I had a great Sapperton Day(s), again this year.
This has become my favourite one-day festival in the City, not the least because it is the only festival with guaranteed Penny Farthing appearances.
As usual, there were lots of kids activities, lots of Food Truck options, a kick-ass Pancake breakfast with Real Maple syrup and free-range pork sausages, numerous community and volunteer groups, a few giveaways, random entertainment, and the music was loud and really well defended:
I did a tour of Cap’s “Bicycle Museum”. I’ve been going to Cap’s since I bought a Diamond Back Arrival from them in 1987, but I have never seen their remarkable collection of bikes, some dating back to before the Penny-Farthing era. It is amazing, as a bike geek, to see how the same simple engineering problems were solved in so many different ways, based on the best technology of the day. It is well worth the $2 admission to walk through that collection. Maybe we can get them museum space at the new MUCF?
Sapperton Day(s) also gives you a chance to see some of the new businesses in Sapperton. Last year’s big surprise was the great pulled pork at the Graze Market/The Ranch BBQ, this year it was the Pad Thai at the new Thai restaurant just up the Street, named (if I remember correctly) Thai New West.
For the second year in a row, the Sushi Restaurant right across the street from my booth remained closed for Sapperton Day(s); a strange business decision to make when 10,000 people would be walking by the front of the restaurant that day…
I spent most of the day at the NWEP booth, talking transportation with people from across the City, and across the region. I noticed a difference at this event compared to the dozens of previous events where the NWEP went to talk policy stuff: almost universal agreement.
Previously, we have been out helping the City promote the Clean Green bins, or collecting ideas for the Master Transportation Plan, or promoting backyard composting, we are introducing people to the ideas for the first time. This means you have to try to keep their attention while trying to get enough info across that they will care to learn more before wandering next door for lemonade.
And the Lemonade at the Sapperton Day(s) was great. It was a lemonade kind of day.
This time, where the main topic was the Pattullo Bridge (note it was our main topic, the TransLink Booth at Sapperton Day(s) was paradoxically bereft of any information on the Pattullo expansion plans…), it seemed most people in New Westminster knew something was going on and just wanted to know more. They were engaged in the topic before we even started talking. The first question I asked people as they wandered by was “what do you think about the Pattullo Bridge”, and the conversation flowed easily from there.
The most common question I got from New Westminster residents is “what can we do about it?”
That’s not to say everybody had the same opinion. There were a few people who had better ideas to spend more money (on tunnels, cable cars, jetpacks) to “solve our traffic problems once and forever”, but most recognized that more lanes into New West means more cars in to New West means more traffic to deal with. Oh, there was also a long, circular and soul-crushing discussion with our local Libertarian Torch-bearer who kept saying that “you people rely on violent coercion to tell people how to live”, without explaining how voting was an act of violence or who, exactly, “you people” were.
But no-one was without an opinion on it, and that is the good thing. All we need to do is channel all of those opinions into the upcoming TransLink Open Houses, on June 23. It hadn’t been announced by Sapperton Day(s), but our main advise to people was to keep your eye on the local media and on the TransLink website, and show up at the next Public consultation.
Thanks especially go to HUB for lending us the tent: we thought it might be rainy but in the end it just reduced sunburn. We also gave away a tonne of pocket-sized folding bike maps for New Westminster and neighbouring communities, and promoted the upcoming HUB Streetwise safe cycling course in New West on the 16th.
I suppose it will appeal to folks like James Crosty and Ted Eddy, who wouldn’t be caught dead at the Pier Park Grand Opening.