|We live across the street from a community centre, pitch and putt, and park.|
The neighbourhood in which we live used to be a "bedroom suburb." Many of the residents worked in the City of Vancouver or at the nearby Vancouver International Airport. Most families had children and lived in detached homes. We have many schools and parks that were built in the 1960's.
|I can walk to church, book club and a coffee and conversation group. Attached to the church is an independent living residence for seniors.|
Times have changed! Property values have risen and detached homes are no longer affordable for young families. Our apartment complex which was built in the 1970's was inhabited by "empty nesters" until recently but with apartments of 970-1300 square feet, young families are our newest residents. In our community, 60% of the residents speak a language other than English as a first language. Elders, young families, immigrants living side by side....Going forward, what will be the needs of our community?
|I can walk to community events in Steveston|
On July 1, my friend and I walked to the Canada Day celebrations in Steveston which is about 6 kilometres from my home. We have choices to walk on a designated greenway, on the dyke, or through a proposed greenway. There are no public toilets on any of these routes. There few benches or drinking fountains or places to refill water bottles. I suggested to my husband that these facilities might promote active living among all ages.
|Errands can be done on foot.|
I walk or take transit to purchase small amounts of groceries. I've found that, although I am a quick walker, traffic lights are calibrated to promote traffic flow. If our goal is to reduce unnecessary car trips, the local government must play its part. Safer intersections, maintenance of crosswalks, lighting
and transit shelters promote pedestrian activity. There were "shopping buses" for seniors but service has dropped off due to lack of use. Infrequent and unpublicized services tend to disappear.
Monsieur, who is a cynic, feels that these services are "lip service" but I believe that if we want to promote change in the community, we must take responsibility, become informed and lobby for small changes.