1. Convention Centre
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is the lead agency overseeing the Nova Centre project, which includes the convention centre. Back in 2012, TIR and Nova Centre developer Joe Ramia signed an agreement spelling out the terms of the project, including a “substantial completion” date of December 31, 2015. The agreement also spells out that the terms cannot be changed except through a written agreement signed by both parties.
But TIR only learned that the project wouldn’t be completed on time when Ramia had a press conference to announce the delay. Now, because Ramia gets whatever he wants, officials are scrambling to create that written agreement after-the-fact.
Halifax police have released the latest stats on vehicle/pedestrian collisions. There were 39 incidents in November, up from 24 last November and the most in any month since the police have been tracking them.
From January through November there were 223 incidents, with 229 pedestrians hit (some incidents involved multiple pedestrians). Eighty-two of the incidents (57 percent) occurred at crosswalks, and another 33 (23 percent) occurred in parking lots. Drivers were ticketed at seven times the rate of pedestrians. Four people have died. The report doesn’t say how police determine the severity of injuries, but it says nine people suffered “serious” injury, 27 “moderate” injuries and 113 “minor” injuries.
The report doesn’t break down the circumstances of each collision, but the year-end report will. But according to news reports and police releases, of the last six incidents in Halifax, five involved vehicles turning left and striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon:
A pedestrian has been taken to hospital after she was hit by a vehicle Thursday afternoon on Halifax’s Robie Street, near the intersection with South Street.
Police say the person was not at a crosswalk when she was hit by a vehicle heading northbound on Robie Street.
And last night:
A 37-year-old Eastern Passage woman sustained minor injuries after she was hit by a pickup truck at the intersection of Caldwell Road and Shore Road, shortly before 8:30 p.m.
She was taken from the scene for treatment at Dartmouth General Hospital and released shortly thereafter. Halifax Regional Police say she was in a crosswalk but the area is not lit and the crosswalk is not marked. She was also wearing dark clothes.
The pickup truck, driven by a 44-year-old Cole Harbour man, was turning left when the pedestrian was hit.
And students at Acadia University in Wolfville held a demonstration yesterday in support of closing the northern part of University Avenue to cars.
The provincial government has issued new standards for pet care. They include:
— prohibiting tethering for more than 12 consecutive hours
— a veterinarian certificate of health is required in order to sell both cats and dogs
— new rules for outdoor care, shelters, pens and enclosures
— new requirements around the transportation of cats and dogs
Enforcement officials are now able to write summary offence tickets for violations of the act and regulations. Fines range from about $200 to $700.
The changes in the law also allow SPCA officers to break car windows to rescue dogs.
4. Emma DiCara Tichenor
The woman killed in a crash on Highway 101 Monday was Emma DiCara Tichenor, a promising young scientist at Acadia, reports the Chronicle Herald.
About 70 or 80 people die on Nova Scotia highways each year.
CBC reported about an “elderly” woman hit in a crosswalk Wednesday. She’s 54 years old.
6. Separated at birth?
7. Wild Kingdom
A truck tipped over on the Saint John Harbour Bridge early Thursday morning, spilling 40,000 pounds of lobster onto the roadway. Brett Bundale reports:
“They didn’t know which way the water was,” he [Cecil McCavour] said of the disoriented lobsters. “They’re bandaged, so their claws can’t open and the air was cold. They wouldn’t have survived long.”
He went home and talked to his father, who owns a lobster pound, and asked if they could help.
Minutes later, he was headed back to the bridge with a trailer in tow. With his father’s help, McCavour and his two buddies worked all night and managed to save almost 30,000 pounds of lobsters.
“We spent all night transporting the lobster crates to our pound. We have a building that’s like a big swimming pool for the lobsters. We put the crates right in the water.”
1. Public spaces
Sean Gillis wants to feed the ducks at the Public Gardens. There are signs all over the place: Don’t feed the ducks.
Lezlie Lowe says we all have to get better at sorting garbage.
3. Cranky letter of the day
We’ve seen a demonstration of the steering wheel on the Bluenose II, but anyone could stand on the deck of the ship and turn the wheel. How do we know that the rudder is turning unless we see the ship operating in the water?
I am willing to bet that all that electronic gear and lights and switches associated with the steering system will be adversely affected by the salt air and salt spray when the ship is out on the water. Replacing the electronics will be the next expense.
Sooner or later, it will be necessary to remove the steel rudder due to rust and corrosion and put the wooden rudder back on, the way it should have been done in the first place.
Gerald Harris, Halifax
No public meetings.
No public events. It’s exam time. The line at the Coburg Coffee Shop goes out the door.
For almost the entire history of streets—8,000 years or so—they were the domain of pedestrians, people walking. There weren’t rules. People could walk across the street at any point, could wander down the middle of the street, could pass on the right or left, whatever. It’s true that with heavy horse traffic and poor drainage the streets could be a terrible mess and so elevated sidewalks were created, but nonetheless there were no laws against pedestrians using the streets however they wanted to, nor any reason for such laws. Nineteenth century prints showing city streets depict people walking in the streets, socializing in the middle of the street, using them as people have for thousands of years before.
So how is it that streets are now the domain of cars? Cars have priority, and strict rules restrict pedestrians to tiny portions of the street in highly regulated circumstances. Turn to social media after any of the many pedestrian collisions, and you’ll see a steady lecture about “stupid” pedestrians, where the natural order of things is that pedestrians have got to look out for their lives and they damn near deserve getting killed if they don’t wear bright yellow, carry flashlights, make eye contact, erect billboards announcing their intention, and serve coffee at stoplights to potentially weary drivers.
This change in attitudes about pedestrians on streets didn’t just happen. It wasn’t simply that cars were invented and so everyone agreed to new rules for pedestrians. I’ve linked to this before, but the 99% Invisible podcast has a wonderful edition titled “The Modern Moloch” that gives a history of the change:
On the streets of early 20th Century America, nothing moved faster than 10 miles per hour. Responsible parents would tell their children, “Go outside, and play in the streets. All day.”
And then the automobile happened. And then automobiles began killing thousands of children, every year.
Much of the public viewed the car as a death machine. One newspaper cartoon even compared the car to Moloch, the god to whom the Ammonites supposedly sacrificed their children.
Pedestrian deaths were considered public tragedies. Cities held parades and built monuments in memory of children who had been struck and killed by cars. Mothers of children killed in the streets were given a special white star to honor their loss.
The main cause for these deaths was that the rules of the street were vastly different than how they are today. A street functioned like a city park, or a pedestrian mall, where you could move in any direction without really thinking about it. The only moving hazards were animals and other people.
Turn-of-the-century footage from San Francisco’s Market Street shows just how casually people strode into the street. [see the link for the video]
…Automotive interests banded together under the name Motordom. One of Motordom’s public relations gurus was a man named E. B. Lefferts, who put forth a radical idea: don’t blame cars, blame human recklessness. Lefferts and Motordom sought to exonerate the machine by placing the blame with individuals.
The podcast goes into great detail about how the PR campaign unfolded. It’s worth a listen.
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Prabhu Daya, bulker, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania to anchor for bunkers
Serifos, tanker, Wilmington, Delaware to NS Power plant at Tufts Cove
Fusion, con-ro, Saint-Pierre to Pier 36
Canada 2014 (formerly Blue Star Ithaki)—passenger ferry, Saint John to Halifax, presumably to the Irving Shipyard
Oceanex Sanderling sails for St. John’s
The NSP plant at Tufts Cove mostly burns natural gas, but it also burns oil and gets about a tanker load per year.
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