Mark Dyrholm Campaign - Ward 13 Press Release August 16, 2017

Public Art
Art is Beautiful, Bureaucratic Art is Bad

​Let me be clear, in my experience bureaucracy is about MINIMUM standards. Over
time bureaucratic process does not lead to excellence and eventually, it stops it.

Firstly, in a time when Calgarians are struggling, I call for a moratorium on the public art
component of the infrastructure budget.

Secondly, let me clarify why bureaucratic art is bad.

Roads, bridges and transportation should be primarily about safety and moving people
and goods. Art is designed to be looked at - if it is not to be seen what is the point. Is
the city telling Calgarians that as we drive we should be looking off to the side of the
road for an artistic experience?

Art is designed to be experienced, and have an impact on the observer. I recently went
to get a personal picture near the blue ring. As far as I could tell I would have to break
traffic laws to do so.

Conclusion: the current bureaucratic process regarding art is not just controversial it is
Identifying problems is easy. Solutions are harder. I would suggest that the art should
become citizen based, not at the individual community level but at the Ward level.
Each city public art dollar should be divided amongst the 14 Wards. Then the
residents and councillor would develop experiential art projects that truly enriched their
local areas.

How many more people would be enriched by an artistic experiential walk &
playground in large park regions. Let the art be experienced by local citizens both in
the creation and the appreciation.

Other areas of the city will develop themes that suit them.

I love the idea of public/private partnerships for art projects. To support that the city
could set up a charity designed to support these public art projects that donors could
get charitable receipts for contributing. A project that attracts local money not just
‘other (government) money’ is much more likely to be impactful on the citizens.

Emotionally art should be experienced.

Safety wise art should not distract from driving
Fiscally, public art funding should stand up to the light of day and in best practice have
some private money follow the transaction.
The Inefficiencies of Photo-Radar Speed Enforcement
 – by Dr. Mark Dyrholm

Mark Dyrholm is running for city council in Ward 13

The ideal solution, does it exist?  When it comes to traffic safety speeding is a real danger, the current discussion centres on does photo radar change behaviour or is it a cash grab.  

Back in 2008 when I sat on my community association board the issue of traffic safety was discussed.  My recollection of what the city told us was as follows.  There is a balance between resources used to achieve the change in behaviour and the effectiveness.  

First traffic calming measures, such as speed humps or traffic circles have a strong impact, but we were informed that this also impacts movement of large vehicles like fire trucks.
Second flashing speed display boards, third was enforcement with officers physically handing out tickets.  The least effective we were told was the photo radar enforcement.

To change behaviour the punishment needs to be linked in the offenders mind to the event.  Photo radar does not have the immediacy of many other options.

My point is there is a balance of responsibility between citizen and city in regards to traffic.  The Photo Radar 'Trap' does not serve that relationship well.  By the time a Calgarian receives the ticket they are likely to have no recollection of the incident.  

I argue that the city has a duty to pick appropriate speed limits, design appropriate roads, and provide appropriate signage.  My request is simple set a policy where if a Radar enforcement location constantly tickets a statistically abnormal number of commuters that that stretch of road be evaluated.  Lets not make the assumption that these areas trigger a change in behaviour of Calgarians.  Instead, where the difference is of statistical note that area should be evaluated for appropriate speed, visibility and adequacy of speed signs, and possible traffic calming measures.  

Our brain constantly censors what we see, and in an area with multiple other signs and no obvious reason for traffic to slow down the brain will prioritize what information it brings to your mind.  So if we want people to slow down make sure we are making it obvious to the little robots in our brain that speed is an important issue in this location.  Modern science is now telling us how our brains work.  The city should change its policies to make sure that it is actually communicating to the drivers brain.  Calgary deserves what works.  Safety without ineffectiveness. 

To that end I look forward to the provincial government's review on this issue.