RUE collaboration with Bike Regina

Hey RUE readers – long time no blog!

School has been very busy over the last year finishing papers and wrapping up my final graduate project. As school winds down I’m looking forward to graduation and seeing what the future will bring… and hopefully a bit more time spent here.

bike report card

But don’t think that because you’ve heard crickets on the site that we at RUE haven’t been hard at work – we’ve been actively working on developing a project in partnership with Bike Regina. After creating the Regina Cycles crowdsourcing map (now co-edited with Bike Regina members), we started looking for more opportunities to connect. It took a little bit of time to sort out the details, but Bike Regina and RUE are currently collaborating to get these great bicyclist’s accident report cards created and distributed in the Queen City.

bike report card 2

The cards were the brainchild of Boston lawyer, Josh Zisson, who specializes in bike law and created the site Bike Safe Boston. He developed these great cards for cyclists to report if they are in an accident or close call. In addition to simple graphics and info on basic cycling laws (tailored to each city), the cards provide a place for cyclists to note important information (date, time, driver’s information, licence plate numbers, etc.)… largely the same info you would take note of if you were in a vehicular accident. Here is a great article about the cards and Josh at Fast Company.

We’re very excited to be working with Bike Regina on this initiative. They are a great group and we are excited to see that they are building their membership and gaining visibility in Regina. We hope to have the cards printed and distributed in the next few months.

** Our sincere condolences go to all those affected by the bombing in Boston yesterday. Josh from Bike Safe Boston shares his thoughts here. Stay safe.

RUE collaboration with Bike Regina

Vintage Regina

SKPower
Sask Power building on Victoria Avenue being constructed

A friend recently turned me on to this great facebook page that people are using to share old photos of Regina. It’s called, quite simply, Vintage Regina. There are some great shots of the city and I like the little discussions that happen around each photo – what date the photo was taken, what people remember about going to a certain place during that time (e.g. seeing Star Wars at the Roxy theatre).

Here’s another fun page to check out with old photos of the Sask Power building being constructed and some interior shots – so lovely!

RUE ran a few ‘Before and After‘ pieces awhile back that compared older photos like these to the present-day conditions. It was always interesting to see what had and had not changed. I’d love to feature some before and after comparisons for many of the photos on Vintage Regina if anyone is interested in taking that on!

Vintage Regina

Egg Hunt…

There have been a few times walking around Toronto this summer where I’ve been excited to come across various landmarks, cafes, or businesses I’ve heard about through friends or read on some of my favourite blogs. It’s kind of like an Easter Egg hunt in the city but most of the time it’s accidental… though I’m starting to do a little research and use my sleuthing skills to make it more fun too!    

My favourite accidental sighting so far is a piece of graffiti featuring Mayor Rob Ford that I first saw in the latest national issue of Spacing magazine (it’s hard to miss in the spread)… Speaking of which, I had the opportunity to contribute a few more articles to that issue, and it was great to work with the folks at Spacing again!

This time around I contributed a profile of Prairie Wild Consulting out of Saskatoon, and a piece about the need for more artist spaces in Regina (studios, rehearsal and performance spaces). In that article I’d interviewed Marian Donnelly of the Creative City Centre on Hamilton Street who announced yesterday that she’s running for mayor this fall.

Egg Hunt…

City Council Meeting

There is an important City Council meeting on Monday, January 23 beginning at 5:30pm.  There are a variety of topics but the two getting the most attention are the changes to the condominium conversion policy (CR12-4)and the report back on alternatives to demolition for the apartment block on 1755 Hamilton Street (CM12-1).

It would be great to see people come down to the Council Meeting.

City Council Meeting

Budget night! (For real this time)

December 12, 2011 at 5:30pm is budget night in Regina!  Bring your flags, your WWE style signs (Fougere 3:16 says: “I am a believer in prudent fiscal management”) and the indispensable “municiple politics is #1” novelty foam finger (seriously though, if you bring any of those things you’ll likely be asked to leave).

But it is fun, no really it is: there are way more people in attendance, the delegations make grand, visionary statements about the city and don’t forget the tense build-up to see what the mill rate increase will be by the end of the evening.  Right now, the budget suggests a 3.9% mill rate increase, but will it stay there? 

For all things budget go here.  For the budget summary everyone should read, see this

I plan to dress up for it, like I’m going to a party.  You should come too!

Budget night! (For real this time)

Bike Rack Run Down

I’m fairly new at cycling in Regina, but like many of you long time riders know, it seems, one constant concern is finding adequate bike parking.

Reflecting on this parking problem, I went out and took pictures of some of the options I know well, in the places I frequent.  I think I’ve covered the different options available, a variety of bike racks and non-racks that people often use for parking.

Please comment below if you’ve got a best/worst bike rack, or if I’ve missed a neat example. 

Scroll over a picture for a blurb and click to enlarge.   The list order goes from best, top left to worst bottom right.

Bike Rack Run Down

Suburban Office Park: The Research Drive example

On July 4th the first building in the Harbour Landing business park (DE 11-48) was approved by City Council.  This was not unexpected, the developers had been telling anyone who would listen how much Regina was lacking in this type of office space.  Although some on Council were suspicious of losing office space downtown, the Harbour Landing folks made a case that this was not downtown appropriate.  What would this suburban office park be like?

During the delegation’s presentation to council, a comparison was made, in reference to the type of development, to the Research Park at the South end of the University of Regina campus. 

I consider Research Drive to be one of the best street-scapes in the city and any comparative development is very welcome.  However, I have my doubts about how effective the Harbour Landing office park will be at integrating and enhancing the emerging Harbour Landing neighbourhood.

So I decided to explore the Research Park, take some snaps and think about the good features the Harbour Landing developers can aspire to and the bad elements they should avoid.   

Following the break are photos and thoughts but for a brief I’ll sum up the important bits here.

Access.  The University’s ad hoc development means lots of dead ends and disconnects between campus and research park and between buildings.  Hyper-awareness of these issues should be a priority for the business park because it’s also likely to be an ad hoc development and it is close to residential who will be stuck looking at what ever comes up.

Build in a way that limits the visual power of parking an emphasizes safe corridors for walking with calm traffic as the main street.  Research Drive is this type of main street and it is mostly successful at promoting the pedestrian, relegating cars to the background, fostering accessibility and creating third spaces.

I also want to credit Hilary Craig and her community walks at the University for generating discussion about the Research Park, particularly about parking and common areas.

Continue reading “Suburban Office Park: The Research Drive example”

Suburban Office Park: The Research Drive example

North Central Portraits

An invisible wall between communities, Dr. Phillip Charrier used this image to describe the distance between North Central Neighbourhood and Regina in his noon hour presentation at Neutral Ground Tuesday.  Dr. Charrier spoke of his portrait project, a collection of photos he’d taken over two years walking the streets, paths and alleys of North Central, as part of the Profs in the City lecture series.

The pictures started as a landscape project but became about the people of North Central (see a good summary at Neutral Ground ) and ‘the line’ (boundaries/borders) that separates North Central residents from Regina.  In his project, Dr. Charrier tried to cross that line; to become accepted by residents through his photographic endeavours and consistent visits. 

Continue reading “North Central Portraits”

North Central Portraits

Cultural Vitality and the City Centre

Today we have a great guest post by Regina dancer, choreographer, and downtown resident Johanna Bundon. Johanna provides her thoughts on the ‘Profs in the Park’ issue and highlights the need for continued dialogue moving forward.

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Like many others who were looking forward to sitting in Victoria Park while taking in a lecture, I am disappointed that ‘Profs in Park’, a collaboration between the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and the University of Regina Arts Faculty never got a chance to breathe life into our dear city centre.

For those who may not be aware, complaints by city administrators about the content of one lecture prompted the BID to cancel it outright. The Arts Faculty responded by cancelling the lecture series all together, a move supported by the other professors scheduled to talk. Though the cancellation of the series is discouraging, what I find most disheartening is that the Regina Downtown BID chose such an unimaginative course of action when met with conflict — the BID’s method to resolve it was scrutiny, then to withdraw their support from the lecture series. This seems a clumsy action that has led to all sorts of ruckus in the community, especially when more graceful methodologies, like dialogue and listening, are so readily available. Continue reading “Cultural Vitality and the City Centre”

Cultural Vitality and the City Centre

Profs in the City

Head on down to the Neutral Ground for the ‘Profs in the City’ lecture series Tuesday, June 14th at 12:15. Emily Eaton’s topic for today’s lecture is entitled ‘Solidarity with Palestine: The Case for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel.’

Generally I would shy away from promoting a lecture topic that doesn’t have urban/Regina/city/environmental subject matter.  In this case, however, the recent controversy about staging Dr. Eaton’s lecture is an important part of defining the vision of our downtown.  I hope people attend this lecture (and the lectures to come) and interact with its issues in support of the downtown as a place of public discourse.

Continue reading “Profs in the City”

Profs in the City