Especially this time of year, predictions pop up like the daffodils of spring. But here’s a rarity — Michael Geller prognosticates, and reviews the accuracy of his past predictions.
Most often, people glibly predict, media gullibly report, fear grips the population, decisions shift — but the post-event audit rarely occurs. Especially but not exclusively it seems, when the subject is motordom, accountability and credibility are laughable by their absence. “Carmageddon”, “total gridlock”, “destruction of all businesses in the downtown”. We read and hear these things in local media constantly. And in lower-level online playpens, the doom, gloom and fear is remarkable only for its strict congruence to partisan objectives.
Is this a ripe field for specialization? Is there an aspiring journo out there who wants to make their bones by maintaining an audit trail on prognosticators and their predictions? It’s easy to see why some media outlets would balk at this — it could tarnish the cred of pundits reliable mostly for their ability to provide slick, crisp, fear-inducing quotes on demand, in an instant. And fear sells. We all know this. But what juicy stories — the yearly “Creddies”, awarded in two flavours, the rancid and the deep.
From Geller’s article in the Postmedia outlet Vancouver Sun:
My first year-end column was written 10 years ago as I set off on an around-the-world sabbatical. Titled “Affordable housing rises on wise use of land,” it urged municipal planners to allow row houses and apartments to replace single-family houses along such arterial roads as Oak Street.
It also promoted reduced parking standards to facilitate redevelopment of parking lots and rezoning of single-family lots to permit alternative housing forms, including back-lane homes, duplexes and triplexes.
Today, there are indeed new multi-family developments along several Vancouver arterials, including Oak, Cambie, Granville and King Edward. Sadly, however, new single-family homes continue to be being built along major transit corridors throughout the region.
Not a wise use of land.