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This article was published 29/5/2018 (877 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A city committee has endorsed a report calling for improvements to snowclearing of priority sidewalks and bike paths.
The report recommends reprioritizing the snowclearing of roadways, sidewalks and active transportation pathways to provide a connected pedestrian and cycling network in winter.
Councillors on the public works committee endorsed the plan, which is expected to add $933,000 to the snowclearing budget in the first year.
"This is a huge first step in the right direction," said Coun. Matt Allard, chairman of the committee. "I’m thrilled that people are now going be able to make active transportation a lifestyle and they know they will have the facilities to be able to get anywhere within Winnipeg with a complete network."
Cycling critics had offered cautionary support for the measure, pointing out the city continues to allow sidewalks and paths to be buried under snow for up to 36 hours following a snowstorm, while other cities do the work within hours.
The report was requested in March 2016 by the former chair of the committee, Coun. Janice Lukes. The department asked for and received seven extensions before producing the document at the committee’s May 1 meeting. The committee postponed a vote until the department briefed individual councillors about how the changes would affect snowclearing in their wards.
While the department had recommended the changes take effect in winter of 2019, the committee approved an amendment that would see the changes take place this winter, if there’s any surplus in the department budget.
Allard dismissed criticism of the city’s new strategy, saying council has raised the priority of active transportation.
Council must approve the report.
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