Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) believes the extension of an evening parking ban on St. Mary’s Road will help alleviate rush hour congestion in southeast Winnipeg.
Last month, the ban was extended southbound on St. Mary’s between Eugenie St. and Vivian Ave. from 5:30 to 6 p.m. to help vehicles — including buses — move more quickly, Mayes said.
The busy stretch is split between the St. Vital and St. Boniface wards, Mayes said, noting the extension of the ban followed an earlier traffic study and consultation with area residents and local businesses.
"It’s been a joint initiative between me and Dan Vandal and I think it’s helping so far," Mayes said. "I sent out 10,000 leaflets in my ward and the feedback I’ve been getting has been mostly positive so far."
He noted that during his first civic election campaign (he was elected in November 2011 following the resignation of Gord Steeves), some community members called for a complete rush hour parking ban on the street but said a compromise was needed due to the potential disruption to local businesses.
"In a May 2012 report, the city’s public administration recommended lengthening the ban on parking in the curb lane of southbound St. Mary’s Road from the then-existing 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. to 3 to 6 p.m., as the study showed that traffic volumes far exceeded what was efficient for a single lane of traffic," Mayes said.
"The area that was studied — Eugenie to Vivian — is that section where St. Mary’s narrows to two lanes southbound, so when parking is allowed the road often becomes only one lane of traffic. We adopted the latter part of the recommendation, extending the ban to 6 p.m. on that stretch. South of Vivian, St. Mary’s is three lanes southbound until it meets St. Anne’s, at which point a large amount of traffic is diverted."
Mayes said the city looked at other measures, including a ban on left-hand turns in certain areas, but they were rejected to accommodate the new ban. He hopes the move will also benefit cyclists.