Showing posts from May, 2016

Edmonton VisionZero Quiz #1

Date: Edmonton, May 24, 2016

Situation: A left-turning bus has just cleared the intersection on an advance green light at Jasper Ave and 101 St, and pedestrians have begun to move east and west on a solid green in the crosswalk. A mother pushes a baby stroller.

The VisionZero Quiz Question: Does the SUV turn left in front of the crosswalking pedestrians, or does the driver wait until the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians before making the left turn?

And here is your answer:

Thanks for playing!

Trump and Ong

Walter Ong teaches that a characteristic of oral thought, as opposed to thought influenced by writing or print, is its reliance on the aggregative over the analytic.

Here is the wise Ong:

Oral expression...carries a load of epithets and other formulary baggage which high literacy rejects as cumbersome and tirelessly redundant because of its aggregative weight. 
It serves the need of memory (there is nowhere but the mind to store expressions in oral cultures) to describe Odysseus as not simply Odysseus, but wily Odysseus, Athena not just as Athena, but grey-eyed Athena,  Nestor as wise Nestor and so on. This is recall before we could look at a script or a book or hit return in a Google search.

 Enter Donald Trump and his collection of adjectives that crystallize themselves onto the modified.

Lying Ted Cruz
Crazy Bernie Sanders
Little Marco Rubio
1 for 38 John Kasich
Crooked Hillary Clinton
Goofy Elizabeth Warren
Low Energy Jeb Bush

Students of commuication might be forgiven for conclu…

VisionZero 1, ...

This will be a collection site for some of the little scenes I see that underline the importance of righting the imbalance of power on public roads. Check back.

May 4, 103 Ave, 109 St, pedestrian ignored

Edmonton's Snow White Lie

Edmonton tells itself a convenient snow-white lie that by May 1 every year has officially run out of the gas it is made of.

Politicians are in on it, citizens are complicit in it, the media magnifies it. It has legs. It has traction. It is out in the world. And it has gotten inside.

Here is the lie. (These are not my words, but they were actually written and published. Honest. I share them only because they elegantly and efficiently capture the lie.)
Bicycles will never be a significant all-season transportation alternative in a city where the streets are snow-covered between five to seven months of the year.  There is no end to this superstitious wailing. With tea leaves, playing cards, pentagrams and horoscopes, Edmonton's winter sky is a medium that, when read by the initiated who can descry these dark things, contains our destiny. And the city's destiny is the automobile.

(As an aside, can you imagine what wouldn't have been built if the logic of weather-as-destiny ha…