sign of the times

What are these ladies doing at the corner of Moodie and Robertson?

They’re counting traffic for the City of Ottawa as a summer job, for around $12/hr. They said it wasn’t a bad gig, working on their tans while counting cars, but they would have preferred park maintenance, pulling weeds and wielding a weed-whacker.

They spent the entire day at one of Bells Corners’ most dangerous intersections, seeing several near misses but not a single accident, so this must be debris left over from another day.

I don’t why they bother counting – Rick has already got his plan approved to spend $1,000,000 ($100 for every man, woman and child in Bells Corners) tearing up this intersection (to add a second left turn lane so that thirsty fans leaving the Sens games who use Timm Ave. don’t have to wait a few extra seconds to turn left and head to the bars and hotels along the strip).

In other words, a typical Rick decision – putting the interests of a few wealthy supporters (who cut him a cheque) first, before the interests of the community, even while demonstrating once again that the car is king in Bells Corners and that community consultation is a sham.

That’s okay, though. Alex told me that Pierre, Lisa, Rusty and Rick have all assured him that global warming is just a hoax. No need to slow down the runaway train, to use a Terry Kilrea expression.

Speaking of Timm Ave. – if you’ve been avoiding it because of the construction (putting in a new water main to facilitate suburban sprawl) you might want to wait a bit longer – it’s safer to drive or cycle when there are lines painted on the road. Too bad they’re only going to pave half of Timm, as the westbound bike lane is in poor shape.

I dropped some passengers off here this afternoon – the patio was packed even though it was the middle of the afternoon. The Brew Table continues to be popular even in the absence of the Twin Towers.

Speaking of advertising along the strip, a big baby like the one pictured below must cost a fortune to rent ($1000 a month?). It’s hard to believe that this ad in Bells Corners will result in that much extra business for a restaurant on the Merivale strip, an even bigger abomination than our own.

Why would a Bellscornerite eat at a crappy Denny’s on the crappy Merivale strip when we have so many delicious local options?

Maybe Hakim has decided to not replace his killer sign?

What’s with the crusty manager of the Holiday Inn? Planting trees right in front of the billboard seems a bit cheeky.

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13 Responses to sign of the times

  1. wanderer says:

    A simple query – how does RC get away with obtaining approval for a major project in Bells Corners with absolutely no community meetings or consultations?

    I thought when a major change was going to be made in any part of the city, the councillor had to call a consultation meeting with community members. How did he get such rapid approval?

    It sounds that, like the street name change to supposedly help wayfinding in BC, it got approved like a hot knife through butter.

    In the case of the name change locals fought back but the councillor gave absolutely no consideration to what the BC community actually wanted – NO NAME CHANGE.

    I can only guess that he and the mayor, and a good majority of council have absolutely no respect for Bells Corners taxpayers. Our opinions and desires are ignored, and the local politicians go on their merry way.

    What a load of bovine excrement!

    – There IS community consultation in Bells Corners – it’s called an election and it happens every four years. Since about 25% of us put an X besides Rick’s name in the 2010 election he gets to decide for everyone – his power is uncontested.

    And don’t say that he doesn’t consult locals – if you’re on his team Rick gives you access to information, especially if you’re a financial backer, a Rick-friendly reporter, a loyal community association bigwig, or a top City bureaucrat.

    Rick’s true consultation takes place at a higher level – he’d like to be the Mr. Big, but he’s not there yet, so he has to get his wacky ideas vetted by Jim, Rusty, Lisa and Pierre and other members of the power elite.

    If you asked Rick about the lack of local consultation on the $1M renovation to the Moodie/Robertson intersection he would say that it’s out his hands and that it was a decision of the “traffic engineers” at the City and that it’s not a local issue anyway.

    People love their cars, me included, so Rick’s strategy of spending staggering amounts of tax dollars to make Bells Corners even more car-friendly is probably politically smart.

  2. margaret says:

    have you seen the new ‘flower’ pots ?? can hardly see the flowers but the pots are there … maybe waiting for last year’s tulips 🙂

    – They’re not flower pots – they’re an experiment in urban agriculture. Students recruited from Bell H.S. by Rick’s employee Jordan will be doing some organic farming there, supplying local fast food joints with lettuce for their burgers.

    The Cock & Bull was the first to start cultivating the soil along the strip to ensure a supply of fresh organic ingredients for their kitchen.

    Lynwood Village residents are on board too – many have converted their front lawns to growing cheap healthy food.

    • margaret says:

      not on about the ground-level plantings but the large square terracotta pots scattered on the medians – they might benefit from some large tomato plants and trailing pumpkins

      – Irrigation could be a problem. I had a look today and those poor little supposedly drought resistant mini-flowers looked parched. Who waters them anyway? Contractors working for the BIA? City workers? Alex, Jay, Chantal and Jordan walking the median with a watering can on wheels? The hurdy-gurdy man? None of the above?

      Bells Corners Most Honored Resident (hint: Don Robertson’s sister) has given the planters the thumbs down (“they look like garbage cans!” was her first reaction, followed by her incisive analysis of WHY the planters are a failure – aesthetics, practical considerations, cost-effectiveness, etc.

      Jordan told me that he and his conscripts thought that the median planters were AWESOME!

      So that’s one vote FOR and one vote AGAINST. What do YOU think?

      I’ll make it two-to-one for the AGAINST – I think they look small town cheap. Alex promised us that thousands of tulips would bloom along the strip, and all we get is a couple of cheap planters? Why did the BIA not give the contract to the Urban Terrace so that it would be done right, instead of sole-sourcing it to a numbered company allegedly controlled by Pierre Poutine.

      I’m pretty sure the Hurdy Gurdy man agrees with me, so make that three to one AGAINST.

      Alex, I know that a private (?) organization like the Bells Corners BIA has no obligation to share information with the community. But why not throw us a bone – give us some hard info about the planters (or the banners, or whatever else you choose).

      You’ve got an image problem in Bells Corners, Alex, please consider answering your critics by posting on this blog.

      I’ve heard some nasty remarks about you from people who don’t like Rick, but I always defend you, explaining that you’re not necessarily Rick’s puppet and listing your many strong points.

      Basically I’m saying that, unlike some Bells Corners dissidents, I DON’T think you’re a bad guy – there’s still hope that you’ll see the light, renounce your party membership and run for the ABC party in the next election.

  3. Pedestrian says:

    Fresh organic vegetables polluted with exhaust fumes. Mmmmm…

    – It’s never been PROVEN that exhaust fumes are a health problem, so shut up with your negativity.

    • Pedestrian says:

      You are telling me to shut up for being negative when I have not posted anything negative. I am only jesting with the irony of organically grown vegetables growing in the middle of a busy street, which are being exposed to (well, probably during the day) exhaust fumes from passing vehicles. I’m sorry, but your inane statement “It’s never been PROVEN that exhaust fumes are a health problem” lacks sufficient scientific data. Have you ever tried idling your car in the garage with the door closed?

      – Ha! Ha! I was just pulling your chain, Pedestrian. You and I probably agree on just about everything. Sorry for the smart ass answer – I didn’t mean to offend you.

      Seriously though – I wish more Bellscornerites would contribute to this blog.

      It’s FREE, so why not throw in your two cents worth?

      You can be completely anonymous, so just let ‘er fly if you have a pet peeve.

  4. Dave Mc says:

    I saw the planter boxes just up the street from me and it’s like placing a pond lily in a swimming pool.

    What’s worse is that coming from the west, first you see a rusty, ugly rail overpass then look down to see a couple of little terracotta boxes sitting in the middle of a median that’s sprouting grass and weeds between the cracks. Why bother?

    Please, just do something a little less half-assed.

    – Can I put you down as NOT being a fan of the half-assed planters?

    We shouldn’t complain – Rick could have given us QUARTER-assed planters, which would have been EVEN MORE ridiculous.

    This whole sad story makes me think that Rick and his corporate backers are SWEATING BULLETS at the prospect of going down in 2014.

  5. Dave Mc says:

    I think that the rail overpass is the perfect place for a big gateway arch, like the one entering Ottawa’s Chinatown.

    It should symbolize Rick’s vision for Bells Corners – perhaps a suspended car with a few strategically placed fast food signs around it. Then throw in some crumbling paving stones with weeds sprouting through.

    – That might work for one rail overpass, but what about the other two?

    We need more ideas – so far the only ones on the table are yours and Alex’s proposal to put up ads.

    • margaret says:

      the bridges certainly need paint jobs if nothing else but placing ads … NO there’s my vote if anyone wants to ask for it

      if I remember correctly the one from Kanata is not affiliated with CN – the other 2 are, and are part of the BIA ad campaign – and most likely has NCC or city restrictions attached

      not sure about the dangling cars and fast food signs but certainly more imaginative than the other proposal … we could also have pretty lights and flashing neon

      even graffiti would be better than ads – there’s far too many already and what are they advertising? everything elsewhere .

      selective ‘graffiti’ or real art would be not a bad idea – pictorial collage of the history of BC even (in)famous faces like Don Robertson …

  6. Anonymous says:

    My first reactions were “they don’t even match, where are the trailing flowers, and who is going to water them anyways?”

    They should have been grey. I’m definitely NOT a fan.

  7. Rosie says:

    I have to say that I am not a fan of the planters myself! They are way too large for the quantity of flowers planted.

    If they were full of beautiful summer blooms they would be a welcoming sight for those coming into Bells Corners, but, as they sit now, it kind of looks like you’re entering Butt Crack, Ontario.

    We deserve better in Bells Corners!

  8. Phil says:

    Greening the strip is a wonderful idea but those planters look cheap and tawdry, and the poor plants in them look like they are on kamikaze duty!

    Who came up with this concept anyway?

    I would hate to be tasked with maintaining them. If you can’t do something right, sometimes it’s best to do nothing at all.

  9. Jim says:

    They look like crap, they don’t really look like they belong where they were “dropped” in place. Waste of time and money.

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