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Bowman vows to reopen Portage & Main

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'It's a key priority for me to work with the property owners to have it opened,' Brian Bowman says.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

'It's a key priority for me to work with the property owners to have it opened,' Brian Bowman says. Photo Store

If Brian Bowman is the next mayor you will be able to walk across Portage and Main - legally.

At an announcement at the iconic intersection, Bowman said one way to change the perception of downtown as a dangerous place is to get more people there and one way would be to reopen Portage and Main to pedestrians.

"We'll all be here when the Winnipeg Jets win the Stanley Cup," he said today.

"It's a key priority for me to work with the property owners to have it opened."

Bowman said he wants to see the first boots on the pavement there by 2019 at the latest - the year the agreement comes up for renewal between the city and the four property owners on each corner.

But Bowman, while not wanting to comment specifically about the controversy that has engulfed the campaign by mayoral candidate Gotd Steeves since last Friday - his wife posted four years ago that she was approached by "drunken native guys" downtown - said he disagrees with his pledges which include hiring to more police cadets for the downtown.

"Some people think Winnipeggers should be afraid of their downtown," he said.

"The candidate last week in my view was campaigning on fear. I like to be more optimistic."

As far as what Steeves' wife actually wrote, Bowman said "words matter and words can hurt.

"I find those comments deeply offensive but I am focusing on policy today."

Meanwhile, Bowman also promised to encourage downtown businesses to do streetscaping and he wants to create a seasonal pedestrian mall in the Exchange District.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

 

History

Updated on Monday, August 11, 2014 at 2:40 PM CDT: Writethru after Brian Bowman press conference.

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