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Box 1680 Winnipeg, Man R3C 2Z7 Dear Winnipeg Police,
RE: BISHOP GRANDIN ROAD SAFETY
I wish to take this opportunity to address a major road safety concern. Bishop Grandin is known for having problems with excessive speed and it is time for some new solutions to be implemented. According to the 2003 Winnipeg Police annual report, an aggressive "Reduce the Risk" traffic enforcement project was launched on Bishop Grandin which saw "intensive enforcement" with "priorities being given to speed enforcement." It was stated that Bishop Grandin had been identified as having an unusually high collision rate and that about 75% of the collisions were rear-enders. "Speeding results in following too closely and that precipitates rear-end collisions," adds the report. The report stated that between Bishop Grandin and Kenaston for almost a one year period between 2002-2003, there were 562 collisions resulting in 1,100 MPI claims costing $2.5 million. According to an August 17, 2011 Winnipeg Free Press article, the speeding problem on Bishop Grandin has gone nowhere since 2003. The article refers to Bishop Grandin speed readings as "shocking" followed by Sgt Mark Hodgson stating, "It means we have to do more." In a July 3, 2011 Winnipeg Sun article, Hodgson also stated that, "We're seeing significant speeds, and we're not only seeing significant speeds, but high volumes of them," when referring to Bishop Grandin. Enforcement may have many successes as stated by Winnipeg Police, but there are also significant shortcomings. Unless continuous, the effect decreases over time as drivers become less accustomed to seeing a police presence. Attempts to maintain regular enforcement on Bishop Grandin has been a significant drain on police resources. As recently as last Saturday, Feb 26th, 2012, traffic officers were spotted at this location. Police also have no effect on drivers who are unaware of enforcement due to being new to the area. This includes both local residents from other parts of the city, new residents and visitors to the city. It is obvious that enforcement cannot possibly be on Bishop Grandin continuously. What can be though, is proper road signing. Bishop Grandin has many inadequacies that once fixed, could significantly reduce speeding. In short, the speed signs are too far from the road, too small and not dual signed. Dual signing involves placing a second sign on the median across from the primary sign on the right for the faster moving traffic in the median lane to observe. This practice is recommended by the MUTCD-Section A1.7.2(c) (Traffic manual used by the City of Winnipeg) on divided roads, one-way streets and especially when a high collision rate is observed. Dual signing is also presently utilized by all other major western Canadian cities including Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna. Since Bishop Grandin is such a problem speeding area, it would be the most appropriate location for Winnipeg to place dual speed limit signs. The Bishop Grandin signs are also on light standards which are much farther off the road than the 3m maximum allowed for sign placement according to City of Winnipeg policy (Lateral Set-Back Policy) and the MUTCD. This puts the signs outside of a driver's ideal cone of vision and the illumination of headlights which is especially important for night time visibility. Police have stated there is a spike in speeding after dark between 11pm and 2am-Winnipeg Sun July 3, 2011.
One last safety measure would be to use larger than the current minimum sized (60x75 cm) signs. Other cities are using signs between 75x90 cm and up to 90x120 cm at areas identified as having speeding problems. All divided highways in the provincial jurisdiction outside of Winnipeg already have these larger signs. The results appear positive since the RCMP have never publicized speeding problems outside the city in the way Winnipeg Police have about Bishop Grandin and other areas. The best comparison for Bishop Grandin would be Anderson Blvd in Calgary (see attached pictures). Just like Bishop Grandin, Anderson is a major 80 km/h four lane divided arterial road servicing communities in the south end of the city. Also in comparison, Anderson has an extended section near its west end that lacks traffic signals and would allow for excessive speeds. The difference is that this portion of Anderson has extra large speed limit signs dual signed and with proper placement. It's obviously effective, because a Google search was unsuccessful in finding any links to information from Calgary Police regarding a speeding or collision problem on Anderson. This is obviously the solution for Winnipeg and I ask Winnipeg Police to begin taking steps necessary to see Winnipeg Public Works bring in these initiatives. It is my understanding that Winnipeg Police have claimed they do not get involved in signing issues and leave this as a Public Works matter. This method simply does not work and is not done in other cities. A traffic engineer in Halifax has indicated that his city has installed extra large speed signs as requested by police at problem speed locations. A worker in Abbotsford stated that Public Works and Police have monthly meetings and discuss how to improve road infrastructure. This is just to name a few and is obviously an initiative that Winnipeg Police needs to take, if safety is truly a goal and not revenue. Public Works cannot identify problem speed areas and make appropriate changes without the input of Police. E-mail addresses of members of Winnipeg Police appeared on Public Works e-mails regarding the removal of the median warning signs before intersection cameras. If Winnipeg Police can be involved with sign removal, they can certainly serve a role in seeing signs installed for safety. "If we're able to reduce the amount of speed, we're able to increase safety"Mark Hodgson, Winnipeg Sun, July 3, 2011. I wish to be informed on what measures the WPS is taking with Public Works to address these issues. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response. Sincerely,
Chris Sweryda P.S. My previous letter from about six months ago regarding inadequate speed reduction signing has not yet been answered. If there was a response that somehow didn't make it to me, I would appreciate if it could be resent. Please let me know if my initial letter needs to be resubmitted. Thanks. cc: Manitoba Public Insurance cc: Winnipeg Mayors Office cc: Winnipeg Public Works
Bishop Grandin EB east of Waverley has only one minimum sized speed limit sign on the right that is too far off the road and too high. The power station in the background is the normal Winnipeg Police enforcement location. The WB side of Bishop Grandin has the same problems as the EB.
Anderson Blvd (Calgary) EB west of 24th Street SB has oversized speed limit signs dual signed on both sides of the road. The lower signs at a shorter distance from the road puts the signs in the driver's line of sight. Note the dual signing on the opposing direction at the next light pole up.
Below are pictures of dual signed speed limit signs from other cities across western Canada that are both larger and smaller then Winnipeg. Winnipeg is truly alone for not utilizing the advantages of dual speed limit signing placed in proper proximity to the road. Kelowna (British Columbia) Edmonton (Alberta)
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