Manitoba's Highway Traffic Board held its first hearing Tuesday on whether to raise speed limits on some Winnipeg streets, starting with Grant Avenue and Waverley Street.

The provincial board is looking into whether to bring limits up from 50 km/h to 60 km/h on a number of four-lane divided roadways in the city.

Tuesday's hearing focused on four roadways, including Grant Avenue between Kenaston Boulevard and Stafford Street and Waverley Street between Taylor and Grant avenues.

Dozens of people attended the hearing, with the majority of them speaking to the proposed speed limit increase on Grant Avenue.

'Stay out of my backyard'

Coun. John Orlikow, who represents the city's River Heights – Fort Garry ward, said he's angry the province is considering raising the speed limits in his area.

"Stay out of my backyard. This is not their issue," he said, adding there are reasons, such as schools and playgrounds, for drivers to slow down in those areas.


Manitoba's Highway Traffic Board is thinking at whether to raise the speed limit on four-lane divided roadways in Winnipeg, including Grant Avenue, where the limit is set at 50 km/h. (CBC)

"There are a number of barriers along the way, through street lights, railway lines, parked cars, pedestrians. There's a number of schools along the way. There's also some daycares," Orlikow told the board at Tuesday's hearing.

Orlikow argued that the province should leave such decisions to city councillors.

"They're trying to look at a cookie-cutter approach, where they're taking a theory … and they're just sort of laying it out there on top of things," he said.

"It's not just something you come out from above and magic wand it and say, 'It's all fixed now.' No, it's a long, hard process that we have engaged with the community numerous times.

"So the province should just stay out of this, this is not their issue."

Corydon Avenue to be discussed next week

The traffic board also looked at whether to raise speed limits on a section of Dugald Road near Plessis Road and on Pembina Highway between Ducharme Avenue and the bridge crossing the La Salle River.

Another hearing, slated for Dec. 4, will look at raising the speed limit on three more streets, including Corydon Avenue between Kelvin Boulevard and Cambridge Street.

Jim Carson, manager of the Corydon Community Centre, also opposes the proposed speed limit increases. A number of children have been struck by vehicles and injured near River Heights School, he said.

"I believe that all the traffic doesn't necessarily slow down during school hours, and by raising the speed limit that the traffic will be going just that much faster," he said.

The last public hearing will take place on Dec. 11.