Some Winnipeg city councillors want to extend traffic restrictions on at least two streets which have been designated for walking and biking, a measure aimed at giving people more options to stay active while physical distancing.
On Friday Winnipeg’s City Centre Community Committee approved a motion made by Daniel McIntyre Coun. Cindy Gilroy to extend the Sunday and holiday bicycle route until Nov.1, 2020 on Wolseley Ave. between Raglan Rd. and Maryland St.
The committee also approved an amendment by Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry Coun. Sherri Rollins to extend restrictions on Churchill Dr. between Hay St. and Jubilee Ave.
“I’m asking the city to look at keeping the open street concept on Wolseley, keeping it going moving forward,” said Gilroy. “I’d like to see us keep this street open I think it is predominantly being used. People are loving it.”
The city designated a total of 10 streets, including Wolseley Ave. and Churchill Dr., as enhanced Sunday and holiday bike routes for the pandemic, meaning motor vehicle traffic is limited to one block between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The enhanced routes are slated to reopen to daily traffic following the September long weekend.
Restrictions will remain in place – on Sundays and holidays until Oct. 12 – on four streets: Lyndale Dr., Scotia St., Wellington Cres. and Wolseley Ave.
Gilroy said keeping the restrictions in place throughout the week on Wolseley would give some families and students a safer and more enjoyable way to get to three schools on the street but noted some adjustments may be needed for people who drive their kids to schools in the area.
“How do we keep people thinking about walking to school, cycling to school, whether it’s using your scooter or even a skateboard. We want to look at how we can get these active routes being used more,” said Gilroy. “I think we have to really look at how we’re getting our kids to school. I do realize there are parents that will need to drive their kids, but now we have to look at – if you have to drive your kids, you might have to drop them off at different spot.”
“I want to make sure we are sharing the road. I’m not suggesting that cars cannot drive down there. I want people to understand that we’ve got to learn to share the road.”
The City of Winnipeg said in a statement a report with recommendations will be developed for the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure and Public Works to consider on Nov. 3 to determine the future of the streets.
The city said Winnipeggers can take a survey about the streets until Sep. 7.