Sunday 26 September 2010

Active Transportation: Wack-A-Pole

I am pleased to see that the Multi-use path along Archibald St., part of Winnipeg's new active transportation network, is coming along nicely. Especially the obstacle course portion. That's the part near Elizabeth Rd. where you get to dodge people waiting for the bus as the path turns into a bus stop platform, and then you get to swerve around posts sticking out of the path.

The best part is where the path narrows to only 2.4 m, 1/3 of which is rendered useless by red light camera posts.

It wouldn't be hard to clip a handlebar against that post, especially at night.

An acquaintance of this blog's phoned active transportation coordinator Kevin Nixon and asked him about this. Kevin had no idea that this was the case. He knew that the path got quite narrow at this spot because, apparently, the St.Boniface Golf Course refused to part with any of it's land, but he had no idea that it was impaled by red light camera posts.

One might think that this is potentially dangerous. That perhaps somebody working on the project might stop and say "wait a second ... is this right? Maybe we should check into this." Or one might suppose that Kevin Nixon himself might tour the various projects just to make sure that everything makes sense in actuality and not just on paper.

It would be easy enough to fix: they could divert some money from the "traffic calming" measures on Grosvenor that nobody wants (even cyclists) and use that cash to relocate the traffic signal posts to the back edge of the path where they would be less in the way. As for the red light camera, the thing takes less than one photograph a day. It's probably a money-loser. Why is it even there?

Anyhow, Kevin said that he would look into it. We'll see about that. I hope he doesn't, because I'm a bit of a trill-seeker, and swerving around posts on a narrow pathway adds that extra element of danger that I crave when I cycle to work.


Brian F. Kelcey said...

As I said the other day, "I think it's time for City Hall to rediscover the joys of doorknocking." Ditto the value of site inspections.

Anecdotes: last night (yes, Saturday night), Newark's Mayor was on yet another doorknocking / street patrol visit through one of the city's neighborhoods. Can you imagine that happening here? And reading 'American Pharoah' the other night, I couldn't help but notice a story in which one engineer managing an expressway project in Chicago in the '60s was praised for routinely walking the three-hour length of the project, since doing so meant he caught and prevented several problems that would have cost the city a fortune later on.

It's not rocket science. No substitute for seeing things first hand.

Anonymous said...

That perhaps somebody working on the project might stop and say "wait a second ... is this right? Maybe we should check into this.

In Winnipeg ?!

Hey, thats the the specs and drawings say to do.

cherenkov said...

@BFK: That's fine for the mayor of an ordinary city like Newark, but the mayor of a World Class city like Winnipeg needs his R&R in Scottsdale to stay on top of his game.

Good story about the engineer. Something we should learn from.

cherenkov said...

By the way.. one positive point here is that Kevin Nixon was at least available to talk to. 311 provided his phone number and Kevin returned my friend's call.

Still ... he needs to get out there and see what's going on.

heywaitaminute said...

Your friend was one of the lucky ones Nixon called back. For many others he never returns a call.

Check me on this,but isn't there a railroad line in the area? Does the City have land which could have been used by that line? Wouldn't it have been smarter to move the multi-use path onto that land instead of where they did?

Problem is, City planners don't think about what they are doing, they just go..hey let'stick it here without thought to the ramifications of their actions.

But that's what happens when the bureaucrats run the City instead of the elected officials.

cherenkov said...

Yes, there is a rail line on the other side of the street, but I have no idea if the city owns land alongside it.

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