The public service was accused this morning of siding with the trucking industry at the expense of local residents and business.
St. Boniface councillor Dan Vandal and individuals from his ward criticized an administrative report which reviewed the implications of removing Provencher Boulevard as a truck route.
"It’s hard to understand or accept that residents were deliberately omitted from the consultation process," Walter Kleinschmidt, past president of the Old St. Boniface Residents Association, said.
Council had instructed the public service to consider the implications of removing heavy truck traffic from a route along Provencher Boulevard to Portage and Main.
Vandal and others said they were shocked by the report, calling it a heavily one-sided, misleading, worst-case scenario that concluded chaos would ensue if trucks were banned from Provencher.
The report was praised by the Manitoba Trucking Association, which described it as an unbiased review conducted by traffic professionals.
Public works director Brad Sacher defended the report, explaining it looked what the trucking industry would experience if trucks are banned from Provencher.
The committee rejected the administrative report and instructed public works to consider implications of a seasonal truck ban on Provencher and prohibiting trucks from the Provencher Bridge to Des Meurons.
Vandal said the public service ignored the advice from council to ensure any changes would still provide trucks with local access, adding the administration refused to consider any compromise solutions.
"You can’t tell me that taking heavy duty trucks off Provencher and downtown Portage and Main is not going to make our city a better city," Vandal said, adding both residents and businesses want to create a pedestrian-friendly environment that will complement the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, L’Espanade Riel and The Forks.