Saturday, May 19, 2018


Written by the late Errnie Crist in 2007.

The North American City is the product of the automobile. It shaped our lives, our culture, and our economic priorities. Land was plentiful, oil cheap and Henry Ford an American hero who turned mass production of cars into a religion.

However, the imperatives for radical change are now upon us. Our reliance on the automobile to commute in the city is past.

Whether we can make the transition to a new 21st century and human environment or not will determine our survival. Global warming is not a myth, the economic cost of single vehicle transportation is not a myth, nor is the waste of land nor is the staggering cost to our health and the depletion of fossil fuel. Change is no longer an option. It is a challenge we will either meet head on or we will suffer serious consequences.

The new 21st century liveable city is designed for people not cars, stated world renowned city planner Hans Blumenfeld on his visit to Vancouver almost 30 years ago. Indeed there are no cars to speak of and to the extent that they exist, they are the exception not the rule.

Transportation in the new city is based on mass transit. It is efficient, convenient, cheap, and pollution free. It is virtually noiseless and pleasing to the eye. It is in harmony with the city’s architecture. It is part and parcel of a new human friendly environment in which people speak to each other and relax while traveling at great speed moving to their destination. It is an antidote to alienation and comprises everything from rapid trains, noiseless street cars, to buses, ferries and mini buses.

The new city has plenty of trees, parks, playing fields, indoor and outdoor recreation and cultural facilities. Most neighbourhoods are self contained for efficiency and yes, there are high-rises. Indeed, compact developments are the rule rather than the exception while total green space is enhanced and pedestrian friendly.

However, the new proposal for high-rises in Lynn Valley is not conducive to this objective. It is the exact opposite. It is outmoded and reactionary.

Far from decreasing reliance on the car it will enhance it. Far from less pollution, there will be more. Far from generating less traffic congestion, there will be more. The reason is that the most important element of enhanced liveability, as outlined in numerous vision statements by the worlds most credible town planners, will be missing, namely a transportation system which reflects this concept and must be its backbone.

If the proposal for high-rises in Lynn Valley, in the name of motherhood and apple pie, is implemented as it will unless the people stand up now and stop it, everything which is outdated now will be worse. Any and all talk to the contrary is at best wishful thinking or an out and out hoax as was the previous densification of the Lynn Valley Core sold to the people of Lynn Valley as a “Pedestrian Oriented Town Center”.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Should Mountain Bikers Be Muzzled?

 From "Dirt Rag" magazine - Issue #67, August 15, 1998 

Well, we need to get this blog jump-started again.  And what usually gets things going is the ever-timely topic of the “out of sight, out of mind” off-road mountain (dirt) biking activities on our North Shore mountains, specifically... This is a new one...

Seems some mountain bikers are now taking aim at the commercial dog walkers, threatening them with violence, because a commercial dog walker or two found themselves on a heavily used mountain bike only/primary trails. Whether in jest, or not, from experience, I know that sometimes the forum dialogue spills onto the trails, in result.

There are so many rogue, hidden, and braided trails everywhere on our North Shore mtns. carved out by the mountain bikers (and “rubber-stamped” by the fine NSMBA on – it is very easy for someone to find themselves off the legit, main trail and end up somewhere they do not want to be, or should not be. Even mountain bikers may find themselves off-trail, accidentally – and on purpose...

If the following joked about violence on the forum actually happened, it would not be the first time a mountain biker on Fromme Mtn. trails has bitten a “walker” in violent rage (2015) – and this was a mountain biker who initially lied to the police about the incident, and got away with it! Other mountain bikers started to bully and harass the bitten hiker! Some known from the NSMBA! No arrests, no charges. Go figure? What happened? 

You have to wonder about our law enforcement officers always seeming to coddle these mountain bikers with white kid gloves (in a few more instances I know about.). A clear double-standard at work here. The trails are not a safe place to be for those on foot -- or dog walking, for that matter, in light of these facts. Now back on topic:

One mountain biker goes as far as to post this nasty meme on the topic of "Commercial dog walkers" found on mountain bike only/primary trails : “You never bite a walker. You gotta shoot em in the head.” * (I don’t  really care where the reference to this meme comes from. I see this as a threat to overall public safety on the trails!) It pretty much spells out the over-entitled mentality of the mountain bikers who have been given far too much political clout and ill-deserved support and funding. 

The mountain bikers joke on this forum thread post:
“Its not the dogs fault for being brought by a walker onto a biking trail either. Bite the walker!”

 “Well, I guess I'll get a full-face helmet......then I won't be able to bite dogs or walkers!!!!”

You have to wonder at why so many politicians, government agencies, corporations, developers (such as MOSAIC and Polygon), etc. want to support and fund such a rogue lot in the first place? Maybe, it is because they actually admire these “amoral” dirt bikers in the woods? When you consider the lack of ethics in politics and corporations these days, is it any wonder they would choose to support and fund the wily NSMBA? I can't even begin to count all the things the NSMBA and other mountain bikers keep getting away, these days, as the general public continues to be asleep at the wheel.

With electric motorized mountain bikes on forest trails on the near horizon, I expect that the conflicts on the trails will become worse. Grouse Mountain plans to start renting those motor bikes, next month (innocuously calling them "pedal-assist bikes".) The BC gov't is considering allowing electric motorized mountain bikes on Crown land/park land trails, also. Vroom! Vroom!

I still feel that mountain biking needs to be strictly contained, properly managed, and well-enforced. For everyone's safety, including the wildlife being squeezed out of their habitat with the NSMBA's ever-growing trail network. Yes, more NEW trails being built on Fromme Mtn. and beyond, this year. It's insanity. 

Do you believe that mountain bikers and the NSMBA need to be “muzzled” in more ways than one? Let the fur fly, folks... Let's get this worthy blog jump-started again!

(Note: I expect that this incriminating forum thread link on will soon “disappear”, like many other evidences, I have collected from the local mtb rag over the years. That is why I have a hard copy of it, scanned and saved for future reference.)