Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/7/2020 (326 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In 2005, I watched Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane accept an honorary music degree from Brandon University. In his acceptance speech, Cochrane said, "Even though I had a hit song called No Regrets, I actually have some regrets."
This seems like a good introduction to a column about two projects currently underway in St. Vital that deal with some long-standing regrets I have as a councillor.
The first of these is a $1.6 million repaving project in St. Vital Park, between July 1 and Sept. 15. I originally wanted to get St Vital Park repaved in 2017 so that it could serve as the site for the Canada Games cycling road race, but we lost out to a site at the Red River Ex.
Most of the roads in the park will be replaced or resurfaced. Staff tell me that this is the first resurfacing since I ran loops on the park’s main road while training as a high school runner in the 1970s. The city arborist has confirmed her involvement during this process, to ensure that the road enhancements do not damage large groups of trees. Six mature trees will be lost but there will be 27 replacement trees added to the park.
Overall, this should be a definite improvement to the park experience.
Another regret is the inability to upgrade the pedestrian tunnel beneath Fermor Avenue that connects the YMCA and Glenlawn Collegiate on one side and St. Vital Library on the other. This underpass dates to 1965 and it certainly looks like it’s been left unkempt since then. I am pleased to announce that between July 13 and Sept. 4, the city will be spending around $300,000 to modernize the tunnel with accessibility and visual improvements. This includes the sidewalks, stairs, handrails and lighting. We also hope to have murals incorporated into the tunnel’s design once the first stage of work is completed. This could perhaps include artwork from Glenlawn students.
I still regret that I could not get the millions in additional funding needed to make the tunnel wheelchair accessible. I hope that in the future other levels of government can build on the city’s initiative. The work being done will enhance pedestrian safety and is a better alternative than barricading the tunnel and closing it permanently, as some had suggested.
I am pleased to get these two items off my "regrets list," and will keep working to modernize St. Vital’s infrastructure.
St. Vital city council ward report
Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.