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City hall roundup

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Crosswalk proposal alive

There appears to be some life in a controversial proposal to install photo-radar cameras at pedestrian corridors.

Though the Winnipeg Police Service advised the police board to take no action on the suggestion from Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski), the board opted to let the city's traffic experts look at the issue.

Coun. Scott Fielding, chairman of the police board, said the issue has been forwarded to public works to study the feasibility of photo-radar cameras and other options to improve pedestrian safety.

Eadie said too many drivers race through pedestrian crosswalks, and he hopes photo-radar cameras would act as a deterrent.

But a WPS report said there was no evidence such cameras are needed and doubted the province would amend legislation to allow them at crosswalks.

Eadie, who was disappointed with the police recommendation, said he's not optimistic public works will be any more receptive to the proposal.

Eadie said if police and the province need proof of the need, he'll propose complaints of vehicle violations at crosswalks can be made to 311, the city's information line.

Fielding said he's not a supporter of red-light cameras or having them at pedestrian corridors, but added there could be other ways to make crosswalks safer. "We call it the three Es," Fielding said following the police board meeting. "Education, engineering and enforcement."

Gas tax fuels politicians

THERE was a smorgasbord of politicians at city hall Friday morning for the announcement of the current federal gas-tax funding agreement.

Federal Heritage Minister Shelly Glover (St. Boniface) said Ottawa is guaranteeing Manitoba municipalities will get $713 million over the next 10 years, the province's share of federal gas-tax revenue. For 2014, Manitoba municipalities will receive $65 million, with $40.5 million going to Winnipeg.

Stan Struthers, provincial minister of municipal government, said each municipality will determine how their share of the money will be spent.

Mayor Sam Katz said Winnipeg has an infrastructure deficit of $3.2 billion, adding the gas-tax revenue is a small part of the solution.

He said the city administration will recommend where to spend the money, but none will be spent on the second stage of the Southwest Transitway.

 

Frozen waterlines up a bit

The past week saw 20 more Winnipeg properties lose water service because of frozen waterlines.

City hall reported Friday 2,535 properties have reported frozen waterlines since November, an increase from 2,515 a week ago.

The properties on the waiting list for thawing services continues to decline. There are 968 on the list now; a week ago, there were 1,119.

The city says it was able to restore full water service to 85 properties in the past week that had been relying on water from their neighbours via a temporary hose connection.

The are 213 properties without full or temporary water services, 99 fewer than a week ago.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2014 B2

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