Idiot Proof




More on transit congestion in downtown Ottawa, our city’s inadequate response, and media coverage. Yesterday, I suggested a tunnel / grade-separation is required to prevent these confidence-sapping snafu’s from repeating endlessly.  

Yesterday’s post got a lot of comments. If you haven’t read them, I urge you to read them now, just click on the “comments” in the fine print under yesterday’s article. I am always pleased by the quality of comments and thoughtfulness behind them. I thank god this isn’t a daily MSM paper because so many of the comments there are simply abusive or unthinking.  

The top picture above is day 2 of the surface route failure story.  

The second picture is the CBC news van on the Preston extension near the transitway. I did a newsclip for them for the 5pm or 6pm TV news today. For those readers who doubt my sanity, they can see for themselves by watching the news or reading today’s Citizen where I am quoted in their story on the bus delays. Simon Gardner did the CBC interview.  

Doing live media interviews no longer makes me jello, but they are not easy. I talk a lot. Too much, some people would say. I have to try to remember all the time to stay on MY message and get MY message out there. In today’s CBC interview, Gardner caught me a bit by surprise when he asked me why the city isn’t handling the situation better. I fumbled the answer, actually saying out loud the first thing that came to mind, that the city is incompetent. I regretted it before my tongue stopped wagging. I felt it would be the desired ‘confrontational’ headline or snippet that would get aired. I followed it up with some more diplomatic bits about why transit users get the short end of the stick and car commuters get deferential treatment, and what could be improved, but it was too late, the words are out, there is no backspace or delete key when talking to MSM media types.  

I’ll try to get the clip and post it on a subsequent blog post.  

4 thoughts on “Idiot Proof

  1. Hi Eric – I’m generally with you on Ken Gray’s incoherent arguments against a tunnel, but the one compelling point I did read in favour of a surface line in his torrent of posts on the subject (or maybe it was in a comment on a post, I forget) is that a surface line takes away space from cars. So what you can end up with, for example, is a car trying to go south from Queen Street, say, and then coming to the LRT tracks and having to sit there and wait for the train(s) to pass. That image – of an important downtown street being given over to public transit users while drivers are forced to sit and wait – is somewhat convincing to me.

    I’m not saying I’m totally on the side of surface rail for the core, but I can see arguments in its favour, Ken Gray notwithstanding.


  2. Good work Eric! No worries; a little extra “edge” won’t hurt your role as a commentator; I predict the MSM will continue to seek out your opinion.

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