An excellent article in the Victoria Times-Colonist offers another reason to approve funding for transportation improvements in Metro Vancouver. I'd touched on the topic of public health in my previous post (see previous post), but this report (which doesn't mention TransLink at all) goes into it in great detail.
The award for Dumbest Comment So Far in the non-debate over the TransLink referendum goes to the chap who wrote a comment on Facebook that supporters of the "Yes" side should "prove to me that a No vote means No Transit Improvements". Well, I can't say there will be no transit improvements, but the things Metro Vancouver needs in order to maintain livability require a major cash infusion, otherwise, they would have been done by now and TransLink wouldn't have been in "Service Optimization Mode" for the past 4 years.
Sadly, it appears that the "No" side is firmly entrenched in its view: that TransLink is evil in and of itself, is poorly managed and wastes money. Well, as I've mentioned before, Dominion Bond Rating Service would not give a AA bond rating, and bond-market managers would not invest over half a billion dollars in a poorly-managed organization. And you can look at BC Ferries and BC Hydro if you want real examples of wasting money. In the meantime, TransLink has been audited over and over, deficiencies identified and dealt with, and the belt has been tightened so much, the organization was suffering constriction of the spine when I left it just over 2 years ago.
Is TransLink evil? Far from it. The "idea" of TransLink is that, in a region as vast and varied as Metro Vancouver -- from the flatland of the Aldergrove to the mountains of the North Shore, with people needing to commute to and from Downtown Vancouver and more and more people staying within their sub-regions -- like the South of Fraser Area -- to live and work, public transportation needs to be integrated and mesh together. Major roads and bridges, pedestrian and cycling amenities, need to be part of that mix, too. The objective? To maintain livability -- so coveted by those who live there -- and to reduce mankind's impact on the environment, not just in the immediate area, but in surrounding regions and ultimately on the earth.
As I point out in my book, A Very Convenient Truth -- or, Jesus Told Us There'd Be Days Like These, so Stop Worrying About the Planet and Get With His Program!*, that is exactly the role God calls humans to perform. We are to be the caretakers, the custodians of His Creation, to "replenish the earth and subdue it" -- i.e. to enjoy what He has given us, but to make sure that our enjoyment does not overpower our ability to replenish.
The "idea" of TransLink is part of that calling. Maybe that's why it's come under such bizarre and often self-serving attack over the years.
*Available as an e-book through Chapters, Barnes & Noble, PaperPlus (in New Zealand), among others.