Along my most recent trail, I was given a warm welcome to the city of Edmonton by a man dressed up like a Mountie who called himself a 'Peace Officer'. We all know, in our heart of hearts, that J-Walking is a crime, but none the less, it came as a shock when I was criminally fined for trying to cross an empty street between the downtown library and the public square. It seems that despite years of protracted economic boom, the city of Edmonton is still in need of a little bit of old fashioned, street-level fundraising. Sure enough, the peace-force had stationed five of the city's finest in the public square, and they were picking off pedestrians by the pack-load. And while I do love Edmonton, it seems to me that a municipality bent on punishing the kind of folks who want to walk from the library to the public square is really scraping the bottom of the mayo jar to make one last sandwich. We've all seen them: The twenty-something men wandering around the club after last call - having given up on finding a mate for the evening - seeking out half-drunk abandoned rum and cokes to get him through to morning. Well, Edmonton, I will see you at the party.
Mind you, if the law has nothing better to do with their time then ticket book-learning, public-space-using, car-free nerds who want to rest their weary bones in the city's most social square, then somebody must be doing something right.