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Browsing the archives for the Infrastructure tag

Latest Letter to Councillor Luton

Hi John,

I appreciate the back and forth we have had but it hasn’t settled my opinion.

The one thing I believe to be true is that the blue bridge needs work. The assertion that the bridge needs to be seismically upgraded doesn’t seem based on a concrete legal and economic basis but rather on less-than-expert opinion and anecdotal comparisons. I think you may very well be right in your assumptions of economic liability but I would like to hear from those with more experience and training in that field.

This isn’t meant to diminish your analysis which has been detailed and nuanced but to encourage additional time and resources to answer the fundamental economic questions surrounding the issue.


John Luton’s Fourth Letter

Thanks again.

My enthusiasm has worked well enough to advance many of the cycling projects around the Capital Region and it has been the most successful strategy for any transportation mode supported by public funds.

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Second Response to Councillor Luton


Thanks again for your responses. Your comments on cycling integration are very informative. I appreciate your enthusiasm.

You mention Point Hope Shipyards as an example of a business being affected should the Johnson Street Bridge fail. I believe there are a number of questions to be addressed for this to be a valid point. Is the proposed bridge guaranteed to fully function after a large magnitude earthquake? Does the city have a contract with Point Hope Shipyards guaranteeing an earthquake-proof bridge? I could see the shipyards having a case against the city if the current bridge failed to rise again due to lack of mechanical maintenance but it’s not clear an earthquake would result in the same liability.

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John Luton’s Third Letter

[John Luton’s response to my letter to the Times Colonist. Can’t wait to reply been really busy]

Hi again Saren,

Just wanted to follow up on your letter to the editor.  I did some further checking into city hall and much of it has seismic reinforcement, including the newer section (the western, modernist piece), and around doorways.  Some more work is ongoing and as I noted, planning for further work is also in progress.  The third floor of the old city hall has been emptied (it used to house lots of heavy archival material) and can’t be occupied until it is seismically upgraded.

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John Luton’s Second Letter

[I received this lengthy reply from John Luton a while ago now. Many interesting points.]

Hi again Saren,

Although the issues may be moot after the counter petition submissions are counted, here are some additional responses to your points.

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What’s next for the Blue Bridge

[Recent letter to the TC Update: Printed!]

After the success of the recent counter petition process I hope there is now time to do a proper analysis of the seismic liabilities of the Johnson St Bridge compared to the cost of a seismic upgrade. I wonder if the referendum would reduce this liability by constituting the city’s due diligence.  According to The Law of Canadian Municipal Corporations (Rogers 1971), the standard of care for municipal roads is dependent on the economic means of the municipality and the requirements of the public (see page 5).

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Reply to Councillor Hunter

Dear Lynn,

Thank you very much for the response to my letter. I appreciate you taking the time to address my concerns.

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Reply from Councillor Hunter

Dear Saren,
Thank you for your letter on the topic of my decision in favour of the replacement of the Johnson Street Bridge.

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Reply to Councillor Luton

Hi John,

I thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter. I really appreciate you addressing my questions and concerns.

If I could summarize your response it would be that the city is progressing well, were it can, on the other issues I raised such as homelessness, sewage upgrades and other earthquake assessments but regardless of that the bridge must be upgraded due to significant liability issues. You also bring up interesting topics such as climate change, oil dependency and the previous referendum on sewage treatment. I will address these other topics first then discuss the liability issue..

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Reply from Councillor Luton

Hi Saren,

Thanks for your letter on the Blue Bridge.

With respect to the issue of the project being a vote determinant for any individual, I am sure you can appreciate that we must base our decisions on the information presented to council and our assessment of the best course of action to serve the broader public interest rather than the mere gauging of public sentiment alone.  Many people I have spoken to strongly support replacement and choosing between the two mutually exclusive perspectives is impossible.

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