Potential changes to 'Open Street' program along Wellington Crescent gaining traction

Cyclists going down Wellington Crescent seen on June 10

Potential changes to limit cyclist and pedestrian access to Wellington Crescent are one step closer to being implemented after a city committee voted in favour of them.

Currently, Wellington Crescent, from Academy Road to Guelph Street, is open to cyclists (and pedestrian using the median walkway) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, as part of the expanded access to Sunday/Holiday Bike Routes program put in place in response to the pandemic. Motor vehicles are limited to one block of access under the same timeframe.

On Wednesday, a city committee voted six-to-one in favour of reducing bike route hours on Wellington Crescent. The changes will now go to city council for a final vote in July.

The changes would limit access to weekends and holidays starting September 7.

The discussion was originally started by a motion submitted by area councillor John Orlikow, which intended to only allow the public works director, with input from the relevant city councillor, to change the times and dates pedestrians and cyclists can access bike routes like the stretch of Wellington Crescent.

Orlikow said the motion was all about providing flexibility as the economy starts to reopen in the months to come.

Also in the changes passed by the committee is a line that requires the Winnipeg Public Service to provide council with an assessment of the impacts of Wellington Crescent and provide possible options for 2022 by no later than April 2022.

The current bike paths have upset some residents. When the changes were first introduced, CTV talked to residents, which said the bike paths create traffic flow issues and cyclists fight with cars backing out of driveways.

-With files from CTV’s Michael D’Alimonte