From my perch on the river bank, I gaze across the Red at the canopy of Investors Group Field. I’m thinking about the transportation issues the new stadium is trying to resolve.
Like a baby cutting its first tooth, maybe these issues are teething problems with the city’s new baby. Deep down, based by a career supporting projects, I’m thinking this is what happens when smart people ignore smart people.
If you review the job description of an urban planner you will gain the knowledge that planning transportation infrastructure is a vital skill for the job. I find it hard to comprehend the new stadium planner(s) failed to identify the access issues with the location. I speculate that someone didn’t want to listen to those concerns.
My vantage point on the Red River is the location for one of the solutions to providing alternate routes to the stadium. Constructing a foot bridge across the river to south St. Vital for foot traffic to events at the stadium may help.
The idea of a foot bridge has always appealed to me. It has previously been suggested as another means to access the University of Manitoba campus. University students or campus staff that ride or walk could cut down on travel time if they live south of the city by using this route.
However, I don’t think the alternate foot path will help the stadium transportation crisis much. Walking an equivalent distance a wide receiver runs in training for a game is not what most fans look forward to in order to get to their seats.
What it would do is spread the parking plague to another neighbourhood. Why should Fort Richmond suffer alone? If you can find a place to park, at least you can walk to the field. But it’s rather a long walk from anywhere on either side of the river.
The urban planner(s) whose voices were ignored on the stadium’s location will tell you, there is no easy fix after siting a building in an area that is already developed.
We Winnipegers have a new stadium and we will have to come to grips with the problem of getting to events it hosts. The problem may be eased but it will never go away.
The tagline for the movie Field of Dreams was "if you build it, they will come."
In Winnipeg, they will come — if they can actually get there.
Sean Conway is a community correspondent for St. Vital.