amanda stratton

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How A Citizen Can Make Absolutely No Difference in Five Simple Steps
December 10, 2014 transit_cover_bus

STEP ONE
Last year, I approached the chair of the Transportation Advisory Committee about the fact that I think since there is a spot reserved for a cyclist, there should be a spot reserved for an active transit user.

He told me I should contact someone at the city and ask for delegation status regarding their upcoming review of the Terms of Reference. (very helpful!)

I contacted the correct person, and she added me to the list of speakers (okay, I was the only one) on that topic, and was kind enough to make it a timed item so that I wouldn’t have to sit through their discussions of intersections and stuff. (very helpful!)

STEP TWO
I attended the meeting on December 3, 2013 and gave a very short verbal presentation to the committee to ask that they recommend a spot on the committee be reserved for an active transit user. There was some discussion, and questions about my background, and then a vote. I believe it was a unanimous decision to recommend that the Terms of Reference include a seat reserved for a transit user.

STEP THREE
This report
was received by the Civic Works Committee, to whom the Transportation Advisory Committee reports, on December 9, 2013.

It includes the following:

screenshot-sire.london.ca 2014-12-10 15-15-32

Discussion on the matter was as follows:

Chair Harold Usher: “I don’t wanna have a whole lot of discussion on this because I’d like to move it right on to SPPC. Item number one should be refferred to SPPC.”

The committee decided unanimously to forward it to SPPC for it’s meeting on December 16, 2013.

 

STEP FOUR
On December 16, 2013, the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee discussed an agenda item labelled “Cycling Advisory Committee” to which several citizens spoke.

The related communication was this one which includes a revised Terms of Reference for the Transportation Advisory Committee that mentions nothing at all about a seat for a transit user.  It does include the following recommended change to the Terms of Reference:

screenshot-sire.london.ca 2014-12-10 15-00-42

Note that

a) public transit is not generally considered a form of active transportation, although use of it often inherently includes, say, walking to the bus stop. “Active transit user” does not equal “User of active transportation”.

b) they also suggested making the voting representative from the London Transit Commission a non-voting member while removing the non-voting member of the LTC administration.

These recommendations, made by staff, completely ignore and in fact seem to go completely against the recommendations of the committee with regard to transit user perspectives being heard on the committee.

According to the report, this was all in response to an earlier direction from Council (on October 1, 2013) to explore the feasibility of creating a Cycling Advisory Committee, and as far as I can tell, the Transportation Advisory Committee report directed to be forwarded to the SPPC from the Civic Works Committee never made it there.

The recommendations were approved, including that “the City Clerk BE DIRECTED to report back with revised terms of reference for the Transportation Advisory Committee, which incorporate certain changes arising from the establishment of a Cycling Advisory Committee”

STEP FIVE
On March 17, 2013, this finally came back to SPPC following budget work. The recommended Terms of Reference for the Transportation Advisory Committee included the following:

screenshot-sire.london.ca 2014-12-10 15-12-11 screenshot-sire.london.ca 2014-12-10 15-12-33

Note that the number of members-at-large (i.e. regular citizens) was not increased from 3 to 4 citizens as previously recommended. Also, the stipulation that any of those seats be reserved for any kind of transportation user was removed. The change to decrease representation from the LTC, however, did make the final cut.

The proposed Terms of Reference were accepted.

And that’s that.