Manitoba

Plan to keep 9 Winnipeg streets closed to vehicle traffic clears hurdle at city hall

The City of Winnipeg is one step closer to keeping nine Winnipeg streets closed to vehicle traffic for the duration of the summer.

Mayor's inner circle also approves lower parking rates but says no to tax relief for restaurants

The closure of nine streets to be used as active-transportation corridors is set to end in July, unless council agrees next week to extend them. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC)

The City of Winnipeg is one step closer to keeping nine Winnipeg streets closed to vehicle traffic for the duration of the summer.

City council's executive policy committee voted unanimously Thursday to reserve sections of Lyndale Drive, Scotia Street, Wellington Crescent, Wolseley Avenue, Assiniboine Avenue, Churchill Drive, Egerton Road, Kildonan Drive and Kilkenny Drive for pedestrians and cyclists during daytime hours until Sept. 7.

The streets were closed to traffic earlier in the pandemic to create more room for people on foot and bikes to move around.

The closures are slated to expire in July without council approval on June 26.

EPC endorses drop in metered parking rates

Also on Thursday, a plan to reduce on-street parking rates across Winnipeg cleared another hurdle.

EPC voted to reduce hourly parking rates by 75 cents across the city, as recommended by the Winnipeg Parking Authority.

Rates at meters rose by $1.50 an hour in 2018 as part of an effort to encourage more motorists to use parking lots and parkades. It led parking rates to rise to $2.50 an hour in low-demand areas and $3.50 an hour in high-demand areas.

Council as a whole must now approve the reduction of those hourly rates to $1.75 and $2.75, respectively.

No tax relief for restaurants

EPC also voted Thursday to shelve a request to provide property-tax relief to Winnipeg restaurants that are struggling to survive during the pandemic

Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) moved a motion to provide that relief until the province allows restaurants to operate at full capacity. That will happen Sunday, when the province will ease up further on pandemic restrictions.

Restaurants approached EPC for help.

Council finance chair Scott Gillingham (St. James) noted most restaurants don't own their buildings and therefore do not pay property taxes. He said the city will look at some other way to help, potentially involving business taxes.

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