Winnipeg a step closer to expanding summer active transportation routes after committee vote

Winnipeg may see as many as 15 streets used as active transportation routes from May to October each year, if other councillors give it the green light.

Infrastructure committee voted to designate 15 streets as active transportation routes for May to October

Ten Winnipeg streets were closed to traffic earlier this year, to allow pedestrians and cyclists to use them safely. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Winnipeg may see as many as 15 streets become active transportation routes each year, if a proposal from a city committee gets the green light from other councillors.

The city's infrastructure renewal and public works committee approved a motion Wednesday to close the streets to most motor vehicle traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, from the Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving each year.

Vehicles would be limited to travelling one block on the streets during those times.

Ten city streets were closed to traffic earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, to create more room for people on foot and bikes to move around. They were originally slated to reopen to traffic in May, but councillors voted to extend the closures to September. 

The city announced at the beginning of this month that more than half of those routes would close after the Labour Day long weekend. Traffic is now restricted on the remaining four routes only on weekends.

But a motion put forward to the public works committee by Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface) asks the city to consider having as many as 15 open until Thanksgiving weekend each year. 

That would include sections of streets that have previously been used as active transportation routes:

  • Lyndale Drive.
  • Scotia Street.
  • Wellington Crescent.
  • Wolseley Avenue. 
  • Assiniboine Avenue.
  • Churchill Drive.
  • Egerton Road.
  • Kildonan Drive.
  • Kilkenny Drive.
  • Vialoux Drive. 

Allard's motion also proposes adding five more:

  • Alexander Avenue (two sections).
  • Youville Street.
  • Rosseau Avenue.
  • Ellen Street.
  • Glenwood Crescent.

The executive policy committee will consider the motion at its next meeting on Sept. 21.

The city's public service will weigh in on the proposed 15 routes in a report that's expected to be delivered later this fall. That report will include some of the feedback to a survey the City of Winnipeg launched in August on the active transportation routes.