Tuesday 20 November 2012

Around This Town: Slurpees, Surefoot, Speed limits and Stumbling

This is big news. HUGE news. 7-11 is now at the airport!!!!

See? Right there. 7-Eleven number 25.

I haven't seen it and I don't think it's actually in the airport terminal, but nevertheless it's conveniently located such that when you come back to Winnipeg from some inferior place that does not love Slurpees as much as us, the first thing you can do is buy a Slurpee!

Also, because of the strategic location, 7-11 has introduced a new 100 ml Super Small Gulp that you can take on the airplane.

Okay, I just made that last part up.


This is big news. HUGE news. Especially if you're a frail old lady. That's right: www.surefoot.org is up and running again!

A full two weeks into November and a week after our first big snowfall of the year, the website had absolutely nothing to report.

Now, thanks to a team of IT professionals working around the clock to restore surefoot functionality, the online sidewalk safety tool now informs you that you should take precautions when using sidewalks.

This is tremendously important for those older folks and people with disabilities who would otherwise have danced down the sidewalk wearing rollerblades.

Now that surefoot.org is back up and running, we can rest easy knowing that Councillor Harvey Smith will not fall down this winter.

(Really, I like Harvey. He cares about the city and he's a very engaged person. I sent him an email one evening and he called me within half an hour and we had a good long chat. Usually the most you get is a one word reply.)


This is big news! Speed limits are being reviewed, and this time we're not talking about making them lower, but actually increasing some of the ridiculously low limits that you see around town. I give a tip of the hat to Winnipeg Girl for pointing out the CJOB web site with the details.
That's a great summary by CJOB, with Google maps and a description of the proposed increase.

I've written about this before, but increasing speed limits has been proposed in the past only to be shot down by a city hall committee with little consideration. Hopefully the Manitoba Traffic Board's consultative approach this time will have more success.

You know people will come out and oppose this, saying things like "a person has a 30% better chance of surviving an accident with a car going 50 km/h than 60 km/h" and so on. That's a false argument though, because if you take that to it's logical conclusion all speed limits should be set to 0 km/h.

In reality, the safest speed to drive is the "natural" speed of the road ... the speed that people tend to drive. The "85th percentile" that traffic experts recommend speed limits be set at. If you set speed limits too low then there is more lane changing and shuffling of traffic, and more people will take short cuts down side roads endangering kids.

I'm usually not a big fan of obscure provincial boards, but GO Manitoba Traffic Board!


In blog news, the blog Stumbling (A)Bordeaux is gone. Like a puff of smoke, it has vanished into the ether, posts and all. Patrick Oystryk went out with a strong final post "Winnipeg: a Recycled City" -- a sobre evaluation of Winnipeg's shortcomings from somebody who just spent a few years living in Europe. He has hinted at starting up something new now that's he's returned to the 'Peg, so stay tuned.

It's a personal decision, whether to delete it all when you hang up the blogging gloves, or keep things on-line for posterity. I selfishly prefer the latter, because there was a lot of good content that has disappeared from the likes of Patrick, David Watson of Waverly West and Beyond, Walk Krawec of One Man Committee, and others.

Speaking of One Man Committee, it popped up on my blog roll again today. There is only one post with nothing in it, and the author is now Kindra Cahya. What's up with that?


Lastly, this Friday is the 16th annual LITE (local investment toward employment) Wild Blueberry Pancake Breakfast at the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre. 

I will be there flipping pancakes or washing dishes or, given the time of day, slumped in a chair drinking coffee. Maybe see you there!


The View from Seven said...

Always a bit sad to see good blogs disappear completely. A more permanent record can be kept, though, using an RSS feed.

Unfortunately anything that might be left of Waverley West or One Man Committee is now in the clutches of a laptop that died in a hail of loud beeps last week. But the XP I temporarily dragged out of storage until a new laptop arrives has the full verbatim of a few good blogs such as Average City (a smartly written urban affairs blog that went dark in July 2009) and the Don Street Blog (still online but dormant since 2009 at donaldstreet.wordpress.com).

Anyone using Blogspot should be aware that these seem to be vulnerable to being "recycled". Valium Nation Canada has been reborn as a Chinese medicine site since its owner moved to and relaunched in Latvia, while the old Average City seems to have been resurrected by a teenage girl who doesn't seem as interested in urban issues as the previous owner.

One Man Committee said...

Great post! I have a few thoughts in reaction to it:

-The 7-Eleven is actually part of a gas station just east of the terminal. It makes good sense because it will be a convenient spot for renters to fill up before returning rental cars at the airport. Speaking of 7-Eleven, I'm still a bit surprised that there aren't any downtown locations. They have popped up in the cores of many Canadian cities over the past decade, but not ours.

-I'll confirm that I have nothing to do with the "new" One Man Committee. I can't be certain yet, but my guess is that a spammer has taken over.

-@ The View - Sorry to hear about the demise of your old laptop. As it turns out, I have an archive of my blog (sans photos) in a 3.5 MB XML file. If you'd like to have a copy, shoot me a note and I'd be happy to send one to you!

cherenkov said...

VF7: That's interesting. I'll look into this archiving technology.

The thought that back-ups of this blog might exist concerns me slightly.

OMC: I agree .. I think a Sev would do well down town. If "Mas's" can make it how could Sev go wrong?

Patrick said...

Thanks for the mention! And I hope you'll forgive my permanent deletion of blogposts. I try to equate my online life with my real life and when I thought of all I had left behind in Bordeaux (several bags full of donations) to move back home, I came to the conclusion that I should let go of these old posts as well and start anew.

Trust, the new blog will come!

bwalzer said...

"... and more people will take short cuts down side roads endangering kids."

Wait, is this an actual thing?

Erin said...

The biggest news, to me, is that Harvey Smith replies to emails!? I've sent him at least two or three, live in his ward, and have never received even an acknowledgement email in response. So that's encouraging yet frustrating to hear.

I too wish retired blogs would keep their posts up. I've occasionally wanted to revisit informative ones.

The View from Seven said...

@ OMC: That's quite alright, but thanks for the offer. I think it's safe to say your blog is missed, though.

@ Cherenkov: You should check with Blogspot to see if there's some way of disabling RSS, though this might also lead to a loss of readers on the presumption that the blog has gone dormant or dark.

With regard to 7-Eleven, might they be watching the fate of the Bay's grocery section before making a move? Though not a core part of HBC's business model, the grocery section has long outperformed most/all other Bay departments; but Zellers' closure might screw things up too much.

@ Patrick: Keep us posted! I regrettably became acquainted with your blog later than I wish I had, but it seemed very well written.

Anonymous said...

I want the Bay downtown to become a Sev!

cherenkov said...

@bwalzwer: from the traffic study done for Public Works in 2003:
"(i) result in more efficient transportation routes along these streets, (ii) reduce the incidence of short-cutting traffic on adjacent residential streets, and (iii) provide motorists travelling along these routes with a more consistent driving environment in terms of uniformity in speed limits."

@Erin: I think I just hit on a topic that he wanted to vent about.

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