22 Mar

Questions to Ponder

1. Are there more cell phones, dogs, or people in Winnipeg?
2. With all the furor over the expenses that Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth is billing to the Manitoba taxpayer, wouldn’t you like to see what expenses Garth Buchko of the Bombers is racking up? Or Mark Chipman, owner/GM of the so-called Jets? Since both the Bombers and True North are publicly-funded organizations, don’t we have the right to know?
3. Is Winnipeg the largest city in North America without a law enforcement agency?
4. Is Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister a genetic clone of his predecessor? Pallister seemed like a fighter. Someone who could really take on the Non Democratic Party. I had such high hopes for him. But then, like his predecessor, he sits silently while the NDP turns Manitoba into a Canadian version of Greece. Then he comes out of hibernation to speak about welfare rates. Oy.
5. Why does the government continue to use the slogan “Friendly Manitoba” on the license plates?
6. Has there been a day in the last five years in which there has not been a stabbing in Winnipeg?
7. Am I the only person in Winnipeg who has not watched an NHL game this year? And has not missed it one bit?
03 Mar

The Work of a Genius

As an aficionado of the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons, I am often reminded of the line that Bugs sarcastically uses to Wile E. Coyote:

“I have come to give myself up on account of the fact that I can no longer fight against such genius.”

That’s the line I thought of again today when I went down Pembina Highway.

I’m not normally in the area, but I had heard that there was an extra bike lane being added. There was the usual controversy, but I didn’t pay much attention to it.

Until today.

I think that improvements to cycling infrastructure are badly needed in Winnipeg. Unfortunately, every time the City gets an idea, things get worse, not better.

Sadly, this particular project is no exception.

On the surface, the bike lane seems like a great idea.

Until you reach one of the bus stops.

The cyclist is now left with the choice of swerving back into traffic, or as the City apparently recommends, heading up onto the sidewalk.

The “swerving back into traffic” option is less than ideal during the week and completely defeats the purpose of having a dedicated bike lane. The sidewalk option is just as ridiculous.

Picture this scene during rush hour when a group of people are waiting for a bus on one of Winnipeg’s busiest routes. Add a cyclist or two barreling up onto the sidewalk.

That’s going to work really well. Or not. It’s a good thing that Victoria Hospital isn’t far away. 
Just like Wile E. admiring the plans for his latest scheme, I can picture some city planners and councillors holed up in a boardroom saying, “Gad, I’m such a genius” as they gazed upon this plan.
It would be nice if city planners would actually consult with a cyclist or two before committing millions of dollars. Just once. Please.