Thursday, December 1, 2011


The Times, what do you mean what is The Times? It's a community newspaper, maybe yours is called the Metro or Herald. No idea? Hmm... it's the thing your flyers come "wrapped" in. Ah ha! Ok, now that we're on the same page, The Times had a great article on the front page this week, talking about how Arlington is only one lane in either direction. First though, seriously, how many flyers can they stuff in that thing?? I actually cancelled my flyers a few months back because although I much prefer flipping through the glossy pages to looking at the online versions, I just could no longer justify the trees that were suffering for my pleasure. Plus, we get them at the office. If you find some of your flyers seem to be missing, it could be because the child-labourers who have to hand stuff and then deliver them in the freezing cold at a whopping $.05 a paper, found that it was a better idea to just dump them in the bush near Wilkes. Oh wait, sorry, that was me when I was 9. As if my parents let me do that. Times were different then, oh the 80's...

Wow, sorry, sugary holiday treats have started to turn my occasional inattention into full blown ADD. Moving along. Now, Arlington, for those who have never ventured down it, is absurdly wide from Portage to Notre Dame. Of course, it's only absurd because technically it's only one lane in either direction, yet clearly a total of four lanes wide. So according to MPI spokesman Brian Smiley "there hasn't been an unusually high number of insurance claims made by motorists using the street". Really? He should ask my best friend who was found 50% at fault for hitting someone who was turning left because my friend had opted to drive in the imaginary second lane that everyone drives in. Anyone who tries to treat Arlington as one lane treats everyone behind them to a serious case of road rage.

One could argue that we should all know it's only one lane because of the lack of painted lines creating separate lanes. However, in a city like Winnipeg, with a climate like ours and all the abuse our roads take, the lines tend to wear off pretty quickly and we are frequently left to our own expert judgment guesstimates as to which lane is which all over the city (don't even get me started on how the lines that finally did end up painted on DunOsMemCoBaIsaTer at St. Mary's force one lane into a lane that effectively deadends right after Portage rather than into the next closest lane to the median...) So we can be forgiven for thinking that a road that is clearly wide enough for 4 cars across is designed for, say, 4 cars. Europeans would probably think it's a six lane road!

For years, when you headed south and crossed over Notre Dame there was no indication that the clearly marked two lanes that you had just been on had only become one, other than the aforementioned missing lines - all the more reason one might presume that they had worn off. As well, generally the only place there is consistently parked cars is right at Notre Dame by the school/church, and even then half the time it's just the photo-radar car lying in wait (slow down there if you didn't already know - it's there ALL the time).

I think there should be a move to officially turn it into two lanes in either direction and while they're at it, they should solve how to make it so you don't get stuck behind someone trying to turn left onto Logan when all you want to do is head over the beautiful Arlington Bridge (the right lane is right turn only, but you could miss an entire light cycle stuck behind someone).

This post actually manages to tie in with my last post as well...
Photo from Times website

See the second car at the bottom left of the photo? The Scirocco? That's my friend. No strangers in Winnipeg.

So how do you guys drive on Arlington? One lane? Two lanes? Should it change?


  1. Ooohh... I live of that stretch of Arlington so I have driven it 1000 times and use that 1 2/3 of a lane as two lane on a case by case basis. (thanks for pointing out the article that it is only one lane)

    If someone looks like they have the capacity to understand that there's room for two cars I will use the kerb lane to scootch by someone, though I wouldn't drive it for very long side by side with another car.

    Many motorists have that Winnipeg attitude that the few feet of pavement in any direction around their car is their personal property so they sort of float down the middle anyway and wouldn't dream of letting a car squeeze past them so the point is moot.

    Back when they started painting in back lanes I thought that this stretch of Arlington would be a no-brainer. You can't park on that side of the street so it's a wasted partial lane. Might as well contribute it to the cause.

  2. Arlington is one lane there? Really? Guess that answers how I drive on it.

  3. How about a traffic plan that would make Louis Escobar proud? 3 lanes. Each curb lane dedicated to straight and right turns, and the center lane divided into north or south directions in the center of the block to accomodate turning left. Add to this idea lights with protected turning signals and you'd have... traffic on ONE city street that actually works.