Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Traffic fumble draws anger, wit

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Buses line up outside Investors Group Field during Wednesday night's Blue Bomber exhibition game.

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Buses line up outside Investors Group Field during Wednesday night's Blue Bomber exhibition game.

The traffic's inability to flow to the new Bomber stadium (Stoppage of play off the field and Offensive linemen move faster than buses, June 13) was completely predictable. Had I not been at work Wednesday evening, I would have been on the boulevard of Pembina Highway holding signs saying "Thank Sam for the jam" and "Build first, plan later: a Winnipeg tradition!"

Winnipeggers need to remember than when Sam Katz was first elected, the money to build the entire rapid-transit corridor to the University of Manitoba was on the table. We had a federal government that openly acknowledged climate change and the need to reduce our carbon impacts in cities.

Instead, Katz dithered and the money was spent to further the infrastructure serving movement of private automobiles. The entire corridor could have been completed by now.

Often I have been on a bus heading to the U of M campus and been stuck behind a kilometre of cars, wondering why mass transit is not given priority on our roads over mostly single-occupant vehicles.

The diamond lanes are not enough. They do not apply on University Crescent, and even the rapid-transit buses leaving the campus get stuck in traffic for more than 10 minutes south of Jubilee before reaching the transitway. Gridlock is increasing as resources are not being dedicated to fining heavily those blocking intersections.

The stadium is built on a peninsula, with no access from the east. A pedestrian and bicycle bridge should have been in place from St. Vital to campus before the stadium opened.

As Bartley Kives points out, Winnipeggers need to make better individual choices, but the city needs to use its collective resources for collective planning, so the better choice becomes obvious to all. The sad state of our half-finished and half-baked plans around traffic, our unwillingness to even address climate change, and our disjointed active transportation networks all leave this citizen shaking his head time and time again.

ALON WEINBERG

Winnipeg

 

My husband and I chose to experiment with riding a bus to the Bombers game. The first express bus arrived at 5:50 p.m., 20 minutes late. There were so many people lined up at this first stop that we filled the bus and left many waiting for the next one.

As well, we drove by many bus stops on the route where people were waiting. We left them there with their hands in the air and asking "What's up?"

The ride to Pembina Highway up to McGillivray Boulevard was quick: 30 minutes from North Kildonan near the Perimeter Highway. The area around Pembina and Bishop Grandin had cars lined up for a least a mile in all directions. It took us 40 minutes to get to the stadium from McGillivray. We missed the opening kickoff.

On the way home, they parked the buses in a different area than where we were let off. There were lots of Winnipeg Transit officials around to ask for directions, so that helped. After another five-minute walk, we were able to find the correct bus.

The buses were well-marked, once found, and the ride home quick, only 45 minutes. So with driving to the Blue and Gold Express bus stop, parking, walking to the stop, it took us one hour and 50 minutes to get there and one hour and 15 minutes to get home.

Hmmm. Our plan for the next game?

JOYCE HARMACY

Winnipeg

 

If a young university teacher without tenure had behaved the way the city and University of Manitoba management planned and executed the stadium project and its traffic plan, he or she would have been fired a long time ago.

Such is my professional view and experience as a retired academic, whatever it is worth.

JESSE VORST

Winnipeg

 

The Bombers assured us season-ticket holders that they had done everything to try to ensure the first game at Investors Group Field would go off without a hitch.

I have only one question. Who did the planning and execution of this event? Nothing went off without a hitch, from the waiting for park-and-ride buses that didn't come for hours, to people pushing and shoving their way onto the one bus that showed up to take hundreds of people to the stadium, to traffic jams on Pembina Highway, to shuttles that didn't materialize because they couldn't get through traffic, forcing people to walk long distances, to three of us turning around and going home because, by the time we got to the field, the game was half over even though we had started out two hours in advance.

How much earlier do we have to leave? Do we have to take the day off work to make it to the game on time, or should we just pitch tents and sleep overnight on the university field?

The placement of the stadium at the University of Manitoba was an ill-conceived idea from the start. Now we are stuck with no parking, traffic jams and irate fans.

This is not a good combination, and the Bombers need to come up with some solutions, not excuses, for what happened. Otherwise, they stand to lose their fan base, because people will stop going to games if this situation isn't resolved.

MAUREEN LANDRY

Winnipeg

 

Getting to the Bombers game by Winnipeg Transit was a worse experience than being evacuated from Red Lake, Ont., during the forest fire.

DALE UNTUCHT

Winnipeg

 

Sitting in the beautiful surroundings of Investors Group Field at its first-ever football game, we were interested to see Air 1, our multimillion-dollar police helicopter, circling the stadium.

It is a good thing we are not the murder capital or the arson capital of Canada, such that our police have spare time to take in the game from 1,000 feet.

On second thought, they were likely not watching the game. My bet is they were looking for a parking spot for the mayor.

GARY HOOK

Winnipeg

 

Investors Group Field is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility and an ideal venue for watching football.

My only complaint is that the music between plays is so loud it makes it impossible to have a conversation. Could they turn it down a bit so that we could discuss the game?

OREST PRODAN

Winnipeg

 

I'm not a big sports fan, but I like to know how our home teams are doing. All those pages dedicated to the Blue Bombers? Great! But what was the score?

I don't read all the details. I don't really care. I just want to know what the score was at the end of the game -- and who won.

Somewhere -- in a very visible way -- please print the final score.

DEBBIE KASHUBA

Lockport

 

I hope the board of directors and the construction board realize that a big mistake has been made. When parking is at a premium, you will have problems, and that is only the start. What if we host a Grey Cup?

Why do you have to shoehorn a building into an already crowded area, preventing students from parking to attend classes? With so much space available, on the old Canada Packers land or the old Kapyong Barracks, I'm surprised you did not build the stadium atop the MTS Centre.

ROY PAUL

Emerson

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2013 A12

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