Right in the Centre - The government should be embarrassed


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

In preparation for last week’s column where I challenged Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure about highway speeds in our towns, I was forced through a convoluted and complicated process. The process the government has set up is made complicated to discourage questions. But, here’s how it all came down. I phoned highways and the very nice person on the phone took my message where I was asking to speak to one of the two head people at highways in the Brandon Regional office. No response for several days. So, I phoned again and talked to the nice person but was advised that I would have to talk to a Media Engagement Specialist.

I let the person know on the other end of the line that I didn’t want to talk to a Media Engagement Specialist. I wanted to talk to the people who knew what was going on and asked that the  message be passed on to the people in charge at Brandon. I knew it wouldn’t do any good but I felt better for trying. So after about five days from my original request, I got an email advising me that I would get faster answers if I sent my questions by email to the  Media Engagement Specialist. And I could not quote Media Engagement Specialist number one. I was told it was too late on Friday to get an answer and I said that was fine, Monday or Tuesday would be good. Media Engagement Specialist number one agreed. The answer came at 10 a.m. Wednesday, so only a half a day after the answer was promised. So that was’t too bad, but it was too late to make it into last week’s paper. The answers came from Media Engagement Specialist number two and no, I couldn’t quote them either. You can’t talk to staff and can’t quote Media Engagement Specialist one or two

Here’s the questions in bold face type and a short version of the answers. And while they said a map would be attached, there was no map. They say they were made aware of the “construction project” that will complicate the study on July. 17. The map came later, but at print deadline I still haven’t been informed as to what the ”construction project” is.

The Town of Neepawa, as I understand it, is the Traffic Control Authority within the boundaries of the Town of Neepawa. Is that correct?

Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure is the traffic authority for much of the provincial highway network as shown on the attached map. The Town of Neepawa is the traffic authority and can set speed limits on municipal roads and some PTH and PR roads within their jurisdiction. 

If that is correct, why does the Town of Neepawa need approval from T and I to lower the speed zones?

Speed limits on the declared sections of PTHs and PRs are established by regulation.

If that is not correct, what is the status of the application for speed reduction on the stretch of highway on Way. 16 from Broadway to the east boundary of the Town of Neepawa?

Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure remains committed to a further review of the speed limit on PTH 16 east of the south junction of PTH 5, and has engaged an engineering consultant to complete this work. It was brought to the department’s attention July 17 that there is a construction project occurring on PTH 16 east of the Town of Neepawa, which may complicate the data gathering process of the speed limit review. However, MTI is working with the project manager of this construction project to mitigate the concerns. Given these circumstances, MTI has revised the target to have a complete response in late August 2023.

I am still waiting for an explanation about “a construction project”.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.