Bike lane the real flaw
Re: Narrowing sidewalk a step backward for pedestrian access (Sept. 30)
The sidewalk narrowing of which Brent Bellamy complains does indeed seem extreme. But let us consider what prompted it — the bicycle lane on nearby Bannatyne Avenue. This is indeed the true step backward.
The one-way pair of streets, Bannatyne and McDermot Avenue, has been transformed, and not for the better. What was a decent traffic facility has become an atrocity. Only one lane is available for motorists in either direction. The bicycle facility takes up far too much room; at each intersection, there is a totally confusing forest of signs. Lengthy backups occur in the peak periods.
Even more significant is what has been done to the Kildonan Settlers Bridge on the Chief Peguis Trail. The City of Winnipeg recently spent several million dollars creating a bicycle/pedestrian trail between Henderson Highway and Main Street on the Chief Peguis Trail right-of-way.
I did the preliminary geometric design for the Chief Peguis Trail more than five decades ago. I incorporated full shoulders on either side. In my view, one should not design roads to the minimum allowable standards.
In the 1990s, the bridge was constructed, based on a detailed design by an esteemed colleague, who shares my distress about what has more recently occurred.
On the eastbound bridge itself, the pedestrian/cycle sidewalk was widened — but this was accomplished not by cantilevering the sidewalk further out over the water, but rather by moving the barrier that separates motor vehicles from pedestrians and cyclists inward, narrowing the roadway so that there is no longer a shoulder but merely a "shy distance."
Thus, the bridge is much more dangerous than when originally conceived and constructed. Should there be a stalled vehicle on the bridge, or should the underbridge crane be parked on the bridge doing its work, the road is much more dangerous. This is indeed a step backward.
I reside near the Chief Peguis Trail and use it daily, if not more often. Since the bicycle facility was completed several months ago, I have seen four cyclists on the Chief Peguis Trail. One was on the cycle trail, and the other three were on the motorists’ travelled roadway. Has there been a calculation of the cost/benefit ratio for this useless cycle project?
Those presently responsible for the major street system do not exercise reasonable judgment or a professional prospective or even common sense.
The right stuff
Re: PPC candidate withdraws, citing ‘divisive and dangerous elements’ in the party (Sept. 30)
Chad Hudson announced he is withdrawing his candidacy as a member of the People’s Party of Canada, citing deep disagreement with the policies of that party.
I heartily approve of this action. He clearly cites the policies he feels are wrong. I agree with his reasoning.
I hope (perhaps foolishly) that the People’s Party of Canada is totally rejected by the voters in the upcoming election. If it elects even a single member, or records even a substantial percentage of the vote, it will make me ashamed of the country I love.
Re: Scheer shares global vision for Canada (Oct. 2)
Andrew Scheer, Doug Ford and Jason Kenney are cut from the same cloth. They are mini-Trumps. If you like how the U.S. is being governed, then vote Conservative.
War analogy rejected
Re: Climate is changing, but there’s still cause for hope (Oct.. 2)
I enjoyed Carl DeGurse’s column, but I don’t believe his analogy of the two world wars is the appropriate one for the current "war" on climate change. People generally only act for the greater good when the threat is obvious, such as when the Nazis invaded Poland, touching off the Second World War and raising the spectre of Nazi troops marching up Portage Avenue. The threat posed by climate change is not that obvious to the man in the street. It doesn’t yet affect his lifestyle negatively, and he is unclear how it will in future.
For that reason, I think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax scheme is the best way of addressing climate change because it incentivizes people to reduce their use of carbon-based fuels (with yearly rebates) in favour of newer technology such as electric cars and buses, and penalizes businesses that use carbon-based fuels.
My main fear concerning climate change is that we may have reached one or more tipping points and, despite our best efforts, we may be too late to stop catastrophic climate change. One such tipping point is the rapid melting of permafrost in the Arctic, which has sequestered billions of tonnes of methane, a gas that is many times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Much has been said about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau relating to his blackface/brownface history. I take issue with his intransigence and unwillingness to accept apologies from others who have made previous mistakes, while we are expected to afford him that latitude.
In his apology over his appearance in 2001 in blackface, he indicated he was sorry, and he did so because of a blind spot in this area and he did not know what he did was wrong in 2001. However, he is on record of boasting about his awareness of racial issues and his position of privilege in 2016 when he spoke to Toronto teachers. He indicated that he became aware of his position of privilege in his 1997 course on sociology in education. His statements are in direct opposition — so what is the truth?
I am hoping that Canadians look carefully at their choices and are discerning enough to realize that voting Liberal punishes Canadians on many fronts. I for one do not have any reason to trust Trudeau and his Liberal party.
Phil Van Bergen
Re: Jets sign Laine to two-year $13.5M deal; focus on Connor, Byfuglien as regular season looms (Sept. 27)
I just became interested in hockey in early 2018. At 69 years of age, I had never watched an entire professional hockey game in my life. I had no interest at all in the game, mainly due to all the fighting and scrapping on the ice.
One night, when the Winnipeg Jets were doing so well leading up to the playoffs, I sat with my husband and son to watch a game. I fell in love with the game as I watched a scuffle begin only to have it end quickly with Byfuglien grabbing two of the opponents by their helmets to take them out of the fight. And with a slight grin on his face the whole time.
I now rarely miss a game and pore over Jets information in the sports section of the Free Press. Obviously, Dustin Byfuglien is my favourite Jets player.
It is sad to hear Dustin Byfuglien is contemplating retirement. We will miss you, Dustin! You have me hooked on hockey now, and I will continue to support "your team," the Winnipeg Jets! You must do what’s best for you and your family.
M. Florence Smith