Roundabout proposed to help open up Portage and Main to pedestrians
Beth Macdonell, CTV Winnipeg
Published Monday, August 18, 2014 11:21AM CST
Last Updated Sunday, September 14, 2014 4:53PM CST
A Winnipeg blogger is proposing a new idea for traffic and pedestrians to get around Portage Avenue and Main Street.
Derick Young wrote about the idea on his blog, aroundthistown.ca.
In the post he said, a roundabout would make the intersection efficient, eye-catching and unique.
He said he looked over drawing and plans about roundabouts and said it looks like it could fit. He also said there could also be room for an above-ground pedestrian crossing around the intersection, as well as a possible statue or fountain in the middle of the intersection, similar to European roundabouts.
The post follows a proposal from mayoral candidate Brian Bowman on Thursday. He said he would attempt to take down the barricades at the city’s most famous intersection within five years.
CTV has requested information on the feasibility of the idea from the city’s traffic engineering department.\
Jino Distasio with the Institute for Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg said that while the idea is intriguing, he doesn't think Winnipeggers could stomach a roundabout.
“People…panic. Do they yield? Do they go left? Do they go right?” he said of the existing roundabouts in the city.
But with the race for mayor on, he said it's time people express what they want the Winnipeg of the future to look like.
“Let’s see the none-planners, the none-expert throw some ideas out and have a discussion about it,” he said.
He said he would like to see the unattractive bunkers at Portage and Main taken down, and see the intersection slowly become more pedestrian friendly.
A City of Winnipeg report in March 2014 looked at opening up the intersection to pedestrians. It found Portage Avenue and Main Street had a volume of 77,500 vehicles entering the intersection per day.
CTV News contacted the eight mayoral candidates running in the election.
While some said they supported roundabouts in other parts of the city, none of the candidates who responded to CTV said they support one at Portage and Main.