Getting to know urban issues
Something I didn’t’ expect when I moved from the greener pastures (literally) of the outskirts to the downtown core was the differences in topical (and often heated) issues.
In "The Bank" we were concerned with transit, yes, but only as far as we were periodically threatened with losing the one bus we had. The problems weren’t as complex as here in urbanania. There aren’t enough busses, they don’t go to the right places, they stop running too early, the ferry times are under scrutiny, the new terminal is taking too long to build, etc.
In short, transit is a bigger issue than I knew – especially now that I take it.
Then there are the infrastructure debates. View planes vs. development. Affordable housing needs vs. gentrification. The convention centre, the new library – all these things were just headlines in the paper when I lived in the rural area. Now they are everyday topics – and ones that I care about.
Not that we weren’t concerned with different topics in the rural area. The installation of city water and sewer was a big one – how much would it cost? Some people desperately needed and wanted it, others were fine with the well they were on. Power outages were an issue too – we were down for over a week during Juan.
When it comes to crime, there were break-ins and the odd car theft and some horrible instances – but as for a day to day thing, mainly people were concerned with the kids partying in the woods and possibly setting a fire. In Dartmouth, not a night goes by without sirens blaring outside my window. In the Bank, everyone went to their front door to have a look-see when his happened. In downtown Dartmouth it’s not even noticed.
Snow removal is a big thing too. In town, parking is at a premium and if some of it is hindered by snow, this causes a problem. Also, people often pay for parking, so to have their spot inaccessible is maddening. In the country, your 4x4 could climb on top of a snow-bank and teeter there for the night.
I see now why there has often been a political divide between the rural and urban parts of HRM. We are different. We have different needs, concerns, fears and wants. But we are also very much the same. The people I have met in my new place have been just as friendly and welcoming and I’m glad to get to know them.