Pubdate: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Ron van der Eerden


I'm surprised Vancouver rates so high on the list of desirable cities (Bad 
traffic knocks us off our pedestal as the world's most livable city, March 
11). The Downtown Eastside decays and junkies die in the street in a battle 
over drug policy, car culture fights vehemently against transit 
improvements as monotonous suburban sprawl grows around us, homes rot or 
burn because of marijuana prohibition and people risk their lives in 
firetraps because it's illegal to dance after 2 a.m. as our economy wavers 
under heavy-handed bureaucracy.

Although the Swiss seem conservative, they are also tolerant and 
progressive thinkers and have found a way to work together to solve their 
problems. (Note that they have three cities in the top 10.)

My friend and her neighbours leave their unlocked bikes in the unlocked 
storage room in the (often) unlocked lobby of their downtown apartment; 
small children play in the streets after dark.

Zurich has a clearly defined edge surrounded by green countryside dotted 
with unique villages and towns and an impressive network of trains and 
trams. There are no panhandlers. Nightclubs are packed until sunrise. Their 
economy is thriving.

Vancouver could become a truly great city if we'd drop some of our 
puritanical impositions and quit whining and fighting about everything.

Ron van der Eerden, Vancouver
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager