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Why not close the Burrard Street Bridge for yoga?

June 8, 2015

Artist’s impression of the upcoming Burrard Street Bridge IDY event.

Are people really annoyed that Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge will be closed to cars on the morning of Sunday, June 21, for seven hours, from 4 a.m. until 11 a.m. or is something else bugging them?

Are they only annoyed that the bridge will be closed to stage a huge yoga class, to celebrate the International Day of Yoga (IDY).

I ask because (and correct me if I’m wrong) the very same Sunday, for seven hours, from Noon to 7 p.m., stretches of both Commercial Drive and Main Street will also be closed off to cars as part of the 11th annual Car Free Day in Vancouver.

What if it was called Car Free Day on Burrard Street (Bridge)?

Car Free Day, in fact, begins the day before, on Saturday, June 20, when part of the West End, from Davie Street to Denman Street, will be blocked of for six hours, between Noon to 6 p.m.

The Kitsilano neighbourhood (being extra special) will apparently celebrate Car Free Day with various little block parties spread over both Saturday, June 20, and Sunday June 21.

Why haven’t I heard a single peep of complaint about any of these closures?

If it had been branded under the umbrella of all the other Car Free Day events happening the same weekend (he asks rhetorically), would people be more accepting of the Burrard Street Bridge yogathon?

Or are people really just pissed  (he asks rhetorically) about the whiff of privilege and entitlement coming off the Burrard Street Bridge closure?

Vacouverites are so cute with their whole “my entitlement is bigger than your entitlement.” Do the people who are complaining feel that someone else is getting special treatment?

The way that I see it, a bunch of people are going to have the “privilege” of laying down on the hot asphalt of the Burrard Street Bridge under the blazing sun, like cookies in a Easy Bake oven powered by a 100 watt incandescent light bulb. And while they are baking, they will be sitting ducks for every pigeons and seagull and — should there be anything like a cooling breeze — it will be wafting off of a False Creek potentially so contaminated by E. coli that if I was one of these yogis, I would be breathing through scuba gear.

Personally, I think the yogis are making quite a noble personal sacrifice and I wouldn’t want to be in their place for money. I thank them for their effort to remove a piddling amount of of car exhaust from Vancouver’s air and I wish them well.

If anyone wants me on Sunday, June 21, I will be in the Fairview neighbourhood celebrating No Parking Day and preparing myself for the giant upcoming Kitsilano block party of Greek Day 2015, which takes place the next weekend, on Sunday, June 28, when West Broadway will be blocked off to cars between Macdonald Street and Blenheim Street for 10 glorious hours between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. to make room for upwards of 100,000 happy people.

See you there. Click the image to enlarge it.

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