Letters: April 2, 2015

Student activism out of control

I am writing to register my surprise at seeing a good-faith effort at promoting green, healthy means of transportation disparaged because it was not sufficiently radical for someone else. Recently, someone spray-painted catchy slogans on a path promoting bicycle riding as an alternative to driving. A day or two later, someone else came in with chalk to add complaints claiming the slogans were “ableist” and “fat-phobic.” As someone who is both disabled and overweight, I felt the slogans were not only innocuous but commendable and was shocked that anyone would do this.

I can only conclude that the university’s activist student culture has gotten far out of control. When someone tries to do something decent, and another comes along to piously and arrogantly denounce their efforts as insufficient, there is a problem. I feel this behavior reflects poorly on the university, and members of the UVic’s academic community should be embarrassed by it.

David Blair

UVic student

Bad Apples and Bike Theft

There is a problem that has affected — directly or indirectly — every one of us, every day. It destroys our faith in humanity and can be understated as petty crime: bike theft. When will enough be enough?

Having a locked bikes stolen in broad daylight with the perpetrator caught on camera and no plan for retribution is a far cry from justice. Victims are forced to scrounge enough savings to start again with fresh commuter bikes, burly state of the art locks, and a new plan for defence.

But before you know it, thieves steal seats and safety lights — anything with seemingly miniscule value. How desperate are the thieves in our city? That answer should seem all too obvious. Let’s step up and put an end to this rambling ‘petty’ crime and return our lifestyles to something more enjoyable.

But how? I have looked into GPS tracking devices. The technology is there, but that won’t stop your seat from surreptitiously being ripped off. There are bait bike programs, but are they doing enough? A quick Google search reveals that the last successful VicPD program was in 2006. Let’s ramp it up. If funding is the excuse, well, property tax time is fast approaching and I know how I would like some of my municipal dollars to be spent. If we want to be a bicycle city, like our friends in the Netherlands, we need to collectively check the problems that discourage everyday citizens from going green and cycling.

Joshua Paul

Community member

Leave a Reply