It's Time To Put Your Money Where Your Meter Is

Victoria is in the throes of pretending to attempt to include rail to the Johnson St. Bridge replacement. They let the bridge fall into disrepair. They pushed through a referendum that excluded the rail and deployed a lot of dubious tricks to get the votes they needed.
When local provincial representatives were urged to come out in support of rail, they failed. Maurine Karagianis, the NDP MLA for Esquimalt-Royal Roads said:
"We know that a rail crossing on the Johnson Street Bridge is important... I believe that government needs to be seen as not only understanding our growing transportation challenges, but ensuring funding is in place to satisfy our current and future transportation needs. The corridor is deteriorating; the time is at hand to make a commitment to this region and without senior levels of government at the table, the opportunity may be lost... I encourage you to continue lobbying the Minister of Transportation (Minister.Transportation@gov.bc.ca) on this important matter."
Translation: blame the Liberals. I agree that the Liberals have not done their part to make this bridge viable and it likely is payback to a region that elects NDP representatives. But more importantly: the NDP aren't going to break ranks their municipal counterpart, Dean Fortin.
When Dean Fortin urged the public to decide on which design would be used for the bridge replacement, he then went on to select the second most popular design, resting on the idea that it was in the council's purview. When he kyboshes the rail across the bridge, he will likely slink back to the referendum question and remind the public that the design they supported didn't include a rail line. I'll credit him with knowing what's legal. I wish he could appreciate what's right. When that happens, we need to look on this left-leaning environmentally sensitive City Council and see them for what they are: hypocrites. They are against getting people out of their cars and into light rail. They are against preservation and heritage. They are against generating foot traffic in a vibrant and enjoyable downtown.
The problem with this bridge is that it's used by people throughout the region, but I'm going to be stuck paying the bill. This should be a provincial project as their jurisdiction is an umbrella over the the Capital Region's bickering Balkans.
If the other municipalities are not going to pay and the City of Victoria is stuck footing the bill, it's time they took off the gloves.
The City needs to look at the services it offers the public. They need to jack up the prices substantially and offer a deep discount to City of Victoria residents.
  • Parking meters should all be replaced with the kiosk and numbering system. Then, they should triple the parking rates. Yes: triple. Then offer pre-paid cards (they already do). People who produce drivers licenses that show they live inside of the city boundaries will get the cards for a deep discount. If you're a tourist, you can pay $10/hour to park. If you're from Oak Bay or Colwood: $10/hour-- sorry, you're still a tourist. Sure Colwood people can put their friends up to buy them discounted cards at risk of fraud charges. This would fill the city coffers with much needed revenue.
  • Make Crystal Pool and other public services behave in a similar way: if you're from the City of Victoria swimming is $3 but $10 if you've dropped in from Esquimalt.
If the other municipalities aren't going to contribute and work together, it's time they had their noses rubbed in it. This smattering of little jurisdictions need to be amalgamated and put their petty differences aside. If they don't they should be prepared to pay the privilege of living in their little tweed castles and using the amenities of the City of Victoria.

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