CALGARY, Alberta – The City of Calgary announced yesterday that it will spend roughly half of the $52M budget surplus on twinning the Peace Bridge that conveniently spans the Bow River on Memorial Drive situated roughly 300 meters East of the 10th Street pedestrian bridge, and a 2 or 3 minute walk to the Prince’s Island Park pedestrian bridge on the other side.
Our 27 member Peace Bridge Traffic Monitoring Committee has determined that the Peace Bridge is over its 400 person per minute throughput rate for the better part of each day, all year around. This is because Calgarians who used to cross at 10th Street or Prince’s Island can’t seem to get enough of it – much to our surprise, the bridge’s novelty never wore off.
We are making this move to address the ongoing concerns of our citizens, and to show them that we are listening.
In light of this study, the Peace Bridge Traffic Monitoring Committee tabled a recommendation to City Hall to twin the Peace Bridge to solve the over capacity problem. According to official transcripts from closed-door City Hall meetings, the idea is to procure and construct an identical bridge 1 foot to the east of the existing Peace Bridge at an estimated cost of $25M. This new bridge will be finished in Nenshi Purple, to pay tribute to the City’s fearless leader.
I am honoured to have the new Peace Bridge, which has been aptly named the Peace Out Bridge, furnished in the same purple that I used during my 2010 mayoral candidacy. Increasing the pedestrian throughput across that part of the Bow River is of utmost importance to the City and the people of Calgary.
The great people of this great city made this very clear on our online survey, and we are doing this for the people. That is what a transparent government does.
With the roughly $27M of the surplus remaining, City of Calgary council is considering a number of very pressing projects throughout the city, including, but not exclusive to, the following:
- Reduce monthly transit passes by 11 cents.
- Bronze the almost completed Tuscany CTrain station so that it matches the new Sunalta station.
- Spend $1.43M organizing town hall meetings and building online surveys to figure out how the City should spend the surplus.
- $7.7M to top up the Beautify Alison Redford fund.
- Contribute to the East-half-of-the-3rd-Street-CTrain-Station improvment project.
- $325,000 to create robo-squirrel – a taxidermied rodent that can move its tail, to help study interactions between squirrels and rattlesnakes in city parks.
- $75,000 to install Calgary Public Library book dispensing vending machines at busy CTrain stations.
- $87,000 to the Calgary Circus Day Foundation, for year-long circus-arts programs that teach students how to juggle and perform other circus skills to prepare for management positions in the Oil and Gas industry.
- $25,000 to fund a course called “How to be Happy During Downturns in the Oil and Gas Industry”.
- $759,000 to create a program and by-laws that make it impossible to challenge the expense accounts belonging to high-ranking city officials.
- $13.64 to help control dandelion populations along city medians.
Reports indicate that Mayor Nenshi and City Council expect to have decided all of the ways to misappropriate the $52 budget surplus by a self-imposed July 14th, 2013 deadline.