Let’s talk about traffic on St. Mary’s Road
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/12/2021 (532 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
During my 10 years as councillor, morning and afternoon traffic congestion on St. Mary’s Road north of its intersection St. Anne’s Road has been a consistent source of complaint.
The afternoon rush-hour parking restrictions for south-bound traffic have been extended to 6 p.m. on both St Mary’s and St Anne’s, which has helped ease congestion to some extent. The city is now consulting with the public on a new transportation master plan, and I want to ensure that concerns specific to St. Mary’s Road are heard.
The 2011 city transportation master plan (approved just prior to my election) called for St. Mary’s to be widened by a northbound lane north of St. Anne’s to Marion at a cost of $60 million (this was projected to be done by 2021). By 2016 the infrastructure plan for this same project had grown to an estimated $78 million. A year or two later, city staff informally estimated the cost at $100 million. However, in December, 2019, the new infrastructure plan decreased the estimate to $65.5 million.
In short, no one seems to have a handle on the cost, nor is there money allocated in the city budget for the project.
What are the other options for St. Mary’s north of St. Anne’s in the short term?
I am interested in hearing ideas from St. Vital residents. Two cautionary notes: banning parking all day is not viable given the impact on small business and the opposition on side streets if all parking is moved off St. Mary’s. Second, widening by a full traffic lane would be a very hard sell in the Norwood area of St. Boniface, and is therefore less likely to get council support.
I will host a virtual town hall meeting to discuss options on Tues., Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. Please register by contacting my office at email@example.com
Here are two moderate-cost options to start discussion:
• Try to create carve out areas for bus stops along St. Mary’s Road to allow for fewer confrontations between buses and other traffic (an idea discussed in the city’s 2005 transit plan);
• Try to create a bike lane on one or perhaps both sides of St. Mary’s Road north of Vivian, making for fewer confrontations between cyclists and other traffic.
I look forward to hearing your views!
St. Vital ward report
Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.