Here’s the thing.
No matter what happens at city council this week, it won’t be the last we hear about the Gardiner east. I think it was Brian Kelcey who said a week or so ago on Twitter that (and I’m paraphrasing here because I’m too lazy to go back and find the exact wording) no big decision is ever made in a city just once. Not just this city. Any city.
My gut tells me that even if Mayor Tory’s “hybrid” option wins the day, whatever day it gets voted on, we’ll never see it. There are too many obstacles in its way, out of city council’s hands, for it to remain… a-hem, a-hem… standing. A provincial EA. Federal involvement in the waterfront development. A keenly interested segment of the development community. David Crombie.
And for some members of council including the mayor, I think that might not be the worst outcome. Standing up for car drivers and having the right decision taken out of their hands by forces beyond their control would be a nice tidy narrative to have in their back pocket when any sort of final decision is made. I did what I could but, you know, my hands were tied.
While I would’ve thought a couple days ago the “hybrid” option was squeaking through, just yesterday loud and loopy voices began making tunneling sounds. Bury the whole thing! This threatens to take the council debate to the Fordian stratosphere of unpredictable madness that winds up banning cars from the downtown core. Let’s call it, Stage Jimmy K.
The tunnel strategy could quite simply be another take on establishing pro-car credibility. Nothing’s too good for you, Uncle Otto. Nobody loves you as much as I do. And then, once that gets blown out of the water by a whiff of, reality, let’s call it, the diggers will wind up in the “hybrid” camp, reluctant compromisers.
What I will say is, regardless of what happens with the Gardiner east debate, a fuller picture of our council make-up will fall into place. We’ll be able to ascertain just who seems prepared to face the future challenges of building and developing this city in a forward-thinking manner, differentiating themselves from those refusing to make decisions with any guide other than past measures. This is how it could be versus this is how it’s always been.
Good information to have in hand. A useful guide going forward to 2018.
— judgingly submitted by Cityslikr