Whig missed big arena story
Letters to the Editor - Wednesday, July 12, 2006 @ 09:00
The Whig editorial "The arena's traffic woes" (July 6) was disingenuous and disgusting. Members of the newspaper's editorial board have become concerned about the placement of a large venue entertainment centre on the North Block - months after dozens of letters and columns written by concerned citizens appeared in its opinion section and dozens of analytical articles outlining concerns about the location of the LVEC were published on the KCAL.ca website. This editorial has really stretched the concept of better late than never.
I would like to know what surveys The Whig is going on in arguing that "public support for a downtown arena and civic centre skyrocketed after councillors voted to switch the development from Anglin Bay to the so-called North Block"? The information that the KCAL group received was that a location without onsite parking would not be acceptable.
In defense of "city officials," I believe it was not they who advocated "dispersed parking" for the LVEC, but, instead, that they accepted this concept devised out of thin air by hired consultants. There is no such term in traffic engineering terminology as "dispersed parking," and therefore there are no studies to tell us how it works and how motorists accept it. Those are the facts. The LVEC is being built on a fantasy, unsupported by traffic engineering science.
The editorial says that "the mayor made vague mention of two new parking garage proposals." They must have been very vague, because none of my colleagues knows anything about them. At a cost of $25,000 and $45,000 per parking spot for above-ground structured parking and below-ground structured parking respectively, don't count on any new downtown parking soon. Not even developer Kim Donovan would be willing to venture into this world.
The Whig had its chance to challenge the details of an LVEC but buried its head in the sand. I know for a fact that The Whig was sent hundreds of articles expressing concern about this venture, but show me one article the newspaper put together voicing these concerns.
I love The Whig, But I am disgusted with how it has handled this major community fiasco.
City council voted to proceed with an LVEC on the North Block without any public consultation. That is the price the public had to pay to get the LVEC moved off a prime waterfront site. City officials told us that our comments regarding the several arena designs would not be considered in their deliberations. The public has been denied a voice. City Hall deserves no respect in this regard. And The Whig has taken a nap through all of this.
Bruce Todd, Kingston