This past weekend my sister and I took our mom out to Vancouver.
There were a couple of things that struck me about the big city…
Transportation: Although busy, we never hit the gridlock of rush hour while there. But, something that always impresses me with cities is its ability to move people. The infrastructure is based on it. There’s the SkyTrain, numerous buses, the SeaBus, and more. There’s bicycles sitting out and about to rent. You ride them then drop them off at the nearest stand to where you are. And almost everyone is on foot.
We spent a little bit of time up at Whistler as well and there everyone is on their bicycle or are walking. There’s a few cars, but with the Lower Village only accessible by foot, a lot of people simply park and walk or ride their bikes. From there buses are regularly scheduled between communities making it easy to commute from somewhere like Squamish to Whistler.
Although I’d love to be able to walk more places or ride my bike around here to different destinations… we don’t have the same infrastructure set up that facilitates the ease of movement. That and we don’t seem to really use the rules of the road for bicycles in the way that we should. Besides in Whistler anyways there were numerous walking/bike paths that meant you didn’t even have to be on the road with vehicles. In downtown Vancouver though they make it work between traffic, pedestrians, and bicycles.
Additionally things are so far apart here that if I wanted to take my bicycle up to Kenosee I better hope I don’t have troubles with my bike on the way or else I’m stranded and it’s not as easy as hopping on a bus like it would be there.
Dogs: I was so impressed with the dogs that we came across both in Whistler and in Vancouver. Typically when a dog is off its leash the first thought as it’s bounding towards you is if they’re friendly and if they jump. Although those two questions crossed my mind, I was pleasantly surprised to find they were so well trained that they wouldn’t even pay you any heed.
The dogs that were on the trail off leash weren’t too far from their owners, but they had run far enough along the trail that you couldn’t see where their owners were. They were quite happily playing and paid no mind to us. When their owners came around the bend they told the dogs to come. Off the dogs went to stand right beside their owners.
Even walking in downtown Vancouver I was impressed with dogs that weren’t on leashes. They simply stayed at their owners’ side and as they walked along the dog acted as though it was on a leash… that is on a leash and being behaved – no pulling.
I was quite impressed.