Oct 14 2017 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg
The following involves discussions to “beautify” or a full reopening of Portage and Main to pedestrians and much more important but related matters involving “Studies”, “Reports” and “Stats”. We (the public) must not let the individual issues detract from the trend in much larger, underlying and very concerning issues.
Once we get our public officials to do their job we are compensating them well to do and they fix the larger issues there will be a lot less of the smaller issues and much more money in our pockets and the economy. This will translate to more legitimate tax revenue, less stress and head aches for them and us. Not sure why this is such a hard concept to grasp for them. This model has proven itself repeatedly in other Cities, Provinces and Countries with strong leadership, attention to the greater public interests and fiscal responsibility. Even in MB and Winnipeg with several governments and City Councils in the distant past.
Back to Portage and Main
Some industry experts have estimated over $16M to complete OUR Mayor Bowman’s “vision” or Legacy.
Bowman says he wants to keep his campaign promise to re-open this important and busy intersection using money initially from road renewal fund which they already raided indirectly or are under funding after jacking up frontage levels to avoid more property tax increases. What happened to his more important promise to improve transparency, accountability at City Hall to improve public trust which was dismal after Mayor Katz era? It has only gotten lower which I go into detail for some of this below.
Bowman and now his CAO Doug McNeil want to persist with reopening P & M even when over 90% of respondents in this and other polls say they disagree. Even when the City and Province are trying to get to grips with over $1 Billion and $23 Billion Net Debt, repeated credit downgrades and huge interests payments with more interest rate hikes predicted.
It makes sense to open up less busy streets in busy shopping districts and there is many examples of this around the world but Portage and Main is a very busy intersection and there is little shopping other than the underground shops in the perfectly functional crossings under it now in Winnipeg Square. It is the Wagon Wheel hug in Winnipeg.
Some intersections with high traffic volumes just don’t work with this open concept. Do you think Paris would open the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe?
It sounds like OUR City CAO Doug McNeil is trying to appease OUR Mayor Bowman with support for P & M reopening after the $30M expired lawsuit debacle under his watch.
CAO recommends Winnipeg spend $3.5M this year to get ball rolling on Portage and Main reopening
No timeframe or total cost of project yet known; consultant pegged simple removal of barricades at $6.1M
Mayor’s inner circle (EPC) approves millions to prepare for possible Portage and Main reopening $3.5M plan approved after amendment to ensure council has final say on opening intersection to pedestrians