July 21, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Wyatt, Browaty, Schreyer want to cut active transportation budget to the bone

Councillors did not participate in or read report they want to kill: advocate

Councillor Russ Wyatt on active transportation plan: '$334 million for cycling infrastructure is simply too much'

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Councillor Russ Wyatt on active transportation plan: '$334 million for cycling infrastructure is simply too much'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/6/2015 (1481 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A trio of city councillors are proposing to gut the pedestrian and cycling strategy.

Couns. Russ Wyatt, Jeff Browaty and Jason Schreyer want to see the budget of the strategy scaled back from its proposed $334 million to $55 million; cut the number of downtown protected bike routes in half; eliminate all references to sidewalk snowclearing, and formally describe the document as a “guideline” rather than city council policy.

“We have to do what we feel is right in representing our constituents and bringing forth their concerns,” Wyatt (Transcona) said following a special meeting Tuesday of the East Kildonan-Transcona community committee.

The cycling and pedestrian strategy is a 20-year blueprint for expansion of pedestrian and cycling pathways across Winnipeg, which is going to council for approval at the July 15 meeting of council. The document is a 344-page report with 110 recommendations and maps of existing and proposed pathways.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/6/2015 (1481 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A trio of city councillors are proposing to gut the pedestrian and cycling strategy.

Couns. Russ Wyatt, Jeff Browaty and Jason Schreyer want to see the budget of the strategy scaled back from its proposed $334 million to $55 million; cut the number of downtown protected bike routes in half; eliminate all references to sidewalk snowclearing, and formally describe the document as a "guideline" rather than city council policy.

"We have to do what we feel is right in representing our constituents and bringing forth their concerns," Wyatt (Transcona) said following a special meeting Tuesday of the East Kildonan-Transcona community committee.

The cycling and pedestrian strategy is a 20-year blueprint for expansion of pedestrian and cycling pathways across Winnipeg, which is going to council for approval at the July 15 meeting of council. The document is a 344-page report with 110 recommendations and maps of existing and proposed pathways.

Wyatt and Browaty (North Kildonan) were early critics of the report, which came out in May following a two-year consultation process. They were concerned about the price tag for future pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and cited numerous errors and omissions in a series of route maps.

Mayor Brian Bowman held up the document’s passage to council, referring it to the new office of engagement for review, which concluded that the consultation process had met industry best practices.

Sharp exchanges

While the list of amendments proposed by Wyatt, Browaty and Schreyer (Elmwood-East Kildonan) will be referred to the public works committee in the fall, the three said they would bring a similarly worded motion to the July 15 council meeting in hopes of amending the document before it becomes official civic policy.

The Tuesday meeting featured sharp exchanges between the three councillors and Coun. Janice Lukes, chairwoman of public works, and Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg — who tried to allay their concerns and defend the document.

Lukes repeated her earlier claims that concerns over errors in map routes will be addressed when sections of the strategy are implemented on a yearly basis, insisting that no part of the plan will be initiated until it’s been approved by council and the community.

When pressed by the three councillors, Lukes refused to support any changes to the document or correct any errors.

Schreyer said he was troubled that Lukes was too quickly dismissing concerns raised by two council veterans, adding that Lukes had been unable to satisfy him that the approval of the report would not bind council to its recommendations.

'Flawed from the get-go'

The three were supported by Coun. Ross Eadie, who said the document failed to incorporate councillors’ input and the process was allowing consultants to dictate infrastructure needs to ward councillors.

Eadie (Mynarksi) said the strategy document was "flawed from the get-go."

"You need to make sure this plan starts from the right place," Eadie said.

Browaty said the amendments address the document’s shortcomings, adding no one on council should object to them.

"$334 million for cycling infrastructure is simply too much," Browaty said. "For the amount of time and money we spent on (preparing this report), we could have built a lot of active transportation routes. I was disappointed the report was lacking in a lot of ways."

During the meeting, Browaty said the consultation process for the strategy had been "hijacked" by the bike lobby, a claim that Cohoe dismissed.

Cohoe said 3,000 Winnipeg residents took part in the consultation process but Wyatt, Browaty and Schreyer hadn’t made time to participate and they hadn’t read the report.

"I’m ashamed to say it but it doesn’t appear either of those three councillors have read the pedestrian and cycling strategy that they are so committed to destroying," Cohoe said.

Errors 'inconsequential'

Cohoe said there were errors in the route maps but said they were inconsequential to the overall impact of the document, adding he was dismayed the three councillors had proposed such a radical reduction in the scope of the strategy.

"I really find that appalling," Cohoe said. "On an off-the-cuff remark, seemingly made up on the spot, they decide we’re going to reduce the budget to $55 million….I just can’t believe I witnessed that."

Wyatt said too many councillors feel shut out of the decision-making process, adding that the changes the three made Tuesday could have been incorporated into the pedestrian and cycling strategy had they been given input into the document.

"There is a genuine feeling among many councillors who are not part of (executive policy committee) that they want to have input into this and they haven’t," Wyatt said. "I hold the mayor accountable for that.

"I believe the mayor could have chosen a different route here, he could have chosen to say, ‘I’m willing to take suggestions.’ That door has been slammed shut."

Opposition to strategy a minority opinion?

As opposition mounts against the city’s 20-year cycling and pedestrian blueprint, councillors on the other side of the debate say the opposition does not represent the majority council.

Coun. Jenny Gerbasi said it is the work of a minority of councillors who "don’t think it makes sense to invest in cycling and pedestrian strategies."

"They are trying pretty much everything they can to put road blocks in front of it," she said Tuesday.

"They have every right to bring this forward, but the mayor ran on it, I am very supportive, so gutting is certainly not something I will support or most of council will."

St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard also remain supportive of the strategy, noting it might not be perfect, but it is a "good way to move forward."

"I think the nature of these big picture plans is that is a global plan and in terms of any individual bike route, further public consultation would be required on any specific project," he said Tuesday. "I think with a strategy of this magnitude, there is going to be different opinions."

'Living, breathing document'

Councillors Devi Sharma and Cindy Gilroy echoed Allard’s comments, noting that any changes that need to be made to the document can occur in the future.

"We need a plan and we can’t move forward without one," Sharma said. "It really is a living, breathing document."

Gerbasi described it as "a shell game" that Wyatt is playing when it comes to the strategy.

"(If) they would rather invest in new roads or something else that is their priority, they should be coming out and saying that, rather than stating it is a flawed strategy," she said.

Mayor Brian Bowman has been an advocate for cycling in the city and has been supportive of the strategy, however he was not available for comment on Tuesday.

Deputy mayor Coun. Mike Pagtakhan said even if there are areas of the 364-page document which council doesn’t support, they will take it on a case-by-case basis.

"It is not like everything is written in stone," he said. "It talks about good ideas for routes and at the end of the day, there will be consultation on those routes, it talks about a vision and where our vision could be."

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

kristin.annable@freepres.mb.ca

Aldo Santin

Aldo Santin
Reporter

Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 1:48 PM CDT: Adds Storify

3:10 PM: Second Storify added.

5:15 PM: Adds details.

5:43 PM: Adds comment from other councillors

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us