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Questions on Limits - Part Two

Madam's and Sir's of the Council,

Further to my previous letters regarding serious concerns about the LRT, I now have some additional questions. As like before, not all of my questions are related to the LRT. But all are equally limiting.

How much will Bombardier be billed for security services?

The Edmonton Police Service recently announced a new division to capitalize on ever increasing levels of LRT crime. This new division will provide security response capabilities that can be projected anywere on the entire LRT network.

In general, the force will monitor criminals across the network using cameras and involuntary human informants (called "riders") who carry cellphones. This force will also compile and review data gathered from diverse sources such as eyewitnesses and victim reports. When the time is right, they will then use radios, telephones and police cars to dispatch officers who will attempt to arrest the criminals.

Once this rapid response force is in place, you will be able to collect violent criminals whenever you need one.

This is good because, as was discussed privately, we also believe the publicity involved in periodic LRT crackdowns can be positively used to help market our city to prospective buyers. Pretending to be tough on crime while building crime-friendly infrastructure is also a proven vote-winner and we are sure it will help cement the shoes on your chances of re-election.

But it still begs the question: who pays for all this?

When you consider that the LRT policing cost would be zero if there was no LRT, paying millions to police LRT's that we do have but don't actually need starts to look kind of fishy to a lot of people.

And from an investor standpoint, having line items like "annual policing costs" is not something we like to see in the published finanical reports. The accounting people say that, among other things, it affects the risk profile (whatever that is).

More importantly, policing costs come out of the bottom line and this has a direct impact on management bonuses.

So as you can see, there is a very real concern that the train vendor might somehow end up being responsible for bearing the cost of providing security on the trains they own and operate. Besides the obvious division of labor issues that this matter raises, policing (or any other costs for that matter) will certainly impact profitability.

So we leave the solution to this slipperly slope, as always, in your capable hands.

Edit: shortly after this was written, not one but two three tragic incidents occured. See Part 3 for more

Will I need to use ride-sharing to get to a hospital?

The University Hospital and the Grey Nun's Hospital are the two closest hospitals to our area. There are none in the immediate area and no others nearby. The LRT being installed here already hampers access to both of these hospitals. And once the LRT is operational, the encirclement will be complete.

Specifically, our area will soon become a rectangle with solid rail bounding two sides and solid rail-induced traffic congestion holding back the other two.

After a good start with the chainsaws all along 83 Street, 85 Street, 95 Avenue and several other places, the city now just needs to chop down all the rest of the surviving historic mature elm trees around here that were originally planted by the survivors of WWII who built this neighborhood. Once that happens, the place will soon fill up with LRT congestion induced stale exhaust fumes all on its own accord.

At which point we will finally get the long anticipated sharp increase in violent crime. This is to go along with our ever increasing property taxes that complement the ongoing drop in real property values around here.

As a bonus, the LRT, once in operation, will lure in as many cars as possible from out of town and they will do a nice job of clogging up the side roads. Besides driving out the remaining homeowners, this free neighborhood parking scam will also help bankrupt several parkades downtown.

So even more land can be added to the cities vacant property list that already contains an NHL size hockey rink, a horse racing track complete with horse stalls and stands, several gigantic parking lots and an entire abandoned airport among other things.

So when the 80+ story train tower slums are added to the neighborhood here, you can see why emergency response times may suffer a bit. It has to do with the increased density requirements brought on by an acute shortage of land driven by soaring land prices. Or so they keep trying to tell us anyway.

Which brings us back to the main point: emergency services or lack thereof.

Even during the transition period while emergency services are still available, should I should assume they will be slow and unreliable? Just like how it is in other places that have lots of trains like India for example?

And given the likely lack of any sort of effective emergency response services in the longer term, will it be better if I pre-arrange emergency hospital trips with a ride sharing company?

And if I do prepay for lets say, an "UbberAmbulence" service, will this cost be covered under my normal health care coverage?

Or is this just another clever way to use off-book transfer techniques to shift LRT costs from the train company to private individuals?

Update: Even more strangely, shortly after this one was written, I did actually have to go to the Grey Nun's Hospital to have an injury treated. Due to delays caused by the LRT, the trip there took almost twice as long as it used to. And because of road damage from the LRT construction, the ride was really bumpy. And I was injured in such a way that I felt each and every bump in, well, a very painful way indeed. People with serious injuries must arrive in massive agony due to these LRT's. And it is not a short agony either. The LRT guarantees a long and painful journey indeed.

What's with all the vacant lots around here?

Seriously. Before the LRT showed up, there were no vacant lots here. None. Ever. Since 1949. That's almost 70 years of 100% occupancy.

But now we have LRT's. And already there are two vacant lots within a few blocks of my house. And there are also vacant houses and even vacant duplexes here now too. Plus a high number of available rentals, lots of "for sale" signs and even airbnb has trouble filling illegal hotel suites these days.

So it's starting to look like an abandoned part of Detroit around here. But it's a really weird part of Detroit because some of these vacant homes are brand new. It sort of comes across as a kind of "Stepford Wives" part of abandoned Detroit. And with all those empty trains about to be running back and forth all day it's getting really creepy actually.

Which raises the obvious question: Where can I order a Stepford Wife?

Ok, now it's really getting weird. After this one shows up on this site, some really funny person writes to a local paper praising a particular development company for the hiqh quality of the vacant lots in their neighborhood. Apparently, compared to the other vacant lot developers, this one firm really takes care of their vacant lots. This is good to know. So, now I think we should have a beauty pagent to celebrate. Ladies, so... Who wants to be Miss Vacant Lot 2018?. (ok cue the music... you're so pretty, oh so pretty, vacant, vacant. Yaaaaaaaaa an' I don't care!!!! (Pretty Vacant, Jonny Rotton and the Sex Pistols, 1979)

Is the city really going to build another bridge too ugly?

The aliens I talk to all agree that sandbar-ridden LRT bridge over the river is probably the ugliest thing on the planet of humans at this interval in space-time.

And the recent human discovery of a modern, human created concrete block in a well-understood and fully documented river has seriously slowed down LRT construction. The concrete block coupled with the sudden appearance of nearby heap of clay in a 70 year old, fully surveyed, already built neighborhood has also rapidly increased LRT build costs.

This cannot be a coincidence. Nor can it be any sort of mistake by the LRT planners either. LRT planners are perfect beings after all. Gods in fact, if you believe in the dogma presented at the LRT consultation forums.

So if anything, this is clearly nothing less than a malevolent act of angry and intensely jealous anti-god. And it easily and instantly justifies destroying all the uphill businesses without compensation to the affected business owners or their employees who will lose their jobs when these businesses disappear forever off the face of this earth.

And everybody knows that the gods can only be appeased by widespread human suffering when something catastrophic like this happens to their profit projections. So the businesses, employees and even the customers who frequented these businesses must go. And they must go now and without compensation because deadlines are tight and money matters.

So, given all the suffering it causes, why on earth are we building another LRT bridge now? And even worse, do we really need rail bridges to cross directly over rail lines in a rail yard? What happens when we want to go in a diagonal direction? Build another rail bridge to go over the rail bridge that goes over the railway?

And then what happens when we want to go in the other diagonal? Build yet another LRT bridge over the LRT bridge that is over the LRT bridge that is over the tracks?

It all seems kind of stupid to me since we can just use cars, buses and the existing roads to get around. So nobody here actually needs another billion dollar ugly rail bridge let alone four of the stupid things.

Even if it is on the north side and it crosses a train yard instead of a river.

And for that matter, nobody needs another multi-billion-dollar crime-ridden LRT either. Well, nobody but the cronies who suck the multi-billions out of the public coffers I guess.

URGENT FAKE UPDATE: It just occured to me that the pilings for the new train bridge over the train lines might cause a trainbar to build up in the trainyard below. If that happens, should we call it "Accidental Trainbeach"?

And if the flawed concrete in the bridge itself fails and the trains from above start falling on the trains below, should we market this as a tourist attraction?

We could call it: Train-Smashed-In Train Jump

How can the metro line suddenly run fine on the old software?

The old software was not written for the metro line. But supposedly the metro line can run on it now. But it couldn't up until now. Or maybe it always could and the city has been lying to us about this Thales thing all along. Sort of like how they lied when they said LRT's reduce traffic congestion when they knew for a fact that LRT's actually cause traffic congestion.

And the old LRT software is free, or at least it's already paid for like the buses are. But then again, Thales is still billing us. So nothing is free after all. Nothing from Thales anyway. But we don't need their software now even though we supposedly used to. So why are we still paying Thales? And why did we even pay them in the first place?

And I thought they got the boot like a year ago? But they never left. Or maybe they did leave and now they came back. Hard to tell since I don't have FOIP privileges and we all know the metro line could easily be replaced by a few buses for less than 1/1000th of the cost.

So, what's going on here anyway? It's beyond confusing now. It's a massive corrupt boondoggle actually. Which, once again, is the high cost of cronyism I guess.

Is the poor weather here divine retribution for building an LRT?

They say that people get the weather they deserve.

And if that's the case, how much more land and taxes do we have to sacrifice to buy our way back to the promised land of sun and sandbars?

Speaking of sacrifices, there is this sprawling pyramid shaped structure I know of downtown. I think the tax department built it to sacrifice entire cities with.

So I'm pretty sure nobody would complain it if we pulled the rug out from under the tax tables and we sacrificed that stupid pyramid instead. Far better we aztec the thing now than than let it continue to hand over our public roads, public parks and tens of billions in public money to the cronies who run train and tower companies.

We've already seen what kind of weather that brings.

And for this to work, we don't even need to aztec thousands of regular people like they did back in the old days. This very well connected dude I heard about has a bunch of sweet officeland deals already greased up and just waiting for the city to slide into.

So instead of doing that, we could just move the city people to normal offices owned by somebody else. And by using the open competitive bid process to get these offices from someone else, we will pay a much lower lease rate instead.

We just have to burn one single crony for this one. Which, when taken with the pyramid pyre, means we get two sacrifices for the price of one!

See, I told you I have a head for business.

And this is no lie: my actual high school aptitude test that I really took in the real world said I should become a meteorologist. Yes, a weatherman! As usual, I foolishly ignored the computerized personality test (mostly because it ran on obsolete punchcards but also because I'm kind of stupid sometimes) and I went into something I found far more interesting (but much less lucrative) than meteorology. It's sad to say and even harder to type in, but after a few false starts and a non-trivial amount of drug and alcohol abuse I eventually became a computer software specialist a lot like the ones depicted in the Hollywood classic "Office Space". What a waste actually. And given what became of our city without me at the weather helm, it seems that every single punch card on that old high school test was right all along.



And once again, that's the end of my questions for the moment. I really don't like pestering you but given the city's behavior regarding these trains I am sort of forced to.

Well, ok not really forced to. But hurling questions online is still a lot easier and far cheaper than than packing up and moving to Halifax. And I am unquestionably cheap and lazy so guess what...


Best Regards,
Your Royal Voter

PS: ha! fooled you. there is no PS this time. Just cancel the stupid trains and I will leave you alone.

PPS: See Part 1 or See Part 3

If you oppose the train you can complain to the mayor or your councillor here: City of Edmonton Website
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