Beautiful architecture lacking in accessibility
I cannot begin to tell you how greatly disappointed I am in the new Calgary Public Library.
Yes, some aspects of it are certainly innovative and inviting. However, other aspects are exceptionally poorly designed. I refer to three in particular:
Access for the handicapped. If a person uses a wheelchair, that person must get around to the back door of the library. Then they have to get through a door, ride an elevator up one floor, get through another door, then proceed outdoors to the main entrance. To go through yet another door.
The seats in the theatre do not have nearly enough leg room. I recently attended a production held in the theatre. I am only five-foot-one and was unable to cross my legs at all. The poor man in front of me was about six feet tall and he could not get comfortable as he could not shift the direction of his legs at all.
The distance between the theatre and the nearest washroom was remarkably far. But even more significant was the struggle which I watched unfold. A man using a walker was very weary. First, he had to go through the stages mentioned in my first point, then he had to trek the distance to the washroom. His wife was beside herself with concern that he was having to expend so much energy in what should have been a much more accessible brand new building.
I am immensely disappointed in the lack of attention to what I might call “human aspects” of the new building. It seems to me that far more attention was spent on “appearances” rather than on human accessibility and comfort.
Lee Hunt, Calgary
The siren call of simplicity
The United States is embroiled in the Trump catastrophe and the United Kingdom in the Brexit fiasco. Disasters come in many forms but those two share something in common: intentional political polarization. The uncertainty brought about by accelerating free trade, industrial automation and global warming is undermining the foundations of western democracies. Mega-money is buying dishonest politicians and the corrupt politicians become lapdogs of the super wealthy.
There are several ways to redirect the anger of distraught, disenfranchised members of society. A popular method is known as scapegoating. Enraged citizens are encouraged to focus their wrath on tangible targets, such as defenceless members of an easily identifiable minority. The current American leader constantly maligns border-jumpers and members of the media. Brexiters point their fingers at economic migrants and European Union bureaucrats.
Manipulative politicians will continue wrapping their self-serving promises in seductive packaging as long as enough stressed-out voters choose to believe there are simple solutions for complex problems.
Lloyd Atkins, Vernon
Infills blamed for road issues
On a drive through many of Calgary’s inner-city neighbourhoods, you’ll be surprised to see the state of the roads. As homes are rebuilt, the roads are dug up in front of each house to tie into sewer and water services. The patchwork done afterwards is terrible and is never revisited to be fixed after it has settled into what is often large ruts.
Either the homeowner/builder should be responsible for the repair or be assessed the cost of it in their property tax.
Lee Gibson, Calgary