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Opening up Portage and Main debate


Brandon
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http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mayors-approve-of-opening-portage--main-to-pedestrians-381805961.html

I know this has been an ongoing topic for many years....  Does anyone think that taking down the concrete barriers at Portage and Main is a good idea?

I've read the comments sections in the Sun and Free Press over the years and it seems that a vast majority of people are against this.

Myself I think it's a terrible idea purely because it will kill the businesses underground and the even greater issue is that it will be very dangerous for pedestrians.

I don't really see why the mayor thinks that by doing this it will bring the people downtown?  I would assume making downtown safer would be a much higher priority to attract the people?

Any thoughts?

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I think the only time this will bring people down town is on those special events when people want to celebrate and congregate.  Like when The Bombers win the Grey Cup or Jets win the Stanley Cup.

I don't know if it will affect businesses all that much, it is still more convenient to walk underground and people will stay inside in the winter.

I think the biggest effect will be on traffic, which is really the reason they were closed off in the first place.  People turning and having to wait for pedestrians crossing will slow everything down in an area that is already congested in rush hour.  Most people turn left or right when going from Portage to Main, and now they will all have to wait for pedestrians.

Close down the roads during special events to let people congregate.  Is there really any other benefit to opening it up?

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50 minutes ago, FrostyWinnipeg said:

i want something like this. If it's not doable then fudge it.

XwB3zXe.jpg

 

I think what we have already is better. I can't imagine a traffic circle at Portage & Main would go over to well with the masses.

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I would agree with FrostyWinnipeg that when cuz it's a when not if but when they take down the world war 2 style bunkers.... an overhead circular type of walkway would be very nice. 

Let's just stop pretending that traffic is an issue here. It's bigger in places like new York LA Calgary Edmonton for that matter and they don't have issues with traffic and people. 

I hate the argument about traffic. It's winnipeg not some city with over 1 million people. 

Time to tear down those walls Mr Bowman 

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I would say most people want them open actually. And I think it makes all the sense in the world. 

The traffic thing is a red herring. Other larger cities with larger intersections have pedestrian crossings. It can be done. 

Wpg Square will benefit from more people in the area of the city and local business make it desirable to be there. 

If I recall the only business against opening was 360 main and they said when announcing their new building that they had no issue with re opening. The idea is the development feeds the underground. And you have to make the underground more desirable too. 

When the Forks development happens and you see more synergy between forks and downtown then the intersection becomes even more of a key location with more people there 

tear down these walls. 

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14 hours ago, The Unknown Poster said:

I would say most people want them open actually. And I think it makes all the sense in the world. 

It's funny that you say that because in the past Free Press and Sun articles the comment section was heavily leaning towards leaving them up.

I don't really see Synergy between the Forks and Portage/Main?  It's to far of a distance to merge them together.   If the city wants to do a combo they shouldn't they focus on re-doing Broadway and making that a focal point since that is a closer walk?

I just don't see how taking them down will attract the average person downtown?  It doesn't fix the issue of downtown feeling unsafe and offering little to nothing for the average person to come down for?

Edited by Brandon
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On 6/3/2016 at 11:02 PM, Goalie said:

Let's just stop pretending that traffic is an issue here. It's bigger in places like new York LA Calgary Edmonton for that matter and they don't have issues with traffic and people. 

I hate the argument about traffic. It's winnipeg not some city with over 1 million people. 

 

Have you seen how beautiful most bigger cities traffic systems are compared to Winnipeg?  I could see this point if Winnipeg had a nice super high way that could get you from each end of the city without stopping..., we don't have this and the *best* option we have is going down Portage and main.

The city should be focusing on improving traffic flow ... rather then slowing it down even more. 

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On 6/3/2016 at 9:02 PM, Goalie said:

I would agree with FrostyWinnipeg that when cuz it's a when not if but when they take down the world war 2 style bunkers.... an overhead circular type of walkway would be very nice. 

Let's just stop pretending that traffic is an issue here. It's bigger in places like new York LA Calgary Edmonton for that matter and they don't have issues with traffic and people. 

I hate the argument about traffic. It's winnipeg not some city with over 1 million people. 

Time to tear down those walls Mr Bowman 

They've been debating this issue for at least the last 25 years and have many studies on traffic flow which show that it is a pretty big deal.  Portage and Main is a natural bottleneck with a huge amount of traffic flowing through that intersection everyday.  As it is now traffic flows quite well considering the volume of traffic involved but adding pedestrians to the mix would back things up severely and piss off far more people than the freedom to cross could ever please.  The difference between Wpg. and other cities is that the grid is disjointed not rectangular, and the confluence of rivers cuts everything into pie shapes.

Back in the 80's I worked a couple of summers in the City Planning Dept. and they had blueprints from the 50's that showed plans to split the traffic coming off of the Disraeli Overpass with an expressway cutting behind the Exchange District along the river bank, rejoining Main St. somewhere before the Norwood Bridge.  Obviously since that time many major obstacles have been built in it's path so that option will never see the light of day.

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12 hours ago, Brandon said:

It's funny that you say that because in the past Free Press and Sun articles the comment section was heavily leaning towards leaving them up.

I don't really see Synergy between the Forks and Portage/Main?  It's to far of a distance to merge them together.   If the city wants to do a combo they shouldn't they focus on re-doing Broadway and making that a focal point since that is a closer walk?

I just don't see how taking them down will attract the average person downtown?  It doesn't fix the issue of downtown feeling unsafe and offering little to nothing for the average person to come down for?

Yeah but you can't trust the comments section lol  

I guarantee the hope is for synergy between Forks and Downtown as part of the proposed Forks development.  Its not that far away really.  Imagine waling from MTSC to Goldeyes park.  Its not that far.  But currently, its not a enjoyable walk.  But if there are way more people, shops, restaurants, and an ability to cross portage, then it becomes something more likely to happen.

If all these projects get off the ground there will be tons more people living and playing in that area.

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10 hours ago, Throw Long Bannatyne said:

They've been debating this issue for at least the last 25 years and have many studies on traffic flow which show that it is a pretty big deal.  Portage and Main is a natural bottleneck with a huge amount of traffic flowing through that intersection everyday.  As it is now traffic flows quite well considering the volume of traffic involved but adding pedestrians to the mix would back things up severely and piss off far more people than the freedom to cross could ever please.  The difference between Wpg. and other cities is that the grid is disjointed not rectangular, and the confluence of rivers cuts everything into pie shapes.

Back in the 80's I worked a couple of summers in the City Planning Dept. and they had blueprints from the 50's that showed plans to split the traffic coming off of the Disraeli Overpass with an expressway cutting behind the Exchange District along the river bank, rejoining Main St. somewhere before the Norwood Bridge.  Obviously since that time many major obstacles have been built in it's path so that option will never see the light of day.

If not for the legal requirement of the Wpg Square stake holders to approve, the barriers would already be down.

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1 hour ago, The Unknown Poster said:

If not for the legal requirement of the Wpg Square stake holders to approve, the barriers would already be down.

Which comes to the crux of the current situation, if one party has a controlling agreement in place they may entertain dialogue but that doesn't mean they are going to flinch.

As an aside, city planners do not make decisions for the betterment of a city or it's populace, they do as they are told.

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13 minutes ago, Throw Long Bannatyne said:

Which comes to the crux of the current situation, if one party has a controlling agreement in place they may entertain dialogue but that doesn't mean they are going to flinch.

As an aside, city planners do not make decisions for the betterment of a city or it's populace, they do as they are told.

If I recall all but one of the stakeholders agreed to remove the barriers and the last hold out publicly mentioned (thought not officially) that they had no opposition.  I would suspect they'd want it to coincide with the opening of their new tower and at-grade entrance/features for the Square.  I imagine they feel the people living above would drive business to the underground and if people could cross freely at grade, they might generate more foot traffic and that would generate more potential customers.

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I do agree a walkway that goes over the streets is the only sensible solution if they want to tear the barriers down.   It's bad enough having to dodge the jaywalkers stumbling across when they don't have the right of way.   I can only imagine how many people will get hit trying to run across or making it at the last second. 

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Who the hell even needs to cross Portage and Main?  Waaa...it's going to take me a whole extra minute to cross a street before and walk a little extra.  Either put up some kind of a walkway or don't do anything at all.  Winnipeger's already don't know how to work a roundabout.  This will just confuse the hell out of them.

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Again, other cities with larger intersections and heavier traffic figure it out.  If crossing is the biggest hurdle, thats great news because its completely not insurmountable. 

Regarding the roundabout, I agree.  But Winnipeg uses those super tiny roundabouts that are moronic in their design and usage.  The larger ones, like on Lakewood, are great.  That one in particular drastically improved the intersection.

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4 minutes ago, The Unknown Poster said:

Again, other cities with larger intersections and heavier traffic figure it out.  If crossing is the biggest hurdle, thats great news because its completely not insurmountable. 

Regarding the roundabout, I agree.  But Winnipeg uses those super tiny roundabouts that are moronic in their design and usage.  The larger ones, like on Lakewood, are great.  That one in particular drastically improved the intersection.

Oh fock yeah. Lakewood and Beaverhill is the cat's meow.

I'm not up for opening up the barriers myself which is why i kinda like the overhead thing. Only reason to open it up is so sell a shirt that says I Crossed P&M

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That's the one I was talking about that people still haven't figured out how to use.  It feels like the people I'm behind are panicking and can't figure out if they should stop, go, put their turning signal on, or get into a fetal position and start crying.  Mind you, I don't use it during rush hour, so I'm sure it's helped it out, but it seems whenever I use it, whoever I'm behind just has no clue what they're doing.

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2 hours ago, Logan007 said:

That's the one I was talking about that people still haven't figured out how to use.  It feels like the people I'm behind are panicking and can't figure out if they should stop, go, put their turning signal on, or get into a fetal position and start crying.  Mind you, I don't use it during rush hour, so I'm sure it's helped it out, but it seems whenever I use it, whoever I'm behind just has no clue what they're doing.

Before the roundabout cars were lined up from beaverhill to the high school during aft rush hour,

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56 minutes ago, FrostyWinnipeg said:

Before the roundabout cars were lined up from beaverhill to the high school during aft rush hour,

Yeah I figured it helped out, it's just the people that still don't know how to use it that bug me.  I couldn't imagine the idiots in our city learning to use a giant roundabout downtown.  It'll be like Chevy Chase in European Vacation when they're in London and they keep going around and around because they can't figure out how to get out.  This just doesn't scream "good idea" to me.  I mean, people still don't know how to merge in this city.

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