRIDGE, CIRCA 1924

ENDANGERED BY STIMULUS-ADDICTED PHILISTINES LED BY DEAN FORTIN

[Photo by ‘Goyo de la Rosa’]

So what is with doing a Risk Assessment after the politicians made the decision to spend $77 million on a new bridge?

Isn’t that like closing the gate after the horses have left the paddock!

Good governance requires good management skills – decision making skills.

The risk assessment should have been done in advance of the decision making process.

It really seems like the Mayor and Council have dealt with the “Bridge” like children with gift-money burning a hole in their pockets; they are focused on finding ways to spend it without doing any risk assessment.

The Mayor and Council do not seem to understand that the residents of Victoria do not need a new bridge.

Big surprise! The residents who do not live in Victoria would like a new Bridge – and who would not be all for it if it did not cost them any tax dollars.

Why not put a toll on the new bridge – better yet: put a toll on the Blue Bridge now for other than pedestrians and cyclists and Victoria residents – then see who is willing to pay to use the bridge.

Answer: no one!

Perhaps the new bridge should be named Fortin’s Folly so everyone will remember what not to do the next time a politician has some bright idea about how to spend our tax money.

The new bridge is really a bridge to nowhere!

There is no regional transportation plan.

How does the CRD pushing for a LRT to terminate at Uptown make sense for Victoria residents to pay for a new bridge when the transportation corridor will be Douglas Street?

Who is going to pay for upgrading the roads through Esquimalt and Saanich to handle the tranffic on the new bridge?

And why has Esquimalt modified Esquimalt Road to decrease traffic and impede the flow of traffic?

Is that part of the grand plan by Victoria to justify a new bridge to nowhere?

Are Victoria, Saanich and View Royal going to upgrade Craigflower Rd to handle all the traffic from the new bridge?

If not, then why is Victoria going to build a new bridge to nowhere?

If LRT is in the future, then how does spending $77 million on a vehicle bridge make any sense, when there is the Bay Street Bridge?

If encouraging green transportation is important, why not modify the Blue Bridge to handle only public transportation, cyclists and pedestrians?

Why spend $77 million for a bridge to no where that is supposed to handle cars?

If the objective is to discourage the use of cars and there is no commitment from any residents in the bedroom communities to actually pay for the road upgrades, why build a new bridge?

Is it not about time that the Mayor and Council put the Blue Bridge Project on hold until they actually have done a complete risk assessment and actually have a regional transportation plan to work with?

Does it not make sense to stop wasting taxpayers’ funds by pursuing an ill-conceived fantasy when something simple and more cost-effective would address the transportation objectives of today and the foreseeable future?

Is the raised rail bridge really a graphic sign to all Victoria residents from the Mayor and Council reflecting their displeasure with being questioned and pushed to actually provide good governance?

H. Kyle

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Gregory Hartnell: ‘The vast silent majority of 74 per cent of Victoria’s 63,930 total registered voters did not support the tiny minority of 10,020 Yes voters with their silence’

CCC President refutes logical and statistical errors

In November 24 Victoria News editorial

 

City of Victoria’s neglect is evident in this 2009 Gregory Hartnell photo

 

Re: Bridge vote passes by 60% (News, Nov. 24)

Contrary to the false assertion made in this editorial, 47,388 absent registered voters, the vast silent majority of 74 per cent of Victoria’s 63,930 total registered voters, did not support the tiny minority of 10,020 Yes votes with their silence.

It is simply not true, and impossible to prove, that the absenteeism of the majority of Victoria’s eligible voters in the Nov. 20 referendum can be understood as tacitly supporting the City’s efforts.

The Concerned Citizens’ Coalition is calling for the senior government to immediately nullify the shocking results of the recent abusive farce of democratic process in Victoria, to order the City to reschedule the referendum to coincide with the municipal election in 2011.

 

Gregory Hartnell, President

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition

 

CCC BLOG repost:

Victoria News: http://www.vicnews.com

December 1, 2010

Most registered voters didn’t attend polls

Page A9

The heritage bascule designed by Joseph Strauss, Victoria, 2009.

Ms. B. Havin on the Victoria City Council under Dictator Dean Fortin: ‘The current Council is the worst I’ve ever seen.’

 

WORST VICTORIA CITY COUNCIL EVER STILL WANTS TO TEAR IT DOWN!
The current Council is the worst I’ve ever seen, and their behavior defies rational explanation. 

I believe conditions were exacerbated by a gullible mayor and, frankly, a top-level managerial staff that thinks it can run circles around the people of Victoria. Those staffers get paid more in salaries and benefits than the vast majority of residents of this city ($100K-plus salaries plus benefits are the norm at the level I’m talking about – Gail Stevens gets nearly $200K), yet most of them don’t even live in the city. There’s a real disconnect here.

We have small-town politicians (but perhaps with big-city ambitions) being run by a suburban-based staff that lives on champagne salaries in a tap-water Victoria economy.
-‘Ms B. Havin’, as found on the Vibrant Victoria forum
__________________

BETTY GIBBENS: KEEP WHAT MAKES VICTORIA SPECIAL: We are not entirely dependent on Johnson Street Bridge: unique tourist attraction added value interest

If the City’s Vote Yes campaign fails, the Mayor [Dean Fortin] will consider increasing taxes or using limited reserve funds currently identified for other projects.

As though taxes won’t increase regardless.

We ought to pay as we go.

The intention is to lay that debt on future generations to pay – even though they obviously won’t have been given the opportunity to vote on the bridge replacement dilemma, the decision having been made for them by us.

The pedestrian pathwasy is some distance lower than the adjacent heavy traffic roadway and the drawing shows pedestrians’ faces about level with the wheels of vehicles.

Unhealthy, putrid emissions would spin out into their lungs.

We are not entirely dependent on the Johnson Street Bridge which as a unique icon and tourist attraction provides added value and interest.

There should be more heritage designations than our numerous old houses.

Keep what makes Victoria special.

Betty Gibbens

 

VICTORIA NEWS:

Heritage value indespensible

Friday, November 19, 2010

http://www.vicnews.com

A12


CCC

BRIAN SIMMONS ON ESCALATING JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE REPAIR COSTS: ‘The last upgrade for refurbishment to $80 million was due to additions made due to Council’s desires, not the engineers.’

DELCAN STRUCTURAL, SYSTEM AND SEISMIC REVIEW

SAYS REPAIRS TO JOSEPH STRAUSS’ BRIDGE 

ARE A JUSTIFIABLE OPTION

 

Re: “The Blue Bridge: An engineer’s perspective,” August 14, 2010, Victoria Times Colonist

The writer’s perspective on the Johnson Street Bridge was interesting, but didn’t refer to any current assessment details and instead made assumptions based on the condition of other bridges he has seen during his career.

The conclusions, such as “from my experience with many other steel bridges, I believe that the structure has passed the point of economical repair and that conditions would be encountered which require greater time to repair than anticipated” are contradicted by the Delcan report on the bridge’s condition.

The bridge is rusty and in need of some TLC, but the most detailed assessment report states that it is worth the money spent to repair if we had chosen to go that way.

We should try to stick to the facts in cases like this.

After Delcan’s lengthy structural, system and seismic review, the report said:

“Based on the findings of this study either a repair or a replacement option could be justified from a cost perspective” and quoted a $24.7-million price on a refit of the bridge that would satisfy every reasonable building standard.

The last price upgrade for refurbishment to $80 million was due to additions made due to [Victoria City] Council’s desires, not the engineers.


Brian Simmons

Victoria

 

CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Report says repairs a justifiable option

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Page A11


FORTIN’S PHILISTINE COUNCIL VOTES TO TEAR DOWN HERITAGE BASCULE BRIDGE DESIGNED BY JOSEPH STRAUSS

SPENDTHRIFT VICTORIA CITY COUNCILLORS

VOTE TO BORROW HUGE AMOUNT TO REPLACE

JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE

Many of our worst fears were realized today when the Victoria City Council decided to tear down and replace the familiar funky Johnson Street bascule lift bridge that some affectionately call ‘Big Blue’ or the ‘Blue Bridge.’

[For a link to the City of Victoria’s telling of the dastardly deed, please refer to the comments section below.]

Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell, Editor

CCC BLOG

MAT WRIGHT ON VICTORIANS’ SUPPOSED JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE APATHY: ‘I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the public’

ANYONE AT VICTORIA CITY HALL 

LISTENING TO THE PUBLIC ON 

THE JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE?

 

The Saturday Times Colonist asked: “Why are the public and businesses apathetic about the Blue Bridge issue?”

I think that the answer is clear: Because they don’t think that anyone’s listening down at [Victoria] City Hall.

Consider: More than 10,000 voters signed the counter-petition, saying “No, we don’t support borrowing $42 million to replace the Blue Bridge.”

Now, the mayor [Dean Fortin] and  [Victoria City] Council are buying ads saying, “We need to spend more money for less bridge.

“And, if you like the old one and want to keep it, that will cost even more.”

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the public, but it’s time to get [Mayor Dean Fortin] and [Victoria City] Council in for a hearing test.

 

Mat Wright

Director

Johnsonstreetbridge.org

 

CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Anyone listening to the public?

Friday, August 6, 2010

PAGE A13

CCC