The easternmost section of Pandora Avenue East will see a reduction in its speed limit.
After a public hearing on May 27, the Highway Traffic Board ruled in favour of reducing the speed limit along Pandora between Redonda Street and Ravenhurst Street to 60 km/h from 70 km/h.
The decision was made privately by the board after the hearing concluded, and a representative at the board office said on May 29 there is currently no timetable for applying the change.
During the meeting, a handful of Canterbury Park residents spoke in favour of the change, but had hoped to bring the limit down to 50 km/h to make the limit consistent for the duration of Pandora.
Speaking on behalf of the City of Winnipeg, road engineer Stephen Chapman noted the city’s Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure and Public Works voted to make the application at its April 17 meeting. While the south side of Pandora is primarily zoned for manufacturing and mostly undeveloped, the north side of the street includes an active transportation trail and the backyards of Harlow Bay, Hiley Bay, and Ed Golding Bay residents.
Chapman said the city collected volume data along the section in May 2011 and speed data in August 2012, discovering nearly 10 per cent of cars along the route travelled above the 70 km/h limit.
Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) said a reduction was necessary because of new development in the area. The longtime councillor explained the speed wasn’t an issue when he was first elected, but he has recently heard concerns coming from new residents.
"The area is unique in that it really has changed in the last number of years," he said. "A lot of the houses along Pandora have been built in the last two to three years — it’s just literally sprung up."
Only about 700 metres of road will be affected by the change, meaning any time loss as a result of the reduction will be minimal.
Ed Golding Bay resident Peter Breuer has lived in Transcona for more than 40 years, and while he was glad to stay in the neighbourhood, he has concerns about letting his children use the active transportation path near Pandora to help them discover the community.
"That multipurpose path was supposedly built on the premise that it’s for our families to take our kids on bikes because new neighbourhoods don’t have sidewalks," he said. "It’s white-knuckling and hanging onto them with their bikes because you’re so close, and as it snakes along the boulevard, it comes within feet of Pandora.
"It’s all about safety for our families, and we don’t feel safe there right now."
Speaking in opposition to the change, local resident Roy Bergson felt speeding concerns were overblown, adding as a former trucker, it’s difficult for the commercial truck traffic to accelerate quickly to hit 70 km/h in that stretch.