So, have you heard about the new City Plan? If you are curious, you can dive into the 182 page document here. Some of the goals are noble, while others seriously fall short. One of the major themes of the document is on transportation. While the document does talk about improving public transportation in our city, it does so with alarming methods. I will explain.
The job of City Council is to weigh out the pros and cons of a document like the City Plan. Let’s face it – this council already has an established track record of not making good choices in the public’s best interest. My opinion only, but I’m sticking to it. Let’s look at a very particular page of the document, page 145.
There are some troubling troubling quotes from this page, including the phrase “levers of change.” Here are some:
- “Levers are tools, actions or approaches that the City can use to enact change and achieve specific outcomes.”
- “…applying a premium to cost or a reduction in cost to support a shared outcome or influence behavior.”
- “applying charges and fees for users through available financial mechanisms.”
Ok, this is pretty eyebrow raising stuff. Let’s continue to page 161:
If you read the text you will notice the city talks about reducing automobile trips by 1.2 million per day and one of the goals to achieve this is by applying “strategic pricing mechanisms.” We already saw a hint of the mechanisms in page 145 as well above.
Council voted 12-1 to approve the City Plan on December 7th, 2020. I voted against it for reasons like the one I mentioned above and other legitimate concerns.
So how does a city like Edmonton implement “strategic pricing mechanisms” and reduce automobiles? If we fast forward a few weeks, the City of Edmonton released another report (CR_7810) filled with ideas on how to achieve their lofty goals inside the city plan. You can read this document here.
On the top of page 4 you can see the following:
- 2x the cost of vehicle ownership
- 4x the cost of parking meters
- Ban cars in some areas
- Lots more paid parking
- Fuel Taxes (Edmonton’s Carbon Tax)
- New vehicles registrations
- More money out of your pocket
We’re living through an economic crisis right now and while we are focusing on how to make ends meet, City Hall is looking at more ways to tax us.
We already pay enough in insurance costs and day-to-day maintenance costs on our vehicles. We just need to plan accordingly, not impulsively. It doesn’t matter to me if you want to ride the LRT, your bike, or drive your car. The choice should be yours. You already pay enough – it’s your turn to get ahead.