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Worth bringing forward: What’s causing traffic congestion on the North Shore?

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Frank Ducote added this comment to the post on the Arbutus Greenway – but it’s worth pulling out to continue the conversation on its own post:

… vehicular traffic on the main North Shore routes has gotten ridiculously congested – if not exactly gridlocked – an increasingly large percentage of the day. (Marine Drive, Taylor Way, both bridges, Highway 1, Keith Road, Capilano Road, etc.) The directional split on the Second Narrows Bridge, for example, went from about 70%/30% to almost 50%/50% in just a few years, making the so-called reverse commute very painful rather than easy. I hope new changes at the north end of the Second Narrows will improve matters there.

Contrary to his point, though, it isn’t additional traffic caused by residential population development on the North Shore, which is actually quite modest and incremental. I’d hazard to say it is mostly generated by explosive development along the entire Sea to Sky Highway corridor since that facility was widened for the 2010 Olympics.

Living in Squamish and commuting to Metro is now about as common as living in the Fraser Valley and doing so. That, plus the fact that almost all freight is carried by truck and construction workers drive vans and trucks, both of which originate south of Burrard Inlet and probably even south of the Fraser.

Oh, how I wish that railway infrastructure was selected for the Sea to Sky route rather than yet more Motordom!

There’s a critical point here: the Province has spent billions on this corridor – Sea-to-Sky, Highway 1, Port Mann, interchange upgrades connected to Second Narrows, along with smaller road and bridge widenings.

For that money and those political commitments, couldn’t the public reasonably expect that congestion would be lessened?  Has it been? And if it’s worse, how could that have happened?   And why?

What lessons does that mean for the future of the North Shore and, to the south, with the massive expansion of the Massey crossing and Highway 99, growth on the Fraser Delta? crossing? The Province, without ever articulating a complete vision, has undertaken a region-shaping network of highways and some of the biggest bridges on the continent.  There is no reason to think they will stop.

And yet, if it is already failing to deliver the minimum expected – less congestion – we need to know why and what the alternatives are.




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sarcozona
1 day ago
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Just because there are 2 models doesn't mean they are exclusive of each other

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Sometimes people think they have to choose between social model of disability and medical model: all one or all the other. I believe they work best in concert. Neither model explains the entirety of the experience of disease, illness, and impairment-- perhaps nothing ever will because these experiences are so complex and involve both individual and community experiences, and the many vagaries of our human bodies.

I think that all categorization and models break down with enough analysis... our human understanding of the universe is ultimately quite poor. We stumble in the dark. We stare at shadows on the wall of a cave.
But. We can try.

The social model works for me largely because medicine has failed; there seems to be little to nothing that medicine can do for my pain and fatigue. There are no medicines beyond caffiene that treat fatigue; and I've tried many many things for pain with little benefit. What helps me most are lifestyle interventions: resting a lot, essentially. Reducing my stress way, way down. Very gentle exercise. And when I read about the social model and disability activism I feel validated, comforted, more secure. I feel my world become wider. I feel a connection to others.

Trying to pursue medical interventions feels like exercise in failure. I do go to the doctor but mostly it's to make sure nothing worse is happening to me, rather than to try and get better.

I do think that most disabled people visit the doctor and believe in the medical model to an extent: we have to deal with doctors and providers to get needed medicines and therapies. We must believe in them as a matter of survival.

I'm trained as a scientist and I worked in medicine for a long time. I understand the limits and the benefits of this realm.

What I don't see enough of, is the medical field embracing-- or even knowing about-- the social model. It would be so interesting to see what could happen if practioners listened to disabled people and learned from our expertise.

When I worked in a hospital I noticed that universal design was (perhaps ironically) apparent there, because injured and ill people are normal in a hospital setting. So there is abundant signage. People are encouraged to use the elevators, and the elevators are big enough to fit wheelchairs and gurneys. There are places to sit and rest at the ends of corridors. Doctors offices, on the other hand, even my pain clinic (!) still seem comitted to using bright fluorescent lights. And of course the standards are different for staff versus patients, even though staff memebers certainly may be disabled as well.

TLDR:
--You don't have to choose between the medical and social model
--The medical world could stand to learn some things from the social model and from activists

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sarcozona
1 day ago
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Even the price of insulin is skyrocketing. Is it too early to execute every phar...

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Even the price of insulin is skyrocketing. Is it too early to execute every pharma exec?

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sarcozona
1 day ago
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There may be a drug for migraine -a real preventative-released in the next 5 years or so. And if I'm lucky it'll only cost 10 grand a year.
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Stuck With the Bill

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Seems to me the Epipen scandal pretty much exemplifies most of what’s wrong with America. Consider:

The Epipen is epinephrine inside  a fancy delivery system.  According to Raw Story, the delivery system was developed by the military on the taxpayers’ dime.  If this is true, one wonders how the pharmaceutical corporation Mylan got an exclusive patent on the thing. If taxpayers developed it, why isn’t it in public domain?

For that matter, EpiPen has been on the market since 1977. Why hasn’t anyone else come up with a competitive product? The only alternative, as I understand it, is to get a vial of epinephrine and a syringe and inject it the old-fashioned way. That might not be practical for some people with extreme allergies that might strike at any time, especially for children.

Epipen’s list price soared to $608 per pack, from about $100 in 2007. Of that, the corporate vampire squid Mylan makes $274. The rest goes to wholesalers, insurance companies, retailers and “pharmacy benefit managers,” whoever they are. Sounds like a whole lot o’ gouging going on.

Note that Mylan has made no significant changes to the Epipen for years. They raised prices, mostly over the past three years, because they expected a generic competitor to come on the market next year, but in fact the FDA did not approve the competitor. So Mylan still has a monopoly.

And there’s

this:“For years, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has been selling the devices to schools at a discounted price, giving them a break from rising costs. But the program also prohibited schools from buying competitors’ devices — a provision that experts say may have violated antitrust law.”And there’s

this: “While Mylan was jacking up the price of the pens over the last nine years, making them nearly unaffordable for many patients, the company’s CEO, Heather Bresch, saw her total compensation package go from around $2.5 million when she was the company president to just shy of $19 million in 2015. ”

To add insult to injury, a couple of years ago Mylan re-incorporated in the Netherlands to save itself from paying U.S. taxes, but it’s still mostly located in the U.S.

In most civilized countries this sort of thing doesn’t happen because governments exercise price controls on medicines and medical technology. Companies can make a profit, but only so much profit.  People have been buying Epipen packs for about $100 in Canada, I understand.  Here, as you probably know, Medicare is prohibited by federal law from negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies. Because it’s all about the profits.

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sarcozona
1 day ago
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The Wage Gap and How Much Women Work

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wage-gap-working-more-1200

This cartoon is by Barry Deutsch and Becky Hawkins.

Transcript:

Panel 1
In the foreground, a middle-aged man types on his laptop. Behind him, a yelling child is calling to the man, while the child’s mother, holding an infant, shushes him. A caption shows us what the man is typing.
JUNIOR: Dad! Dad! DAD!
MOTHER: Junior, let your father work.
CAPTION: “The ‘wage gap’…”

Panel 2
Same scene. The boy has calmed down, and the mother is bringing him along by the shoulder as she exits. The mother looks exhausted, and the baby is pulling on her hair.
MOTHER: I’m going out – I have to meet with Junior’s teacher and do groceries and pick up your dry cleaning and…
CAPTION: “…mostly disappears….”

Panel 3
The mom has departed, but the man, still typing, turns his head to call out after her.
MAN: Oh, the nursing home left a message about my mother… Would you take care of that?
CAPTION: “…when you control for the fact…”

Panel 4
The man turns back to typing.
MAN (thought balloon): Hope she makes stew for dinner tonight.
CAPTION: “…that women work far fewer hours than men.”

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tante
24 days ago
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The Wage gap and how much women work
Oldenburg/Germany
sarcozona
1 day ago
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Philosopher under the bed

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tante
25 days ago
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Philosopher under the bed (Sartre probably wasn't great with kids)
Oldenburg/Germany
sarcozona
1 day ago
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1 public comment
jlvanderzwan
26 days ago
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I can't stop laughing
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