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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2016, 10:49 PM
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Since the turn of the century, downtown Winnipeg has seen its population increase by 40%, MTS Centre rose on Portage Avenue, the Jets came back, our skyline grew, an iconic new bridge and a national museum went up, the U of W greatly expanded, Waterfront Drive lined with luxury condominiums replaced abandon rail lines, Red River College moved in and the Exchange District went from an area of derelict, empty buildings to an active urban neighbourhood.

Imagine, if this trajectory continues, what downtown will be after 15 more years.
True North Square, a thousand people living at The Forks, maybe a new tallest skyscraper....who knows what else.

If by 2019 we don't choose to legally take back public control over Portage and Main, it will close for another four decades, meaning that after those 15 years we will still be nearly a quarter of a century away from allowing our most important intersection the ability to evolve and respond to whatever the downtown and the world has become.

Last edited by trueviking; Feb 16, 2016 at 2:36 AM.
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  #42  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2016, 1:16 AM
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Since the turn of the century, downtown Winnipeg has seen its population grow by 40%, MTS centre rose on Portage Avenue, the Jets came back, our skyline grew, an iconic new bridge and a museum went up. The U of W grew wildly, Waterfront Drive replaced abandon rail lines, Red River College moved in and the Exchange District went from an area of derelict, empty buildings to an active urban neighbourhood.

Imagine, if this trajectory continues, what downtown will be after 15 more years. With True North Square, a thousand people living at The Forks, maybe a new tallest skyscraper....who knows what else.

If by 2019 we don't choose to legally take back public control over Portage and Main, after those 15 years we will still be a quarter of a century away from allowing our most important intersection the ability to evolve and respond to whatever the downtown and the world has become.
Well said.
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  #43  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2016, 10:17 AM
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^^ I enjoyed your post. Your always looking to the future, while keeping our past and where we are today in perspective. We've come a long way but strong voices for change and vision of what could be are needed now.
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  #44  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2016, 11:04 AM
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Fortifications Today - Leading down into the bunker.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manito...says-1.3435536

Circa 1958 - For Historical Buffs

http://globalnews.ca/news/778023/pol...trian-traffic/

The situation from above:

http://www.troymedia.com/2013/08/18/...-pedestrians/.
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  #45  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2016, 10:45 PM
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Ok. So please someone show me where a pedestrian will stand if they don't make it all the way across?

The 12 inch hunk of concrete ?

This is a serious question. And please don't say they can make the crossing lights longer. They could be 10 minutes and pedestrians will still cross when there is no time.
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2016, 10:54 PM
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A question for the ages: where will the poor pedestrian stand when the evil forces of Portage and Main cause them to abandon their dangerous crossing mid-flight!

Is the brain trust within the brave City of Winnipeg capable of solving, what must be the most confounding of mysteries to befuddle the citizens since the (to date unsolved) case of how-to-build-a-proper-grade-separated-interchange?

Stay tuned!
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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2016, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluenote View Post
Ok. So please someone show me where a pedestrian will stand if they don't make it all the way across?

The 12 inch hunk of concrete ?

This is a serious question. And please don't say they can make the crossing lights longer. They could be 10 minutes and pedestrians will still cross when there is no time.
"Serious question"?!?!? There are loads of intersections without places to stand in the median. Including right on Portage Avenue and Main Street. Somehow people cross these streets every day without incident.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 4:06 AM
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If I could be so bold to suggest, how many lanes at all four corners/directions at the intersection can be closed off to traffic and used to gain pedestrian space?

Offhand, I'd suggest the the right turn lane of Portage Ave E heading west that turns north onto Main as well as the right turn lane on Portage Ave just before Notre Dame.

Even if those lanes were removed today without pedestrians, how much of an effect would that have on traffic? I say very little.
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 2:05 PM
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Just open it. In that picture I can't believe they actually need that many lanes. Lose one lane and build out the public space at the corners for street vendors or some outdoor space. And why not make it a pedestrian circus? You can give people slightly more time to cross and then give the road free to the cars to do their turns without worrying as much about potential pedestrians trying to rush the flashing light while they try to get through before the advanced signal.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 2:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluenote View Post
Ok. So please someone show me where a pedestrian will stand if they don't make it all the way across?
This is certainly a unique question that has never been encountered in the history of urban planning.

Wait a minute, it has been addressed, at every other intersection in the world. Perhaps we can learn from that experience.
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  #51  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 2:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes View Post
Just open it. In that picture I can't believe they actually need that many lanes. Lose one lane and build out the public space at the corners for street vendors or some outdoor space. And why not make it a pedestrian circus? You can give people slightly more time to cross and then give the road free to the cars to do their turns without worrying as much about potential pedestrians trying to rush the flashing light while they try to get through before the advanced signal.
I completely agree.
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 2:59 PM
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Ask a legit question and I get a bunch or idiotic answers. Not one actually answering it.

If you drive constantly for a living you may learn a bit about this intersection rather then just looking on google earth. As for removing lanes. Maybe some. But most cannot be moved unless some sort of detour is made like the Water avenue turn. You could funnel some traffic there and the short part of east portage could be just a west bound and east bound with no north bound turn.

There isn't another intersection so pinned in like P&M in the city. They expanded the roadway to the point some lanes are to small for some traffic. Example of this would be any left turn on portage between main and memorial. Those turning lanes are big enough for a smart car and that's it.

You all seem to be pedestrian experts but obviously don't drive much. You cannot just say take the barriers down. Take a few lanes away because it looked fine in 1930 ffs. This isn't the past and not one comparison to the past has any merit here. This corner has heavy traffic. The most used intersection in the city. Yet you compare it to other intersection with half as much traffic. Or better yet to 1930......

You want it open. Hate to tell you that you will have to make the majority of motor vehicle users happy. So taking away lanes isn't going to win you anything.

And for the 100th time I never was against openin this. I said many times it has to be done RIGHT. You people just think pulling down the barriers and closing off lanes and it's done. Such visionaries you are.
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 4:20 PM
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^Because they have tried to make lanes that weren't actually usable by all the traffic which is already creating an ugly situation. Lose half the lane of the one that isn't working. In the end there will be a hit to vehicular traffic if we open it to pedestrians. It's a given. Turns across pedestrians won't be as efficient. I don't believe anyone here would think otherwise, but what I am proposing is trying to make turns easy by removing the pedestrian randomness from the equation while opening the intersection for pedestrians to use. There are much crazier and busier intersections in the world. Why does North America in general have such a fear of ever removing a lane or turning a one-way street into a two-way or thinking that more lanes is always needed. Change the signalling pattern, change the pedestrian flow to not work against traffic flow.

Making car users happy has done wonders for the city forms in North America over the years. Perhaps we should close all of Portage and Main streets within the core to pedestrian crossings and build freeways through the heart of Winnipeg.

Apologies, my vent and rant meter is a little high.
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 4:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluenote View Post
Ask a legit question and I get a bunch or idiotic answers. Not one actually answering it.
You want an answer. Fine. If you look at any other busy intersection with similar traffic volumes (eg Portage and Memorial, Main and Broadway) you'll see that there is no more room for pedestrians to stand for some or all of the crossings than at Portage and Main.

So where will they stand? In the same space that seems to work for every other busy intersection in the city.
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 4:36 PM
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People's complaints about re-opening P & M remind me about folks complaints about allowing alcohol in Steinbach. Verbatim. And I went through a lot of those debates.
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 4:56 PM
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The problem with Winnipeg's downtown, in general, is that it caters too much to cars (too many parking lots, too many one-way streets, etc.), and having Portage and Main closed to pedestrians is just one more symptom of this problem. The great downtowns of the world have pedestrian-first strategies and Winnipeg needs to move in this direction if it ever wants to create a lively and attractive downtown, for both people and private investment. Quickly flowing automobile traffic does not make a downtown lively and attractive.

I don't even see what the big deal is. The traffic at this intersection isn't even that busy compared to other big Canadian cities. I drive through this intersection a few days a week during both morning and evening rush hour and can't see why people are so bent out of shape with having a pedestrian crossing, like every other intersection downtown.

The pedestrian experience at this intersection is so confusing to newcomers and unappealing to use that I'm sure there are many people that try to avoid it altogether, which probably hurts the underground retail more than it helps. The bunker stairwells are uninviting, unsafe looking, and so inconspicuous that you don't even realize what they lead to the first time you visit the intersection, if you notice them at all.

Opening the intersection to pedestrians is a no-brainer if Winnipeg wants to actually help their downtown out. There may be better ways to implement it that will increase its chances of long-term success, such as keeping it closed to pedestrians during rush hour, initially, but increasing pedestrian traffic in the area will help perceptions of safety, increase retail sales, improve connectivity between neighbouring districts, and attract more private investment to the area. So what if a fraction of the city's residents will have to tack an extra minute onto their commute? What's so special about them that makes the length of their already brief commute more important than the social, cultural, and economic health of downtown, and ultimately the entire city? A decent chunk of the naysayers driving through there probably aren't even Winnipeg taxpayers, but commuters on the way to their giant homes in West/East St. Paul.
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 7:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluenote View Post
Example of this would be any left turn on portage between main and memorial. Those turning lanes are big enough for a smart car and that's it.

----

You want it open. Hate to tell you that you will have to make the majority of motor vehicle users happy. So taking away lanes isn't going to win you anything.
Well realistically they should just close those lanes, widen the median, and make no left turns at rush hour or during the day. Like almost every other major city. That help?

Also, no, you won't have to make the majority of motorists happy, seven (one) land owner at the corner. There isn't going to be a referendum on this.
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 7:27 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzg View Post
Well realistically they should just close those lanes, widen the median, and make no left turns at rush hour or during the day. Like almost every other major city. That help?

Also, no, you won't have to make the majority of motorists happy, seven (one) land owner at the corner. There isn't going to be a referendum on this.
Pretty sure left turns are already disallowed during rush hour.
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 7:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote View Post
Ask a legit question and I get a bunch or idiotic answers. Not one actually answering it.

If you drive constantly for a living you may learn a bit about this intersection rather then just looking on google earth. As for removing lanes. Maybe some. But most cannot be moved unless some sort of detour is made like the Water avenue turn. You could funnel some traffic there and the short part of east portage could be just a west bound and east bound with no north bound turn.

There isn't another intersection so pinned in like P&M in the city. They expanded the roadway to the point some lanes are to small for some traffic. Example of this would be any left turn on portage between main and memorial. Those turning lanes are big enough for a smart car and that's it.

You all seem to be pedestrian experts but obviously don't drive much. You cannot just say take the barriers down. Take a few lanes away because it looked fine in 1930 ffs. This isn't the past and not one comparison to the past has any merit here. This corner has heavy traffic. The most used intersection in the city. Yet you compare it to other intersection with half as much traffic. Or better yet to 1930......

You want it open. Hate to tell you that you will have to make the majority of motor vehicle users happy. So taking away lanes isn't going to win you anything.

And for the 100th time I never was against openin this. I said many times it has to be done RIGHT. You people just think pulling down the barriers and closing off lanes and it's done. Such visionaries you are.
We aren't talking about 1930. The mid to late 1970s. They had a decent amount of traffic in the 1970s.

Basically the reaction you are getting is based on the hair splitting arguments people against this re-opening are giving.

These aren't big problems to solve.

The biggest hurdle is the legal one. After that, its basically at a summer intern level amount of complexity to redesign the corners and crossings to a minimum standard.
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  #60  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 7:47 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzg View Post
Well realistically they should just close those lanes, widen the median, and make no left turns at rush hour or during the day. Like almost every other major city. That help?
If that's the compromise that is necessary to make this happen, then I can get behind it.
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