Route 90 Safety

Mayor Gillingham wants to spend $1,000,000,000 “improving” Winnipeg’s Route 90 (aka Kenaston Blvd) between Taylor and Ness avenues.

The proposal can be read here (PDF, it’s large).

“Improvement” seems to be defined as: a reduction of projected 2041 travel times (by car) by 90 seconds (page 7).

It should also be noted that the goal travel time is of 9.2 minutes is actually 72 seconds slower than the current travel time of 8 minutes. Travel times increase regardless of the capital expended on adding one more lane because induced demand is in fact real. And the proposal does seem to implicitly acknowledge this.


To put it another way, the Mayor is proposing to spend

$11,111,111 per second

…of travel time reduction. I have to question whether this is a good use of money.

But nevermind that, let’s talk about safety.


The City of Winnipeg has adopted a Strategic Road Safety Action Plan with the (very feeble but very achievable) goal of “…of a 20 percent reduction in fatal and serious injury collisions.” So I was wondering how the Route 90 expansion might fit into this.

The fine people over at MPI provided me with 10 years of collision data for Kenaston Boulevard for the proposed “improvement” area. Keep in mind that these are only incidents that generated a report to MPI, it’s safe to assume that this are all “serious.”

Over the past 10 years, 10 pedestrians have been injured in this “improvement” zone. Or roughly 1 in every 108 vehicle collision involves a pedestrian injury.

I cannot see how adding two lanes (a 50% increase) and increasing the speed limit from 50km/h to 60km/h is going to help bring those 10 pedestrian injuries closer to zero!

A computer rendering showing the proposed intersection at academy and route 90.
An at-grade crossing at what is effectively a freeway entrance!

The pedestrians crossings at grade throughout this proposal simply are not going to be good enough! If we’re spending $11M dollars per second of car quality of life, surely we can spend a few million dollars to allow pedestrians to cross this pseudo-freeway safely!

Let’s save some money and turn Route 90 into a park!

Public Engagement

At the time writing the city is requesting public engagement. Please take some time to complete the survey available here.

The Data

For those interested, the raw data from MPI can be found here:


Brent Bellamy suggests that the cost for this project is only a mere $715,000,000. Which brings the per second improvement cost to $7,944,444 🤷‍♂️


Winnipeg Budget Day 2023

Today was budget day for Winnipeg City Council. Perhaps the most important day of the year. And I watched it so you don’t have to!

Spoiler: it passed 14 – 2 and it’s a huge step in the wrong direction.

There’s plenty of discourse on Twitter (I’d suggest starting with Millennium for All’s feed).

You can watch the entire meeting below.

Winnipeg City Council Special Meeting – 22nd March, 2023

But it’s over four hours long so I’ve gone ahead and created a table of contents, bookmarking the important moments.

If you’re extremely short on and you only have 10 minute to spare, watch Councillor Allard’s Introduction to his amendment and imagine what a great city we’d have if we had more than one urbanist on council. Or maybe the impassioned speeches by the delegates in opposition to the budget.


Think about what kind of amazing city we would be living in if their positions were flipped!

In Support

  • Loren Remillard, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (5:42)
  • Chris Lorenc, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association (12:13)

In Opposition

  • Michael Redhead Champagne & Mary Burton – Fearless R2W (43:04)
  • Kate Kehler – The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (49:51)
  • Ryan Beardy – Gang Action Interagency Network (55:26)

Police Budget

Note: this was presented “as information” only.

  • Chambers – St. Norbert, Introduction (1:21:33)
  • Wyatt – Transcona, a plea for more council oversight of police board, etc (1:26:08)


  • Mayor Gillingham, Intro. Summary of high level items (1:38:58)
  • Browaty – North Kildonan, his highlights (1:43:36)


Arguments in Support of Budget

  • Rollins – Fort Rouge-Easy Fort Garry (2:18:13)
  • Gilroy – Danielle McIntrye (2:27:00)
  • Wyatt – Transcona (2:38:07)
  • Chambers – St. Norbert (2:48:04)
  • Schreyer – Elmwood-East Kildonan (2:53:04)
  • Orlikow – River Heights-Fort Garry (3:03:49)
  • Mayes – St. Vital (3:11:58)
  • Eadie – Mynarski (3:20:42)


  • Allard. Amendment (3:31:36)
  • Mayor Gillingham. The budget itself (3:41:59)

The Vote (3:46:51)

Notably Silent

If you live in the following wards, your representative was totally silent during the most important council meeting of the year.

Please think about this when they’re up for re-election in 4 years.

Update: I should note that Councillor Sharma was on leave for most of the day and attended remotely for the vote. She may have had more to say if she was able to be present during the meeting.

Culture Winnipeg

Car Co-op Experiment

Well, not yet. Not literally.

Winnipeg’s Peg-City Car Co-op has been on my mind recently for one reason or another. I’ve come to the conclusion that if they opened a station on my street I would probably immediately get rid of my car!

When I say “my street” I literally mean my street. There are 3 rarely used parking lots on my block (within 3 minute walk) and my street would be good location if they decided to expand their network westward (Philip Mikulec, if you’re reading this DM me).

I ran this idea passed my wife and she rightly brought up concerns about availability and cargo space. So, I thought I should step back and do something like a feasibility study.

So for the next month, I plan on logging all of my car trips in a spreadsheet.

I am going to be logging two categories of metric.

First, I’m going to log cost of using a co-op car. Cost is defined by the duration and distance of the trip. I’ll flag trips where I might be able to use their new floater service as those trips should be less expensive.

Second, I’m going to log “feasibility.” One of the biggest reasons for owing a car for me personally is being able to have a vehicle available at my beck-and-call. With two growing kids and a wife with mobility issues, it seems valuable to be able to hop into a car at any time.

To log feasibility I am going to use the following three attributes:

  • Timely: Appointments, meetings, picking people up at a specif time, that sort of thing. Since car co-ops have limited stock, I’m assuming it may be difficult to always get a car at a specific time.
  • Spontaneous: Basically, any trip that was taken without prior planning. This could be an emergency or a random drive in the evening.
  • Large: Again due to limited stock I assume we would not always be able to get a larger vehicle if needed. For this metric, I will use any load that takes up the entire floor space of our Santa Fe to signify a “large” load.

Without actually using the service it’s going to be impossible to know if a car would have been available to me during these trips. So for the sake of quantification, if any two out of these three factors are present for a given trip, I deem that trip infeasible with a car co-op.


My total cost will come in under the $833/mo the average Canadian spends on car ownership. I think I am an ideal candidate for a car co-op: we are a one driver household (for now), I work from home full time, our kids are teenager (and already accustom to taking public transit) and our neighbourhood is extremely walkable.

Other factors

I understand that people who use car co-ops typically change the way they use cars. They group trips and drive less frequently. In addition to the raw calculations, I will attempt to analyze the data and come up with alternate stories for how I could have used cars over the month. There might be some interesting findings.

My data set will act as a sort of “worst case scenario.” Meaning, if I didn’t change my behaviour this is how much it would cost. As such, my data should also be able to quantify the real cost of having a car available outside your door 24/7.

I hope to have some interesting findings. See you in a month!

Apps Culture Tips & How To's Winnipeg

Running a Mastodon server

I ran a mastodon server over at for about two months. I took it down last over this past weekend.

When the mastodon exodus started to bubble up I thought I’d jump in feet first and find out what it takes to run a server.

Overall, it was just about as easy as I expected. But at the end of the day, almost nobody used it and it was costing me a lot of money for what was had become my own personal mastodon web client.

Setup & Upkeep

I’d say the complexity of setting up a mastodon server is right around “running ubuntu on the desktop and installing a package that’s not present in the package manager” complex.

It’s almost point-and-click, with a couple of additional steps.

DigitalOcean and friends all seem to have 1-click installers to get the web server portion system.

In addition the the webserver that’s runs the Mastodon application itself, you’ll also need a CDN to host media and a service to send mail.

FWIW, I chose DigitalOcean’s “spaces” mainly for the convenience of having only 1 bill. I chose SendGrid for mail, due to their generous free tier.

If you’re interested in setting up a Mastodon server and you’ve ever messed with Linux, I’d say “give it a shot.” DigitalOcean’s guide covers pretty much everything you need to know.

There was literally zero day-to-day maintenance. And no need to moderate anything.


US$35/mo. ($5 of that is storage, no backup, no mail cost)

I originally spun up my mastodon server on DigitalOcean’s cheapest 1GB RAM server plan. The webserver and all its systems actually ran really well.

However, when it came to upgrading from Mastodon v3 to v4 I repeatedly ran into problems. Eventually realizing that NPM was exhausting my system memory, so I had to upgrade to a 2GB server in order to complete the upgrade.

I shut it down

When I asked my twitter followers how many people were interested in joining a Winnipeg-based Mastodon server mid-November, 25 out of 36 people responded positively.

After two months of operation, the server had fewer than 30 users and I was the only users who’d posted more than a handful of toots. It just didn’t make sense to continue to pay to use my own instance when I could just as easily hop onto another one.

At the end of this experiment, I don’t think I understand the purpose of location or theme-based Mastodon servers. Sure the Mastodon server has a “Local” UI that displays posts from users you follow on the local instance. But I guess I don’t really see the purpose? They’ll show up in your freed regardless 🤷‍♂️

In terms of Mastodon as a Twitter alternative, I have many thoughts. But that’s a blog post for another blog time.

Anyways, for now you can find me @[email protected].


Grant Forzley (Artistic Impressions Photography), Winnipeg Photographer

Grant Forzley (of Artistic Impressions Photography) sold me a broken vintage camera, ruining my Christmas present for my wife and is refusing to allow me to return it for a refund.

When I picked up the camera from Grant Forzley on November 25th at his studio we had a great conversation! He walked me through all of the accessories and showed my how to use it. I mentioned that the camera was not for me (I am not a photographer), that it was a Christmas present for my wife. I mentioned that is my wife is a super Polaroid nerd who has been looking for a Polaroid SX-70 for a long time and had sent me his Facebook Marketplaces listing earlier that month. Grant and I discussed something about emulsion or some sort of nerdy things you could do with the film used by this very specific Polaroid model.

In other words, it should have been clear to him that the camera was being sold to a novice and I would not know about all the details and things to look at in evaluating the camera. In fact, I thought that’s why he was taking so much time with the demo.

He mentioned that he was going through a divorce, that his ex-wife had bought it with the intention of doing some of the nerdy things my wife was planning on doing but they never go around to using it. I felt like we were on the same wavelength and took the low use as an indication that the camera internals would still be in great condition on account of not being used since they acquired it.

In other words, I thought I was getting a well kept camera from someone going through a difficult divorce who just wanted to get rid of his ex-wife’s things.

This is a screenshot of the original listing.

The original Facebook Marketplaces listing

Note that the condition is listed as “Used – Good,” there is no indication that it is “untested” or that it is being sold “as-is.” Moreover, Facebook Marketplaces defines the “used – good” condition as “Minor signs of wear. Item is operational and works as intended.”

My wife tried the camera on Thursday after she finally had a chance to pick up some film. It became immediately apparent that the camera was broken in several different ways.

I sent Grant an message via Facebook on Friday, informing him that the camera I bought for my wife was not in working condition, that I was expecting a camera in working condition based on the Marketplace listing and that I would like a partial refund (since the accessories are functioning) or I would be willing to return the camera for a full refund.

The first thing Grant said was that the camera was “final sale.” Like my dude, that’s not how that works (you have to say it’s a final sale before you sell it, typically in the post). He also said that when he mentioned it had never been used, he was implying that the camera was in non functioning condition. I sent him a reply similar to the contents of this blog post on Sunday, he seems to have ghosted me.

To be clear, I am not accusing Grant Forzley of knowingly selling me a broken camera. He may well have been unaware of the condition himself.

Nor am I denying that a non-functioning Polaroid SX-70 (Land Camera Model 2) has some value to someone. A Polaroid fanatic may be willing to buy one just to put on their shelf or to repair as a project. But not my wife.

I am accusing Grant of being unreasonable when it comes to taking the camera back for a refund. He sold me something I was not interested in and I would like to give him the opportunity to resell it to someone else who is interested in a camera that needs some TLC.