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Showing posts from September, 2010

September shatters all records as MSM chases our bike lane stories

A big thank you to all the old and new readers of this blog, many of whom are listening to our daily broadcasts. This blog has seen record numbers of visits and page views this month,

Eyes all over the world, from government, Crown corporations, industry, small business, the blogosphere, and academia, have followed our series about the now-admitted failure of Winnipeg's bike lane/path/trail/bikeway expansion (hey, whatever happened to that term "boulevard"?).

The voices of the people of Downtown, Fort Rouge, St James, the west end, Lord Roberts and Robertson neighborhood in the north end, have been heard -- finally --by politicians, mainstream media, and the other residents in this election year.

Today, at 4 PM; the finger-pointing starts between Mayor Katz and councillors; the blueprint for the bike lobby was printed in Vancouver- and we have the details; we'll have more about a brewing NDP election financing scandal that was first heard about on our show Wednesday; a…

Mayor Katz cries foul over bikeway near his ballpark: We have the inside story

The Free Press has reported on comments made by Mayor Sam Katz yesterday, as he moved to put a freeeze on the McDermot Bikeway.
"... the Bannatyne-McDermot project has now been shelved, leading Katz to criticize city staff about the project for the fourth time in six days."This city does not have to go the extra mile. It has to go the extra 10 miles in consultation," Katz told reporters after a mayoral-candidate forum at the Fort Garry Hotel. "When anything like this happens in the future, you will see consultation above and beyond."Katz told reporters he did not personally vote in favour of the projects, which he said were approved by community committees. In fact, the mayor and 12 out of 15 councillors approved the active-transportation upgrade on Dec. 15, 2009, when council approved the 2010 capital budget.And the project details merely came before community committees as information. Only the capital budget provides authority for the spending.In a s…

Fed-up Residents ask: Are trees being chopped down for the Berry Street Bike path?

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The alternative media influence in this city and on the civic election is being recognized by MSM. Two weeks after we showcased blogger Brian Kelcey and pointed to the criticism leveled by Policy Frog, the two former city hall insiders were quizzed in todays Free Press about their opinions. In fact, Froggies attack of not only the consultation process but the safety elements of the bike lane designs is believed to have been a turning point in the credibility of the stories our listeners have brought forward.

Graham Hnatiuk, whose attempt to alert the city auditor about the planned waste of taxpayers' dollars and dangerous conditions created in South Broadway was diverted to Assiniboine bike path honcho Kevin Nixon, furthered his coverage with pictures of a tour bus coming from the legislature, that was stranded on the new extended raised curbs at Kennedy St.

Another bus got stuck last Friday; we have reported that police were never consulted about how street direction changes coul…

From your best source about the Fort Rouge Yards Open House - Kim the traffic reporter

From: Kim the Traffic Reporter

I arrived at the Fort Rouge Yards Project open house at the Lord Roberts School on Beresford at about 5:15p.m., there was already quite a few people in attendance even though the event didn't officially start until 5:30. According to Adam Dooley of Dooley Communications the final tally in attendance was 120.

This is the final public consultation being put on by the developer Lexington Development Corporation, there had been three other consultations though only the one held on July 29th was open to the public. The rest had been by invitation only.

There have been changes made stemming from the feedback at the July open house.

* the removal of one of the 20 storey high-rises

* additional parking

* supports the re-opening of Argue Street

* elimination of public or subsidized housing

* opening pathways for the public to get to new greenspaces near the BRT line

* maintaining the existing community garden near the community centre at Argue …

EXCLUSIVE: Argue Street bikeway a failure, says official report

" increased time, cost and emissions related to detours was frustrating. "

" The closures have made traffic in the neighbourhood worse."

" diverted traffic (drove) down adjacent streets, back lanes and into areas that were less appropriate for cars"

" the majority of bike traffic originates outside the project area."

" safety is a real concern (including a)lack of proper signage"

" Many residents and stakeholders were unhappy with the process and generally feel improvements to the area aren’t benefiting them."

Does this sound like it is about the chaotic Assiniboine Bike Lane?

It isn't.

These conclusions are from an unpublicized city report about the model for Assiniboine.

The Argue Street bikeway in Lord Roberts (west of South Osborne Street), which was instigated in 2008 under area Councillor Jenny Gerbasi, has been found by city researchers to be an utter disaster.

We were directed to this link by a listener, who wondered why …

Gerbasi's Assiniboine Bike Lane interview on CJOB fails Hnatiuks' BS-o-meter

Blogger Graham Hnatiuk, whose attempt in August to alert the city auditor of the bungling and waste of the Active Transportation project on Assiniboine was intercepted by 311 officials and diverted to the bureaucrat responsible, has transcribed last Friday's interview on CJOB with Councillor Jenny Gerbasi.

http://progressivewinnipeg.blogspot.com/2010/09/geoff-currier-vs-jenny-gerbasi.html

What follows is a brief excerpt of his comments. Readers and listeners who are concerned with the state of accountability, transparency and democracy heading into the October 27th civic election, should share his analysis with anyone who says it isn't important for them to vote and have a voice in the way Winnipeg is now being run.

"A few peculiar things escaped Gerbasi's lips, including the words “provincial” and “park.” Pay attention for that in the following as well as the phrase “right wing talk show host,” which would be in reference to Marty Gold. I'm probably a “rig…

Lazarenko announces retirement, endorses Katz

Statement from Councillor Harry Lazarenko:“It is with many fond memories of dedicated public service, in which today I am announcing I will not be running in the upcoming civic election. I have had the tremendous privilege of representing the citizens of Winnipeg and Mynarski for over 30 years and have been proud to work on their priorities. I wish to express my sincerest thanks to all my friends, colleagues, and family who have offered me such strong support over last few months during my illness.I want to express how difficult a decision it was for me to vacate the position I have held for so long , but it is time that I put my health and family ahead of politics and enjoy time with my loved ones, especially my wife Judy, who has always been very supportive of my choices. I have to express my gratitude to Chris Hurley who has served not only as an exemplary Executive Assistant to me for many years, but has also worked tirelessly to serve the citizens of Mynarski as w…

Lawsuit spurs MSM reporting on bike lane fiasco - - a day late and a dollar short

Suddenly, after being hidden in plain sight from the mainstream media for weeks, the fiasco of the Assiniboine Avenue bike lane (and other Active Transportation routes) became "news" to city newsrooms.

The Free Press managed to run a story that ignored any mention of

1) how area businesses are cut off from deliveries,
2) the impact on a social service agency that serves clients in immediate crisis,
3) pollution from gridlocked rush-hour vehicles choking residents of Edmonton Street and the loss of transit service for hobbled seniors,
or
4) the dangers to pedestrians caused by cyclists using sidewalks and frustrated drivers careening about like mice trapped in a maze.

Still, it's a start.

Since June of 2009, the corporate newsrooms, feeding on press release-driven "green is good/Hike it Bike it Like it/use it or lose it" catch-phrases, have followed the lead of city spokespeople and the bike lobby to ignore the legitimate questions about the process and negative effect…

EXCLUSIVE: Angry businesses ask court for injunction to stop Assiniboine bike lane

For over two weeks, the City of Winnipeg has been causing chaos on streets and sidewalks after re-directing traffic off of Assiniboine Avenue to begin building a bike lane.
Despite warnings from area residents and businesses that they had never gotten proper notices or maps that clearly explained the plan so they could provide feedback, and that emergency vehicles could not possibly navigate the new-found gridlock, ONLY deaf ears at city hall and blank stares from the mainstream media greeted all complainants.
The Great Canadian Talk Show exposed the bullying of the city and the desperate conditions faced by South Broadway stakeholders.
* Seniors lugging oxygen tanks for blocks due to canceled bus routes,
* pedestrians almost mowed down by sidewalk cyclists,
* food deliveries to social services made impossible by a maze of one way streets,
* twenty minute drives taking over 45 minutes,
* and polluted air from the idling, waiting vehicles wafting through apartment windows.
Now a courtroom wi…

City CAO Laubenstein returning to Alberta pronto

Pilloried by criticism about the murky Asper Stadium agreement, the Disraeli Freeway debacle, and ongoing controversies about the lack of genuine public consultations on Active Transportation stimulus spending projects that has resulted in downtown gridlock and hard questions of city councillors (and did someone mention the Parking Authority?)Glen Laubenstein is returning to a former employer, in Alberta, right after the October 27th civic election.

Here is the press release from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, followed by the optimistic statements he made to CBC upon being hired to run Winnipeg City Hall 2 1/2 years ago.
New Chief Administrative Officer appointed by Council (Fort McMurray, AB – September 14, 2010) – The search to fill the Municipality's top administrative position has concluded with Council appointing Glen Laubenstein as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).“I am pleased to say that Mr. Laubenstein will be joining this Municipality a…

Public safety at risk as Assiniboine businesses demand stop work and consultation; Gerbasi passes bike lane buck

Giovanni Geremia Architect
351 Assiniboine Avenue
Winnipeg Manitoba, R3C 0X9

September 7, 2010
To the members of the City Centre Community Committee
Councillor Jenny Gerbasi
Councillor John Orlikow
Councillor Harvey Smith
Re: Assiniboine Avenue Bike Boulevard

Dear Councillors,
I am writing to request that your committee put an immediate stop to the construction on this project and convene a special City Centre Community Committee meeting to hear the concerns of neighbourhood citizens that to date have had no say on how their lives will be impacted by this illconceived and poorly planned bike boulevard project on Assiniboine Avenue. This project was
dropped onto the neighbourhood without a fair and meaningful public consultation process or
discussions with those directly affected. Because the consultation process was badly flawed, those who live and work in this neighbourhood were taken by complete surprise.
Please review the following supporting information.

Background:

On the weekend of August 28th…