Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bateman Charms Vancouver Professional Planning Crowd

On the evening of January 21, 2009, our very own long-time Langley transportation advocate, Councillor Jordan Bateman entered the lion's den so to speak. Assembled at the SFU Vancouver Campus was a crowd of mostly Vancouver-centric planners that had gathered for PlanTalk, along with the SFU Urban Studies program.

Many (if not all) of the people presenting last Wednesday are very much against road building and cars. These folks generally practice what they preach by cycling or riding transit. One such cyclist and transit planning advocate is Gordon Price. Price is a former six term Vancouver City Councillor, and current Director of the City Program at SFU. This program trains up urban planners and is a highly successful program for SFU.  Price also severed on the GVRD and TransLink boards. Gordon Price is well-respected in urban planning circles and I have had the good fortune of hearing him speak and debate many times. I would not want to be across the table from him on an issue that we disagree on.

I gather from this post on a blog written by Gordon Price (called "Price Tags") that he was signifcantly impressed with our Councillor Bateman and his progressive ideas that Price sees as breaking the mold of politicians south of the Fraser.

"What’s refreshing about Bateman - and there’s no question of his ability to disarm with charm - is that he’s not solely a carhead. This man wants transit, particularly light rail, and he has a compelling vision of how it could transform Langley along the 200th Street corridor. Perhaps it was a strategic appeal to an urban-centred audience of planners, but Bateman seems to genuinely believe in a more transit-oriented future reflected as much in land use as in transportation"

"But perhaps, as a consequence of Jordan Batemen, there may be a light-rail line down 200th Street."

-- Gordon Price
I give Councillor Bateman a huge amount of respect and credit, as it took boat loads of courage to enter into a presentation and panel discussion with these planners and guest speakers that were present. Jordan and I had a discussion prior to his presentation and I was very impressed with the amount of research and graphic representation of facts he was able to pull together over a short period of time. There was little I could add, as he has all the bases covered regarding the south of Fraser needs and challenges.

We are fortunate to have Councillor Jordan Bateman representing us here in Langley. We are even more fortunate to have him as a vocal transportation advocate for the south Fraser region. I hear that Councillor Bateman has been asked by those in attendance to participate in another event of this type in the future. I'm certain he will represent our needs well.

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