I had the pleasure of attending the 8-80cities.org (Google) presentation by Gil Penalosa on how many communities are transforming to be more people oriented, easily accessible, safe and enjoyable.
Mr. Penalosa was here through the efforts of the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force and the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition.
Among the nearly three hundred in attendance, only a quarter of our two dozen elected representatives were present and I can only hope that many more took advantage of the advice and knowledge offered the following day at the discussions held for elected officials, senior staff and community representatives.
While it is encouraging to see opportunities for our elected people to gain ideas and understanding without having to send them to costly out-of-town gatherings, it must surely be extremely frustrating for the organizers to see so few politicians respond. Perhaps the political significance of the peoples desire for a change in attitude has yet to fully register!
We have a convergence of events which we should embrace as a golden opportunity to evolve 1) our growing health care dilemma —exercise required, 2) peak oil — expensive gas, 3) carbon-based fuel emissions — reduced usage required.
Safe, efficient, integrated and multi-modal transportation is one of the tenets of the sustainability strategy received by the Comox Valley Regional District in 2010, to be used as a guide for local governments to consider sustainability in all future actions. A sustainable transportation system provides for convenient mobility with low environmental impact.
From the information presented at the public meeting, it is obvious that our community is able to do as well as or better than any other community to increase our quality of livability and economic viability, limited only by mindset inertia.
Thank you to the Cycling Coalition and Cycling Task Force and the elected representatives enlightened enough to see that this ‘special-interest group’ is promoting this special interest for the health of us and our descendants.