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WRA: Wolseley traffic a problem

Hoping for resident feedback if new study reveals issues

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Stop sign runners and non-Wolseley drivers cutting through the neighbourhood were hot topics at the Wolseley Residents Association (WRA) meeting last Thursday.

The same issue dominated the association’s previous meeting in March, said WRA president Cynthia Neudoerffer.

"We’ve noticed a significant increase in vehicles coming through our neighbourhood at rush hour in both the morning and evenings," Neudoerffer said.

The increase in traffic has been accompanied by more speeders and stop sign scofflaws in a neighbourhood where many children live, she said.

"Because we have three schools along Wolseley (Avenue) we’re wondering if we can turn the whole street into a school zone," Neudoerffer said, adding speed bumps or turning restrictions are other possibilities talked about.

WRA vice-president and traffic committee member Pat McCarthy-Briggs told the Thursday meeting she asked the Winnipeg Police Service to step up stop sign enforcement and was told the request would be passed on to the traffic division.

"They are aware that Wolseley residents are unhappy," she said.

She also said she met last week with Kevin Nixon, active transportation co-ordinator for the City of Winnipeg, to talk about traffic issues in Wolseley.

Nixon assured her the city would take no steps without community consultation, she said.

The City of Winnipeg did a traffic volume study in Wolseley in 2005 and again late last year.

City spokesperson Tammy Melesko said the data from the most recent study is still being analyzed.

"We are planning to discuss the changes between the survey done in 2005 and now with the residents," Melesko said, adding consultation with the community would happen to determine solutions if the data reveals issues that need addressing.

McCarthy-Briggs said if the perception among drivers is that it’s quicker to commute along Wolseley or Westminster Avenues, then they will have to find ways to make "the passage of traffic through Wolseley less attractive at peak hours to people who don’t live here."

More police enforcement at stop signs could help with that, but some form of "traffic calming" may be necessary, she said.

Ultimately, if decisions need to be made, getting the wider community involved in the process will be critical, she said.

"We want the outcome, whatever it is, to reflect the greatest number of Wolseley residents as it can. We don’t want that decision to be made by 10 people."

Only 13 people came to Thursday’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Robert A. Steen Community Centre, about the same number that attended the third Thursday meeting last month.

Aleksandra Osipova posed questions to the group about how they can boost neighbourhood involvement and feedback on traffic and other issues.

Osipova, who handles communication for the WRA, said she intends to start keeping the association’s website, Facebook page, and a yet to be created Twitter account in harmony to reach a wider audience.

"We feel that we need to have more community consultation so there’s an accurate and balanced picture of what the neighbourhood wants," Osipova said.

Shortly after the meeting she posted a poll on the WRA Facebook page (facebook.com/WolseleyResidentsAssociation) asking people to identify intersections where they’ve recently witnessed drivers run a stop sign.

By Sunday afternoon Canora Street and Westminster, with 12 votes, was clinging onto a three-vote edge over second place Canora and Wolseley.

Facebook.com/TheMetroWPG
Twitter: @metroWPG

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