Published: January 17, 2011 at 11:39 AMIt looks better now than it did last summer, Robert. My wife and I came back to the states from Canada, at the Peace Arch, last Thanksgiving. If things keep going at this rate, it's going to be a first-class crossing once all the construction gets done. Right now, the truck crossing at Pacific Highway actually looks better.
Are you a NEXUS card holder? Despite the somewhat exhaustive process to get the thing, it certainly makes crossings much easier in both directions.
Published: January 17, 2011 at 7:05 PMOntario as a whole however is getting pretty dumpy. I crossed from NY into Ontario a couple of years ago and was shocked, after being away for only a week or so, at how badly maintained and primitive the Ontario highway system is. The 401, probably Canada's most important highway (sort of a Canuckian I-95) is really poorly designed, narrow, has bad grades and curves and (!) gravel shoulders. And it is full of cracks and potholes and has poor signage to boot. Ontario is in really bad fiscal condition just like a lot of US states. Taxes keep going up, the debt keeps going up, the government payroll gets bigger and bigger, and services keep going down.
Published: January 18, 2011 at 5:47 AMI agree with you here Robert. Like Theme Parks the 'entrance' (whether it be Borders, Stations or Airports) to a country should be impressive - first impressions are massively important.
I'm from Scotland where our southern border joins with England. Although we are, along with Wales and Northern Ireland, part of the UK we each are immensly proud of where we come from. I was very happy to see on my last visit to England that the 'way in' to my country was adorned with a large clean sign welcoming visitors, alongside numerous Saltires (Scottish flag) flowing freely in the wind. Beautiful.
Unfortunately the same care and attention had not been put into Englands welcome - a small brown sign with 'You are now entering England'. Although even that was barely readable with all the grafitti on it. Was not impressed.
So yeah - I think it pays to put a bit of money towards the entrances!
Published: January 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM"Too often in America, we think in terms of what kind of country we can afford instead of what kind of country we want to be."
I apreciate Dubai turning their country in one big theme park from a theme park lovers perspective. Still strikes me as particular bad policy that would result from such a mindset.
Fortunatly for Americans, America is rich. Thus talk about inability to afford certain public spending are just another way to say "i dont like that kind of spending".
Published: January 18, 2011 at 9:19 PMRobert hits the nail on its head; the US has lost its nerve and ability to dream (compare the US to what's happening in China, the Arab Gulf, Singapore, etc.). Just look at flying into JFK Aiport in NYC compared to other world airports such as Singapore's. JFK in general has become a pit... the one great recent thing is the rail system built for JFK, which shows the US can still do it when it puts its mind to it, but it needs leaders who dare to dream big, and don't talk the entire country down to the status of an old, moth-eaten cashmere sweater.
Published: January 21, 2011 at 6:40 PMYou're lucky. My daughter was taking pictures of the entry point, and the Canadian border security took the camera and erased 2 weeks of vacation pictures.