Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Winnipeg - many failures in roadway planning

Early, early this morning, we had very strong winds that knocked down a few trees and wrecked havoc with powerlines. By the time I left the driveway, everything looked farily normal.

Upon getting to the intersection of Wilkes Ave. and Kenaston Blvd, with the latter touted as the busiest roadway in town, something was amiss. There were red flashing traffic lights instead of the usual red, yellow and green. Not a big deal, I thought. I'll just wait for a clearing in the traffic, then scoot across Kenaston to the other side of Wilkes and on my way to work. No such luck! Even at 6:30 in the morning, there was too much traffic to bother risking my life, so I drove down Kenaston and turned onto a residential road parallel to Wilkes.

At work, I struck up a conversation with one of the senior guys, who often comments on Winnipeg's poorly planned road system. He's lived all over Canada, and can raise several examples of city planning that seems rather lousy.

We live in the same neighborhood and both spoke about the two new stop signs at Lindenwoods Drive E and Kenaston Blvd, right by the Safeway and strip mall. To the casual observer, it appears to be a four-way stop, but my co-worker pointed out that in fact, it is a ten-way stop! Time and time again, I have seen people simply not know who goes next. To make matters much worse, when mini-vans and SUVs pull up to a stop sign, you really can't see enough traffic to tell who goes next. There's bound to be an accident in the works. I did my civic duty by e-mailing my new city councillor to request that he check it out and have the city develop a more viable solution. I have one - take away those two new stop signs. Let traffic flow the way it used to. Vehicles would flow better this way. Who knows? Maybe they introduced the stop signs due to a few accidents. Maybe my city councillor will find out the history of this "intersection."

It will be interesting to see how much traffic is messed up during the construction of the much-aniticipated Kenaston Underpass.

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