|FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, August 22, 2002|
|It was in the 1960s that Regina got its first one way streets, the thinking then
was that the traffic flow would be improved if it only went one direction and downtown
Regina had streets designed for the streetcar and horse and buggy era. By the way
if you dig down through the pavement on Hamilton Street (Regina's original equivalent
of a main street as it ends in the railway station) you will discover buried beneath
the pavement are the streetcar rails and a little below that are the wood block cobbles
that once were the blocks that were the actual street surface, but that's another
In the seventies some bright guy decided that Swift Current needed faster access and the city became a one way street place. There are a few one way streets in Saskatoon and very few that I have seen in Winnipeg but now Tisdale has joined the club. We now have a "one-way" alley.
Each morning there is school the citizens of Tisdale dutifully drive their kids to school perhaps a hundred cars, SUVs, vans and pickups make the stop in front of the elementary school each morning and then slip down this alley. Seemed like a good idea but like most good ideas someone always seems to come up with another good idea and this is ban traffic in that direction so that from the school you can't go South on the alley but must proceed around Caribou Crescent. I wonder how the folks on Caribou will like those hundred vehicles tripping by each morning on their crescent with its built in whop tee-do speed bumps created by settling.
I have only been to Swift Current a few times and not ended up inadvertently driving at least one block down one of their one way streets. Just like that one way street by the Co-op in Nipawin which for reasons I can't explain is permanently erased from my memory until I drive into Nipawin again and find myself heading down the street with people pointing at me in consternation and drivers honking their horns. I had only committed this unpardonable sin a few times in Regina but in Prince Albert with its main street also a one way wonder the main problem is not that street but its many concrete lane barriers that make navigation from and to some places simply impossible without going against the flow.
The reality is that one way streets or alleys are a kind of transportation mold, sooner or later is spreads over things as they turn the process of getting around rotten.