Hysteria builds over TransLink public art project
CTV News likes to play the populist card when it comes to running down cycling infrastructure.
So why not do the same for public art?
This week, the little Vancouver station owned by Bell Canada Enterprises took a shot at TransLink's plan to spend $165,000 on a public-art project by artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky at the Main Street Station.
The UBC grads, who have achieved international recognition, are the same artists who livened up the formerly dreary pillars holding up the Cambie Bridge.
Their project, A False Creek, demonstrates what will happen when polar icecaps disappear and sea levels rise.
That strikes me as a pretty defensible inspiration for a public-art project.
The $165,000 expenditure on public art at the Main Street Station is part of a $33-million TransLink capital project.
That prompted Delta mayor Lois Jackson—not known as an advocate of the creative economy—to zero in on this tiny portion in an interview with CTV News.
Someone should tell Jackson and CTV that her support for a half-billion-dollar waste incinerator is a far greater concern for taxpayers.
Jackson and her allies at Metro Vancouver want to change a bylaw to make it more difficult to have mixed-waste material-recovery facilities in the region. They don't want anything interrupting the flow of trash to the incinerator, which can be converted into energy.
Meanwhile, TransLink and its allies in the provincial and federal governments have been screwing taxpayers for years by building multibillion-dollar rapid-transit projects in single-family or industrial zones where few people live.
The result has been a real-estate rush to places like Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby and along the Cambie corridor.
It's great for the developers, but this doesn't do anything for poor students and office workers who are crying out for better transit service along Broadway, where demand has always been greatest.
TransLink's motto seems to be: "If you build it they will come—and forget about all those people who already live in densely populated areas, because eventually, a bus will come along with room enough for them to stand."
And CTV makes waves about a small art project that will brighten people's lives and possibly educate them about environmental degradation.
What a shame.