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June 30 special meeting highlights

• The East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee held a special meeting on June 30 to review the City’s pedestrian and cycling strategies. Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) called the meeting because he felt the plan needed greater consultation before it was approved.
"This is a massive document that was brought forward right after the election," Wyatt said before the meeting. "It seems like it is being rammed through council in July."
"This is not a priority," Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) stated during the meeting. "This goes too far."
The committee made a number of recommendations to the standing policy committee on infrastructure renewal and public works. Recommendations centered around requiring greater consultation before implementing  protected on street bike lanes, neighbourhood greenways or bicycle boulevards.
"Residents on these streets don’t want these greenways," Browaty repeated throughout the meeting. "As elected officials, we gotta represent the tax payers."
A number of delegations were heard on the matter. Mark Cohoe of Bike Winnipeg told committee there was "ample process" in the current strategy "to ensure there is public consultation moving forward."
Coun. Janice Lukes (South Winnipeg-St. Norbert), chair of the Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works committee, confirmed public consultation would take place.
"The plan is a guiding document, like the foundation or framework of a house," Lukes said. "Any time we do something, we’ll engage in public consultation."
Val Cousineau of the Transcona Trails Association spoke to the need to include connectivity into the active transportation plan. Currently, she argued, active transportation routes in Transcona and throughout northeast Winnipeg do not connect safely to bike routes downtown.
The committee also recommended that the budget for the active transportation plan be reduced from $334 million over 20 years to $55 million. The committee’s recommendations will now make their way through city administration and other committees.

• The tennis and pickle ball courts at Maple Leaf Park (331 Whittier Ave. W) will receive an upgrade, thanks in part to a $4,700 from Transcona’s land dedication reserve.

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Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
The Herald community journalist

Sheldon Birnie is the reporter/photographer for The Herald. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at sheldon.birnie@canstarnews.com Call him at 204-697-7112

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