Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Re-opening of McIvor Road moves step closer

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The controversial re-opening of a North Kildonan street moved one step closer this week after Mayor Sam Katz and his executive committee endorsed the plan over the protests of the residents who live on the road and strong opposition from city administration. The re-opening of McIvor Road was a key campaign issue for the ward in the 2006 election, which saw newcomer Jeff Browaty defeat incumbent Mark Lubosh.

The city erected concrete barriers at the eastern end of McIvor, preventing quick access to Lagimodiere Boulevard — the key north-south corridor for the eastern side of Winnipeg.

Lubosh had supported the closing of McIvor in late 2002 on the grounds that there was too much traffic on the narrow roadway, which has open ditches and a gravel surface at its eastern end. Traffic studies at the time revealed there were 2,800 vehicles using the eastern end of McIvor, which was built to accommodate 1,000 vehicles daily.

Residents on nearby streets complained about the street closure, pointing to subsequent traffic studies that showed the closing increased traffic on adjacent streets.

The closure pitted residents on McIvor against a larger number of residents who live on adjacent streets. Residents from both sides of the issue lined up at the executive committee meeting Wednesday morning to make their case before the politicians.

City staff said the closure had the desired affect of reducing traffic on McIvor and diverting traffic to other streets that were designed to safely handle additional traffic.

While area residents complained about the increased traffic flows on their own streets since the closing, the closing also removed McIvor as a short-cut between Henderson Highway and Lagimodiere Boulevard. The route was frequently used by area residents who wanted to avoid major traffic delays on a nearby regional street, Springfield Road.

Browaty said in a news release that the closure of McIvor at Lagimodiere had greatly inconvenienced the residents who didn’t live on McIvor, forcing them to take circuitous routes and encountering heavy traffic delays to get to their destinations.

Browaty applauded the executive committee decision, describing the re-opening as the key issue in the 2006 election.

At the executive committee meeting Wednesday, city staff said that contrary to a commonly held belief among McIvor residents, there was no binding requirement to close McIvor when a nearby subdivision development had been completed.

The re-opening had been supported at the end of February by the public works committee. At both committee meetings the only politician to oppose the re-opening was Coun. Justin Swandel, the chairman of the public works committee and a member of the executive committee.

The re-opening still requires a majority vote from council, which will vote on the issue March 21.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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