The 17th: Update # 3

“The 17th” is my running gag about my upcoming move… to my 17th address.

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So, my new town will be one of two, starting in September, where the B.C. government will allow golf carts to be used on some public roads.*

Gimmie a break.

“I look forward to the increased use of low-emission vehicles as we work towards our greenhouse-gas reduction goals and aim to increase accessibility in the Province,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a press release.

This 1-2 year pilot program is the new plan to replace the LNG dream and help rid the planet of greenhouse gases? Really?

There are caveats to this proposal:

  • only driving on municipal roads with a maximum speed of 30 km/h during daylight hours
  • the golf cart must be registered and insured and be equipped with seat belts, a horn, lights, signals, and a rear-view mirror
  • drivers will need to have a valid driver’s license
  • everyone listens for shotgun starts from red lights
  • they have to check with the starter before leaving the house

Okay, I may have made up the last two.

“This change makes it easier for people, particularly seniors, to stay engaged in their community and access the services that make their lives better,” said Premier Christy Clark in the release.

Correct me if I’m wrong but unless all the roads connected to those services are 30 km/h, won’t seniors be faced with having small zones where they’d be allowed to drive golf carts? Say, the ones around schools? I’m quite sure accessibility means more than having a patchwork of 30 km/h roads to play on.

Is this whole, hilarious thing just a push to lower municipal speed limits? If so, there’s no need for the pretence… not every policy change needs to be bundled with a feel-good photo-op. Just lower the speed limits, put in some bunkers and provide everyone with a beer cart every few blocks.

I guess if you’re going to put bypasses around communities when expanding the Trans-Canada, it makes sense to go full-on The Villages like this. Oh, yeah… this is by no means a new idea and perhaps another example of this B.C. government being late for its tee-time.

My personal take: if a senior becomes uncomfortable driving in a small town (or anyone else, anywhere else) perhaps they should consider leaving the driving to someone else. I know that isn’t easy to hear for many people — transportation options can be difficult to access. My grandfather didn’t just bend the rules regarding driving… he hooked them out-of-bounds for years.

But is this any kind of serious alternative? A wide range of motorized wheelchairs already exist (many fully enclosed for inclement weather) and even a casual observer of the comings and goings of seniors in Chase has noticed an increasing number of them. And for good reason: they don’t require registration, vehicle licence, ICBC insurance or even a driver’s licence. For all intents and purposes, a person in a motorized chair is a pedestrian and they can operate anywhere pedestrians are permitted to walk.

Maybe the question to ask is, what is the government doing right now that they need this distraction? #SiteC #KinderMorgan #FirstNationsTreaties #politicaldonations #LNG #YadaYadaYada

Either this is the inevitable end result or the first senior being scraped off the pavement (after being hit by an actual vehicle leaving the 19th hole) will put a dramatic halt to this pilot program.

Honestly, they really missed an opportunity to tag this with “B.C. — Moving Fore-ward.”

*I don’t know why I’ve been coy about it; Chase, I’m moving to Chase. The other town where this pilot will be set up is Qualicum Beach, home to at least four golf courses.

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About Admin

Clients and places where I’ve had photos and writing published include: The Tyee, BC Outdoors Magazine, Currents Magazine, Kamloops Daily News, Kamloops This Week, Smithers Interior News, Okanagan Vacation Guide, Hummingbird Beach Resort, U.S. Horsetrainer.com, Castlegar News, West Kootenay Advertiser and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. I did have a portfolio on iStockphoto.com, a subsidiary of Getty Images and had over 1000 downloads when I decided to go a different direction in selling images. You can find me now at: http://www.viewbug.com/member/MarvBeatty
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