Some passing strange things in Edmonton of late.

One was the city’s announcement of its potential $9,000 rebate to citizens who install solar panels on their homes. This is a great idea and one that should have come sooner. I know if I could come up with the $25,000 it would cost to install a qualifying system, I certainly would like to take part. I have a south facing home that is bathed in sunlight all summer and most of the winter, and I would like to do my part in reducing my personal impact on the environment.

What I don’t understand is why the program appears to have been announced a mere 28 days before applications have to be in. Better than that, the system has to be installed before Dec 1, 2010. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have a whole lot of free time at my disposal during the work week. Just who will be able to arrange for an installation and get their application in the next couple of weeks remains to be seen.

All we can hope for is that every bit of the $200,000 the city has committed to this project is snapped up and the city lives up to the mayor’s promise the program will be expanded in the years to come.

Another strange thing is the blinding realization on the part of our titans of transit that if you expand transit service, more people will use it. Ridership went up as soon as the LRT extension was opened. You might have thought that students returning to school and the addition of NAIT students to U-Pass would be on the transit planners’ radar and they would have planned accordingly, but apparently not.

I find it odd that, on the one hand, we would encourage more people to take rapid transit, and on the other, make it more difficult and uncomfortable for them to do so and tell them it is going to take a couple years before all would-be transit riders can be accommodated comfortably.

I also think we are going to see more and more problems related to having surface routes for the LRT. Though it’s cheaper to run above ground, I think time and traffic problems will show it would have been better to have gone underground, as is the case with most cities.

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