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Opening the bottleneck

Benjamin Gillies' July 29 column, Speed not only factor in making transit rapid, makes for compelling reading. His argument that the frequency of buses can be improved simply by addressing the loading process has applications in the management of vehicular traffic as well.

To that end, have city traffic engineers considered that, for controlled intersections, the bottleneck is the closing of the intersection during the red-light portion, and the frequency of the signal cycle is inversely proportional to the number of vehicles the intersection can handle in a given time period?

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As proof of this concept, consider the congestion that occurs when a signal light malfunctions and begins flashing red in all directions. Traffic piles up and congestion ensues, despite there being nothing wrong with the roadway.

What has occurred, however, is that the malfunctioning traffic signals have greatly increased the cycle frequency. That is to say, for a similar period of time, the combined increased frequencies amount to a great overall length of time the roadway is closed, and therefore there is a reduction in the number of vehicles that may pass.

The lesson clearly is the longer the green portion in a signal cycle, the less frequently the intersection is closed, and the greater the number of vehicles that pass. This simple solution will back up traffic a little further each cycle, but the trade-off is the cumulative wait times for all the vehicles passing through would be reduced.

Sometimes, you'd have to come to a complete stop for longer, but mostly there would be an increase in the frequency you would have to only slow and not have to stop at all. And because this can be done at virtually no cost, it is a much cheaper and available solution than adding lanes at intersections such as has been done at Kenaston and Sterling Lyon.




An absence of pride

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada, and the new governor of the Bank of England, has announced that author Jane Austen will be the new face on England's 10-pound note (Pride and prejudice... and pounds, July 25).

It is rather disconcerting to note that the present Conservative government, with the former governor, chose to remove the Famous Five -- Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise Crummy McKinney and Nellie McClung -- from our $50 currency. Only one obscure woman, with no name, remains -- other than the monarch -- on any piece of Canadian currency.

This action demonstrates that there is "no pride" shown by the present government in the achievements of Canadian women, much "prejudice" as no Canadian woman has garnered recognition at all, and absolutely no "sense and sensibility" of the message that women truly do not have any contributions to make to our society.

Jane Austen would not condone this 21st-century action, which really represents 19th-century thinking.




Justifying Centreport

The issue with Centreport is not assessment of land in Rossmere but why Centreport (Expropriation a bumpy road, July 29). The federal government thinks Centreport is a good idea since it will encourage more trade with the United States.

I am not sure how much linkage we need with the U.S. before Canada becomes of greater interest to them. Perhaps global warming is the long-range plan. When Texas becomes too hot, Manitoba may look more hospitable. Fortunately, Centreport will have paved the way for the linkage of Canada with the U.S., perhaps as the 51st state.

Manitoba has been left with such minor matters as appropriating the land needed for this north-south corridor. The federal government will fund the widening of Inkster Boulevard and the building of warehouses to encourage trade.

While Manitoba may benefit in dollars from some of this federal funding, I fear sovereignty will diminish. Hopefully, democracy will not be lost in our quest for short-range increased income.




In his July 29 story Expropriation a bumpy road, Bartley Kives quotes me as saying: "The owners didn't come to us with an offer to sell, so they ought to receive every vehicle they're entitled to."

I suspect I actually said "... so they ought to receive every nickel they're entitled to." Maybe I even said "every dollar."

Manitoba compensates former landowners in monetary units, not by the Ford, Hyundai or Chevy.




Serving up tennis coverage

I am heartened to see coverage of the finals of the first CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger women's professional tennis tournament, a Tennis Canada event and part of the International Tennis Federation tour (Top seed aces women's pro tennis final, July 29).

Prior to this, however, there had not been one iota of news coverage of the week-long event. As an avid tennis fan and formerly ranked junior player, I went out on the weekend to watch the semi-final and final and was delighted by the high-calibre of tennis produced by these professional women.

I've had enough reading about football, baseball and hockey. Why can't the Free Press begin covering this fast-paced and exciting sport with the resources you devote to other professional sports?




Policy of expedience

Readers of history will recognize yet another example of traditional Canadian political expediency in Stuart Murray's helpful clarification of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights' approach to this country's treatment of its aboriginal peoples: not necessarily genocide, but genocide if necessary ('Genocide' will have its place, Letters, July 27).

Somewhere Mackenzie King ("not necessarily conscription but conscription if necessary") is again considering legal action for copyright infringement.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 31, 2013 A12

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