A recent New York Times article shows that the city of Edmonton could learn a thing or two from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration when it comes to replacing bridges.
Using accelerated bridge construction, in Massachusetts, 14 bridges over Interstate 93 were replaced over 10 weekends.

In Boston when the River Street Bridge needed replacing, did it take months, weeks or years? No it didn’t. That bridge too only took a weekend to replace as 400 tons of concrete and steel were slid into place.

You might want to think about that when you have to take a different route because both the Grierson and Argyll Road Bridges will be closed until this fall.

On a different note, as near as I can figure, the City of Edmonton operates on a Three-P approach: punishment, procrastination and prohibition.

The city certainly seems to relish being able to punish those whose behaviours don’t fall into a narrow band of what it considers acceptable. If you don’t shovel your sidewalk in the winter, you are going to get a fine. If you smoke near a playground, you are going to get a fine. I am sure that we will soon be able to add an anti-idling bylaw to that list.

Anything with ‘anti’ in the title seems to move along quite quickly.

Look at how quickly the anti-smoking bylaw related to parks and recreation facilities was passed.

In relative terms, it was enacted in the blink of an eye.

No one asked to be shown refereed studies that indicated that there was a problem that needed to be addressed.

No health experts were asked to come and talk to city council. Smoking near playgrounds was something that had to be stopped immediately.

Now think about what happens when Tres Carnales on Rice Howard Way wants an outdoor patio. This is not a decision the city can make easily. Oh, no — there must be a study and a report and lot of bureaucratic blather as well. Apparently, making it easy for restaurants to have outdoor patios would be the first step on the slippery slope toward civic anarchy.

We live in a city that likes to talk out of both sides of its mouth. One side says it wants to be a vibrant, happening place. The other says we need more and more restrictions on the very things that could make that a reality.

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