Monday, August 30, 2010

Unravelling the 311 web: Part 2

My issues with 311 were moved up the chain of command quickly, following the weekend on Monday morning I was being dealt with by the Acting Manager of 311. This is where things go beyond eyebrow-raising.

Part 1 is here if you are interested.

Dear Mr. Hnatiuk,

I have received your email and wanted to take the opportunity to address each of your concerns, please see responses below.

1) All concerns regarding active transportation are directed to the Active transportation coordinator and from there directed accordingly. The role of the City Auditor is not to deal with public complaints.

2) We have investigated your concern and have confirmed RP followed all internal processes related to your inquiry. In cases where email inquires are forwarded directly to a department we do not provide reference numbers.
3) In order to protect the privacy of our employees, it is policy not to provide any personal information.

4) We take all violations of privacy breaches very seriously and investigate any complaints regarding potential violations. It is our belief that our CSR followed internal protocol. If you still have concerns that your privacy as been breached you can contact the Ombudsman related to your privacy concern.

http://www.ombudsman.mb.ca/

We appreciate all feedback and hope that we have addressed your concerns.

Sincerely,

Joel Knockaert
Acting 311 Contact Centre Manager
City of Winnipeg



Yikes, ya hear that? That's the sound of stone-cold lying. According to 311, the Auditor is not to accept complaints from the public. I promptly checked the City of Winnipeg website as I did not believe it, and you can too if you don't, and we all know where this is going: the City Auditor does in fact accept requests such as mine.

311 lied? It can't be. Have you phoned 311? I challenge you to do so. Ask them something you KNOW the answer to. They will say “one second, sir/ma'am,” and you can hear them typing. The sound of them typing, is the sound of them typing a search query into the City of Winnipeg website. 311 is supposed to provide this information, there is absolutely no mistake here. The hypothesis at this point is: the Acting Manager decided that his best action would be to lie to me.

I also find it funny that they supposedly investigated my concerns internally with “Mr Undisclosed”. This would not be the last time 311 tried this one with me, either. Bold move to play the Ombudsman card so soon. I have serious issues with the way the Acting Manager is acting, and the first chance he gets, he basically tells me to piss off and go to the Ombudsman. You know, in case I don't like his political interference and providing false information/lying to me.

Okay, this should be simple.

Dear Joel:

I am following up for clarification.

You wrote that the City Auditor's role is to not deal with public complaints. However the City's website says the auditor's job includes the following:

To examine problem areas, within the capabilities of the audit department, which are brought to the Auditor's attention by taxpayers.

Can you explain why your decision contradicts what the City website says?

Graham



Simple, simple. Like I said.

I'll note that it took him more than a day to answer this question. Ombudsman didn't work, I'm not going away. Now the stalling card, using up the allotted 48 hour window 311 upholds.


Joel:

24 hours is more than enough to answer this simple question. Yet it only took 4 hours to divert my complaint for the Auditor. What is taking so long?

Graham


Ah, that's better.

Mr Hnatiuk;

Thank you for your reply. I understand why you are characterizing my response to you as contradictory with the website information. Allow me to take this opportunity to clarify.

While a body like Ombudsman Manitoba is mandated by statute to follow a prescribed process with each and every complaint received, the Audit Department of the City of Winnipeg is not. The Auditor is not bound to initiate any particular process merely on the basis of a complaint received by a citizen. Having said that, the Auditor will certainly receive your complaint as information, and will determine internally what, if any, response is required by him.

Given that you wish to have your complaint considered by the Auditor, I encourage you to contact him directly:

http://www.winnipeg.ca/audit/contactus.stm

I trust this clarifies the matter.

Yours truly,

Joel



Wait, what? Didn't he just tell me the Auditor can't accept complaints from the public? Now he's telling me the Auditor CERTAINLY WILL accept it. Not only that, but he gives me the address to contact the Auditor myself.

Well, thanks. So, I could have done this in the first place, is what he's telling me. I could have done this, not gone through 311. Yeah laziness on my part, I just figured the Auditor's info wouldn't be so readily available.

Joel's bottom line: YOU can email the Auditor, but 311 can't.

What a tangled web we weave when we lie and try to spin people around, eh. You know, I really don't get why there's so much dishonesty. Something has to be going on here. It took awhile to compile the next email as I just could not believe what I was reading.

I'll stick this in here first though. Councillor Jeff Browaty contacted the Auditor on my behalf. Here's what the Deputy City Auditor had to say.


Good afternoon Councillor,

Regarding the first question you posed to Brian, yes, citizens are allowed to bring concerns directly to the attention of the City Auditor.



I really don't need to post the rest of that email. Back to 311's Acting Manager.

Joel:

Far from clarification, your response only aggravated and elevated the problem I have with 311.

My request was simple: Please explain why you gave me false information regarding the office of the City Auditor in order to justify intercepting private communication to that office and circling it within the city bureaucracy?

In your reply, you delivered a homily about the provincial auditor followed by your permission to contact the city auditor. I do not require your permission to speak to anyone in the city administration.

I am still waiting for an answer from you to my question -- why are you contradicting the information on the City of Winnipeg website regarding the city auditor's relationship with the public? 311 was designed as a buffer between the public and the administration. Knowing that I sent a message to 311 in good faith to be passed along to the City Auditor. Instead, it was diverted by 311 to another bureaucrat for whom it was not intended and who had no right to see it.

You wrote:

1) All concerns regarding active transportation are directed to the Active transportation coordinator and from there directed accordingly. The role of the City Auditor is not to deal with public complaints.

I'm betting man, and I bet the City of Winnipeg does not have a bylaw requiring all citizen inquiries about Active Transportation to be sent to the AT coordinator. Under what pretense did 311 divert my email to the Auditor? Is there a written directive? Signed by whom? If there is, you will have no difficulty providing me with a copy.

As for the role of the city auditor;

The city website reads:

"The mandate of the department with the addition of the Chief Performance Officer role is as follows:
To examine problem areas, within the capabilities of the Audit Department, which are brought to the Auditors attention by taxpayers, department heads, employees, Council, Standing Committees of Council, members of Council and the CAO."

That could not be any clearer. Taxpayers can bring problems to the attention of the auditor general. Yet even in your latest response to me, you continue to contradict the city website by saying:

"While a body like Ombudsman Manitoba is mandated by statute to follow a prescribed process with each and every complaint received, the Audit Department of the City of Winnipeg is not."

Please read the city website again, especially the part that says "The mandate of the department...is as follows: to examine problem areas...which are brought to the Auditor attention by taxpayers (and others)."

In short, your excuse for intercepting and diverting my email to the City Auditor is bogus. Your explanation on why this could not be sent to the Auditor is not acceptable and is an outright lie. Are you claiming to speak on behalf of the auditor? My understanding from information posted on the city website is that the City Auditor is an independent office and not under your control. By what authority are you intercepting private communications to him? By what authority are you able to judge which department an inquiry goes to, despite being addressed to a specific person in a specific department?

By doing so you violated my privacy. You sent my private communication to the AT coordinator who has no right to know what I am discussing with the City Auditor. Furthermore, you continue to refuse to provide me with the name of the Privacy Officer/Coordinator within 311, which is a further violation of the Privacy Act. Urging me to contact the Provincial Ombudsman is an attempt to detach 311 of any responsibility of dealing with my legitimate concerns and unanswered questions.

Your response hardly skims the surface of my complaints with 311. I await your reply.

Graham Hnatiuk



I'll interject again: I feel insulted by the way I was being answered. The quality of my writing would suggest that 311 is not dealing with a dummy, or just some guy phoning 311 about his water metre. I hope it is abundantly clear that I have some knowledge about civics.


Mr. Hnatiuk,

You have indicated that you wish to file a formal complaint that your privacy rights have been violated by 311. In encouraging you to contact the provincial Ombudsman, I was simply attempting to advise you of the process prescribed by law. As you may be aware, s.59(3) of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act provides for the handling complaints such as yours:

“59(3) An individual who believes that his or her own personal information has been collected, used or disclosed in violation of Part 3 may make a complaint to the Ombudsman.“

Should you prefer to direct your complaint to someone within the City of Winnipeg organization, I encourage you to contact Linda Black, Director, Corporate Support Services (the Department within which the 311 Contact Centre resides organizationally).

Pursuant to s.1(1) of the City of Winnipeg Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act By-law:

“1(1) The director of each department of the City is hereby designated as the head of the local public body for The City of Winnipeg for their department for the purposes of the Act.”

Ms. Black can be reached as follows:

Phone: (204)986-2379
Fax: (204)986-5966
Email: lblack@winnipeg.ca

As you have clearly been dissatisfied with the responses I have provided you thus far, I encourage you to contact the aforementioned persons. It is not my intention to continue this correspondence directly with you any further, as it is clearly not providing you with the results you seek.

Yours truly,

Joel



Thus far, we have the following cards in play:

1. Deflect responsibility (Ombudsman).
2. Lie/provide false information (spin).
3. Stall (delay so citizen will give up).
4. Justify actions (it's not our fault).
5. Pass the buck (send citizen to next bureaucrat).

Again, the dishonesty. Why lie to someone, then contradict yourself, and then just plain dodge the whole issue. By the time the Acting Manager was at the “dodge citizen” stage, he was passing the buck.

I like that last paragraph the best. As you have clearly been dissatisfied with the responses I have provided you thus far... Is this surprising to you? Is it that hard to admit you were wrong? Or that you failed? Is it that hard then, as a public servant, to work towards rectifying the problem? Damn rights I'm dissatisfied with lying, trying to confuse me, deflecting responsibility for wrongdoings, and then passing me along to your superior.

Well, Linda Black is on vacation. Part 3 will be the correspondence between Ms Black's deputy. How far do people go to protect and defend one of their own? Will ANYbody in this chain of command look at my issues and questions and say, “hey, this isn't right you guys...”

In my job, or past jobs, my superiors would not sit by and defend me if I screwed up. I know this because I've screwed up before, and in more than one job. I'd like to think most people have, when you get on to a job and after a while, after your learning curve, people kind of expect you to do things the right way. Apologies are in line, lessons are learned, and if you screw up bad enough you get fired. I've seen people lose their jobs over far, far less than what these series of emails show.

There's just a level of competence employers are willing to accept, and a line that if you should cross, most employers are not willing to accept. The same of course, cannot be expected of civic government. Wishful thinking at it's best.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Unravelling the 311 web: Part 1

This is a new series of posts chronicling the battle I have had with Mayor Katz's 311 system. It's gone on for far too long, a couple weeks by now. In fact, it's still going. But I'll compile the information here in as organized a way as I possibly can.

I'll be laying everything out for you, with the goal of being as open and transparent as possible. Along the way it will become very clear just how non-transparent 311 and City Hall is. I will not cut or omit anything, nor will I tamper, modify, or alter the material I have in any way. The only exception is the "name" of the 311 Service Representative I first had contact with.

When I set out to see just what was going on regarding cycling infrastructure relating to Assiniboine Avenue, I filed a FIPPA (freedom of information) for the project and looked through the details. Knowing that so much bogus was involved, I drafted a formal letter requesting an audit be done on the project. I submitted it, in good faith, to the 311 service such that it would be forwarded to the Auditor. I could not have been more clear in that manner:

For City Auditor: Complaint: RE: Assiniboine Avenue Bike Path

Complaint for the City Auditor against Marr Consulting.

I am filing a formal complaint against Marr Consulting for failure to comply with contract provisions outlined in RFP NO. 120-2009, Traffic impact study, community profile and community facilitation.

The consultant has failed to engage the public and stakeholders as required under the contract.

B8. CAMPAIGN PROPOSAL

B8.7 For each of the above projects the following will be conducted:
(a) A Community Profile will be developed to identify key organizations and stakeholders that are interested or affected by each project. The information that is gained through this study will be important in ensuring that the project planning process integrates transportation planning and engineering considerations with community planning in its social, economic, environmental and land use dimensions.
(b) Stakeholder Facilitation will be conducted to develop consensus regarding which potential project treatment will be implemented.


PART D SUPPLEMENTAL CONDITIONS

D2.2 Experience with the development of the City’s first Bike Boulevard (Argue St closure done through the WinSmart Program) suggests that the public consultations required (public Open Houses and Public Hearings) for the development of Bike Boulevards is inadequate to properly engage the important stakeholders that are affected by the project. As a result the City intends to enhance the Public consultation component in future Active Transportation projects such as
the Assiniboine; Alexander/Pacific and the Powers Bikeways. The enhanced model includes the development of a Community Profile, which is intended to identify the important stakeholders that will be affected by the project along with their concerns. The next step in the process is to get these stakeholders together for a facilitated planning process in order to reach consensus regarding the possible options for facility development.


The consultant has failed in each highlighted section above. The consultant then consistently failed to ensure prompt and transparent notifications of the evolving plans for Assinboine were made to the businesses and residents of the area, and key stakeholders such as Unicty Taxi. Public consultations were inadequate with zero to no notification of area residents. Area residents were not contacted for input, nor were they adequately notified of public open houses.

A poorly attended open house was held, however the plans revealed at that open house have been changed considerably. The shifting of street directions and funneling of vehicle traffic on specific streets must be clearly enunciated to the area residents and business to allow them to evaluate the potential for gridlock or inconvenience to their visitors or service providers and reflect their concerns to the city.

This failure by Marr Consulting demonstrates a bias towards proponents of the street closures such as Bike to the Future. Other interest groups such as the Friends of Upper Fort Garry have expressed interest in radical traffic calming measures and street closure of Assiniboine with no regard for area residents or businesses. Therefore a value audit must be conducted on this contract as the project is proceeding without the necessary due diligence as required in the contract.

D2.3 The goal of the two processes is to create opportunities for public involvement in the planning process that leads to a preferred option that will be selected based on the following criteria: technically sound; reflect the needs of the community and City in general; cost-effective; environmentally responsible and safe; and is generally understood and accepted by most of those affected.


D3. COMMUNITY PROFILE
D3.1 The purpose of the Community Profile will be to identify key organizations and stakeholders that are interested or affected by “The Project”. The information that is gained through this study will be important in ensuring that the project planning process integrates transportation planning and engineering considerations with community planning in its social, economic, environmental and land use dimensions.


The auditor must investigate this breach of contract to evaluate if the public is receiving the work it is paying for, evaluate if bias is in play, and must also take steps to ensure the public will not have to pay for the consequences of procedural errors or oversights by the contractor before the infrastructure works proceeds. Moreover, the changes to Assiniboine Avenue are not understood by those people and businesses that will be affected.

It is with these contract violations and concerns that I submit a formal complaint against Marr Consulting.

Graham Hnatiuk



With a subject headline and clear direction like that, there was absolutely no mistaking who my letter was intended for. 311 would respond in a surprising four hours with this:

Hello Mr. Hnatiuk,

I have forwarded your e-mail (below) outlining the complaint against Marr Consulting's work in connection with a proposed Active Transportation project, to the City of Winnipeg's Active Transportation Coordinator. I would also like to offer you the Coordinator's direct telephone number: 986-4966.

Thank you for contacting Winnipeg 311.

Sincerely,

Mr Undisclosed
Service Representative
311 Contact Centre
311@winnipeg.ca



It would seem either 311 can't read, or somebody told someone to do something specific. I couldn't have been any more clear, my letter was intended for the City Auditor.

311 instead, promptly returned an email to me telling me it was forwarded to Kevin Nixon...the very man who's department, should the City Auditor decided he/she should investigate, would have been audited. I immediately turned this unsettling news over to my city councillor, Jeff Browaty.

I responded to 311 that Friday evening:

New complaint against 311 RE: diverting my complaint against Marr Consulting from the city auditor

Dear 311,

1) I am reinstating my complaint against Marr Consulting and demand you give me proof it is handed over to City Auditor and to no one else.

2) I am filing a formal complaint against "Mr Undisclosed", the 311 service representative who diverted my complaint away from the city auditor. They did not even provide me with a reference number before engaging in an outrageous act of political interference.

3) I insist on being immediately provided the identity of who "Mr Undisclosed" is, as well as the identity and job title of any persons who directed Mr U to divert my complaint away from the city auditor, as I will be complaining against them as well. It had better not be the AT Co-Ordinator and/or Kevin Nixon.

4) Since my personal information has been provided to somebody who is not authorized to receive this information, and this is a violation of my privacy rights, please provide immediately with the contact information for the privacy co-ordinator for 311, so I can file yet another complaint.

Graham Hnatiuk



The task was simple. Read the email. Citizen wants it sent to the Auditor. Forward it to the Auditor. If I had been requesting a letter be sent to the Mayor...you can damn well bet it would have been sent to the Mayor's Office. But somewhere on the line here, somebody within 311 made the crucial mistake of making a judgement on whom should receive my request for an audit.

This is all that is in Part 1. All of this happened in one day, on Friday August 6th. I moved up the ladder very quickly the following week. Stay tuned for part 2.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just how screwed up is Active Transportation, anyway?

The plans of all 37 Active Transportation projects can be difficult to follow. I need to clue people into the plans for Assiniboine Avenue downtown. This is a summary of a very major bike route planned for Assiniboine Avenue. I'm bringing everyone up to speed. If you're someone who says bloggers just rip off stories in newspapers, or that I don't know how to write because I didn't go to a special school, or that bloggers don't know how to investigate things, well, I don't need to tell you where to stuff it.

It is hard to write something cohesive when I am sitting on so much information. The reason why it is hard, is because all of the pieces haven't fallen into place yet.

Last fall I attended (covered) the public open house in Wolsely regarding the street-level bridge the AT people had proposed to go over Omands Creek. Facing strong community opposition, engineer Bill Woroby and AT Coordinator Kevin Nixon squirmed under pressure and tried to convince the upset Wolsely residents that a street-level bridge was the best option. This was an eye-opening event, compelling me to question how other AT projects with radical changes to the immediate neighbourhood were being approached.

This whole process of community consultation or lack thereof should not be shrugged aside. AT projects are but the latest in a number of ram-through projects that have happened in the past two years. In many cases, the plans are poorly thought out and make little to no sense. The issue is that had community consultation actually taken place, the grave oversights would be written out of the plans or they would have been scrapped altogether. It comes from not knowing the area and making plans for it anyway. The best way to mitigate bad planning decisions, is to go to the people that live there and ask them questions.

Let's not pull the knee-jerk string and say that people like me who are going out of our way to put pressure on the AT people and the consulting companies are vehemently against cycling infrastrucutre. When you look at these plans and go to the neighbourhood, speak to residents, the only thing you can say is "well, what the fuck?" There are all kinds of suggestions out there on how to make things better, where to put bike lanes, how to do it, lots of "why don't they just do this"s or "why don't they just put it like that"s.

I just wish that Winnipeggers knew what was going on here. That there are a bunch of people drawing up plans and forcing them on neighbourhoods, going against people's suggestions and ignoring their concerns. That there are people making these plans and nothing you do or say will stop them, even if it says in their contract that they have to hear you out. A bunch of people who pick and choose which data to use, people who would outright fail first year statistics courses and hold no statistical standards to their work, people who choose which residents to talk to and which ones to ignore, and people who stack "public" consultation meetings with bike path supporters who don't even live in the area in question.

For Assiniboine Avenue, there is certainly a lot to consider and take into account.

First, it is very important to note that no councilor was aware of the plans for Assiniboine Avenue. No councilor, or Mayor Sam Katz, have stated that they would support major traffic changes to Assiniboine Avenue for a bike path. Yet it is happening without their knowing. They have already approved their third of the funding cost, no additional scrutiny on their part is required. For that matter, the residents of Assiniboine Avenue do not know. They were not told of public consultation meetings or of the plans that were decided on.

I have in my hands the contract for this particular bike path that was agreed to by Marr Consulting. In it, it emphasizes the need for consultation and communication with area reasidents. It states that they must be involved and that there must be a community consensus of what is going on, and a general understanding of the plans. This cannot be – if nobody was ever told. If the most they got, was a piece of paper stuck to the door of their apartment building.

If that is what passes for community consulting, then it's a good thing I'm not a consultor. I might make the suggestion that area residents be mailed a leaflet encouraging them to come out to an open house to discuss plans with planners and engineers. Hell, I might even make the suggestion that recording devices and pens and paper be brought to the open house so we could make detailed records of how the residents feel and think. Hell times two, I MIGHT even suggest, that the next morning at the office be dedicated to going through those feelings and thoughts, and use them to best change the plans we have.

In an email to councilor John Orlikow, I asked him what the procedure was for getting Canada Post to deliver something to all residents on a street, or in an apartment block, as I know he has used this method to facilitate communication with his own constituents. John surmised that the reason the AT department might not do it, is cost. What is the cost? Fifteen cents a letter. So for a thousand-unit apartment building, it would cost all of $150 to put a leaflet in everyone's mailbox.

No, it cannot be! With funding from the city, the province, and the feds, are the Active Transportation folks really skimping out on proper notification, as is outlined in their contract, because of cost?

Less than a hundred people showed up for the public open house for the Assiniboine Avenue plans. That's it? All those apartment towers and condos and not even a hundred showed up? Something has gone wrong here. There is simply no way, no way at all, that those people were aware anything is going on.

After the public open house, the plans were changed. Without notification, without telling anybody. They held public consultation on one plan, then changed it to something so different and so extreme, and didn't bother to tell anybody. Marr Consulting convenienlty ignored area businesses as well.

What everything regarding this project and many other AT projects boil down to, is that the people who are making these plans, these decisions, the people who are consulting, are absolutely not doing their jobs. They display grand incompetance over the simplist of tasks, such as notifying area residents. Important people such as area politicians and area businesses, are so frequently left out that the only conclusion you could possibly draw is that it is happening purposely, such that they can report there is no community opposition to the plans created.

All of the hush-hush has happened after the Omands Creek bridge proposal. The timing of events begs the question: did the community opposition give them a bit of a scare? Did the consulting company take it personally? Why have they gone so completely rogue and underground with public consultations? Is it on purpose, or are they just that bad at their job?

Serious questions and allegations, no doubt. But I feel the need to put that out there.

This is the part of the story that really gets you scratching your head. After combing through the contract provisions, I drew up a formal letter for the City Auditor to review the contract and ensure due process is in fact taking place. I sent it via 311 to be forwarded to the City Auditor with the subject headline:

For City Auditor: Complaint: RE: Assiniboine Avenue Bike Path

Within hours I got a response stating it had been sent to AT Coordinator Kevin Nixon, not the City Auditor. Currently, I am still in correspondance with 311 over this decision and whomever made it, why it was not sent to the Auditor despite being clearly labelled for him. I have since been told that it is not the Auditor's job to accept such things from the public, which is blatantly false. Not only does it say otherwise on the city website, I have written assurance from the Deputy Auditor that they can indeed accept audit requests from the public.

So after all of that, it's a lot I know. I can't say any more than I already have in regards to 311, as that is still on-going. When I filed a Freedom of Information Request for the project contract, it was just to see what was going on and to see if I couldn't figure out the grounds on which the AT Coordinator and Marr/MMM Consulting were justifying their actions and decisions that defied all logic. If you've read this far, you get a cookie. In doing so however, I've uncovered not just one but two gold-mine stories. In doing so, I've shocked myself at what I've learned as a blogger with supposedly no journalism credibility, just by filing an FOI.

If I can do it, well then, you'd think that some other people who get paid to do it could connect the dots. And I do this on my spare time. I have a full time job and when I'm not doing that, I spend my spare time working on artistic things like writing and music. When I get fired up about something, I make a post to my website.

I'll end on waxing about the state of journalism in the dawn of the internet era. In the past month, Wikileaks has undermined the entirety of mainstream news around the globe. The resulting backlash from not only the US Government but also various news outlets showed a startling complicity by mainstream journalism to not do any actual journalism work. The kicker is that many news outlets feel that we should pay for their online content, which is mostly borderline plagiarism, wire stories, or press releases, copied and pasted. When something of value is uncovered, as was the case with the leaked military documents, news corporations rushed to condemn it or attempt to devalue the massive leak.

I don't have to be a journalist or a reporter to comment on the state of the news industry. Neither do I need to be a journalist to file an FOI, read it, scratch my head, and post my findings to the internet. Good content, the stuff worth reading, is almost entirely on internet-only sites, many of which rely on donations to support their hard-working journalists.

I also discovered, apparently, that you can do valuable and meaningful work on your own time, driven by your own interests. Assertions about bloggers well, when someone asks me about blogging and mainstream (and it always does get asked) I can now safely and proudly respond by citing the various stories I've covered and researched.

Stay tuned for more on Assiniboine and 311 as the picture falls into place.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

World Class Mathematics on Portage

This Bodies exhibit coming to Winnipeg for a little while is supposed to draw 200 000 visitors between September and January? Holy crap that's what, four months? And they draw 200 000?

And the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is only supposed to hit up 250 000 a YEAR? INCLUDING web hits?

The lesson here, is that Bodies is a world-class travelling roadshow. A human rights museum, touted as being world class and in league with the Guggenhiem, is not. Not by a longshot. Bodies will create buzz, drive excitement and people to downtown for four months. The Museum will not.

Looks like the CMHR got showed up a bit. By the MTS Centre. At least we wont see Mark Chipman or anybody proclaim 311 Portage as a world class tourist destination.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let's play "House"...err...

Let's play the Winnipeg version of House. I'll be Public Works, and you be the Traffic Engineer. Everybody is a traffic engineer here, right?

(EDIT: I've missed the most obvious option, so I added it at the bottom of the list)


You find that over 400 vehicles cross one section of road downtown per hour during rush hour. Do you conclude:

A) This section of road is a suitable and acceptable target for cycling infrastructure.

B) This section of road could be closed for vehicular traffic for cycling infrastructure with no significant impact to surrounding arteries.

C) Employing measures such as a no left turn, or no right turn, would not significantly impact traffic flow.

D) Removing parking would allow both high volumes of traffic and cycling infrastructure to co-exist.

E) Some other magical doohickey Winnipeg traffic engineers are unaware of.

F) Put up a traffic light.