Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Refusal to ban heavy trucks from Provencher disappoints

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ST. BONIFACE Coun. Dan Vandal is disappointed with an administrative report that gives a thumbs-down to his plan to remove heavy truck traffic from Provencher Boulevard.

The administrative report said the proposal would cause chaos for the trucking industry and send heavy traffic onto neighbouring streets not designed for it.

But Vandal said the report fails to look at the benefits of the proposal.

"The report clearly paints a worst-case scenario and that disappoints me," Vandal said. "They've bought the case presented by the trucking association. It's pretty one-sided."

Vandal proposed in the fall to remove Provencher Boulevard and Water Avenue as a heavy truck route, arguing the large vehicles ruined the pedestrian-friendly environment that has developed along Provencher and the roadways surrounding The Forks and the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Council asked the public service for a report on the ramifications of such change.

The report, which is on Tuesday's public works committee agenda, concludes Provencher is the ideal regional street for a truck-route designation, adding removing the designation would add two kilometres to any route from Portage Avenue to the St. Boniface Industrial Park.

The report found there are more than 1,200 heavy and medium trucks travelling on Provencher from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The report predicts heavy trucks removed from Provencher would likely use Goulet and Marion streets and the Main/Norwood bridges.

Vandal's suggestion was endorsed by the Provencher BIZ and the Old St. Boniface Residents Association but opposed by the Manitoba Trucking Association and Norwood Grove BIZ.

Vandal said the report failed to consider any of the compromises he had suggested, including a seasonal designation that would prohibit truck traffic only during summer months.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2014 B2

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