You are on page 1of 8
Fact Sheet Portage and Main Background ● Portage and Main was completely closed to pedestrians

Fact Sheet Portage and Main

Background

Portage and Main was completely closed to pedestrians in October, 1979

Result of a deal between the city and developers, Trizec Corporation

Purpose was to drive pedestrians to underground mall in exchange for two, multi-storey towers, hotel, underground mall and bank.

City had to demolish several buildings and agree to barricades for 40 years

Considerable opposition to the idea at the time

Traffic at the time was reported to be gridlock and some wanted pedestrians banned

City was in recession, core was losing people to suburbs

Project was seen as a way to address fading retail in the downtown

City planners also hoped it would drive traffic downtown to stay. Instead, the opposite happened - traffic drove through downtown

One tower was built

Bank building was built

Underground retail concourse was built

Barriers were built

Hotel, second tower were not built

Second tower started construction in 2017 at 300 Main Street

Brian Bowman pledged to re-open the intersection to pedestrians if elected

Once elected, the city moved forward with the idea

City negotiated reopening the barriers with four owners of buildings on corner

All four building owners have agreed to allowing the barriers to be removed

Considerable local public opposition to the idea

Coun. Jeff Browaty called for plebiscite on the issue for Oct. 24 election

Mayor Brian Bowman agreed to treat plebiscite as legally binding if re-elected

The barriers and infrastructure around Portage and Main are deteriorating and need repair and/or replacement

Costs/Numbers

$6.1 million - the cost of removing the barrierswith room for cost overruns

$5.5 million - the cost of new buses and routes for Transit

$3 million to unknown- the estimated cost of repairingthe barriers and refreshing infrastructure at Portage and Main

$80 million - Price tag of closingPortage and Main, building retail in 1979 (About $267M today). City paid for half of that.

$1.1 billion - 2018 total budget for City of Winnipeg

1 per cent - percentage Portage and Main project takes from City budget

45 - Number of shops/restaurants underground in Winnipeg Square

15,000 - people within 100 metres of Portage/Main during weekdays, making it densest area of city

300-400 - Number of people crossing Portage/Main per hour during morning peak hours

500 - Number of people crossing Portage/Main per hour during evening peak hours

5 - number of scenarios analysed for pedestrian crossings at Portage and Main

50-60% - time saved by pedestrians with disabilities

0 % - time saved by able-bodied pedestrians

33 seconds- average increase in time for cars to travel through Portage and Main

54 seconds- average increase in time for cars to get through downtown via Portage and Main

5,855 - 6,240 - number of cars crossing per hour and peak times currently

6,000 - number of estimated cars crossing per hour at peak times if barriers are removed

2,000 - number of pedestrians crossing per hour at peak times if barriers are removed

81,000 - cars travelling through Portage and Main daily

90,000 - cars travelling through Regent and Lagimodiere daily

$186,000 - cost of two studies into opening Portage and Main

24-19- City council’s vote to close Portage and Main to pedestrians 40 years ago

Three closest intersections in the Top 20 for pedestrian/car collisions in past 5 years - Donald and Ellice (9), Broadway and Main (6), Main and York (5)

500+ - number of car-free intersections or zones in major populated areas

Unknown - number of at-grade intersections barred to pedestrians

129,704 - The number of cars that cross Canada’s busiest intersection in Toronto at Yonge (pronounced YOUNG) and Dundas daily

100,000 - The number of pedestrians that cross Canada’s busiest intersection daily

Yonge uses a scramble pedestrian system

Pedestrians

At peak hours, about 2,000 people will cross the intersection

The Dillon Report analyzed three different ways to move people across the intersection

Alternative 1 - Adding pedestrian crossings at all four sides

Alternative 2 - Adding pedestrian crossings at all four sides, but not allowing right turns when pedestrians are crossing

Alternative 3 - Adding pedestrian crossings at all sides except the North side

Alternative 1 shown to be the best in terms of acceptable level of pedestrian safety and ease of crossing

Analysis shows that in most cases, the time saved by not going underground is balanced by time spent waiting for signals to cross for able-bodied persons

For disabled people, time spent crossing will be reduced by 50 - 60 per cent

Canada’s busiest intersection, Yonge and Dundas in Toronto, sees 100,000 pedestrians daily

Yonge uses a scramble pedestrian system

Portage and Main is too large for a scramble crossing and would have a large negative impact to stop traffic in all directions

Transit - Times are based on getting through entire model, not just Portage and Main

No matter how pedestrians are introduced at Portage and Main, there will be a negative impact on Transit.

The Dillon Report analyzed three different ways to move people

Alternative 1 shown to have the least amount of effect on transit

Some buses will see a decrease in travel time of up to 42 seconds, while others will see an increase of up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds

While these time delays may seem insignificant, it has a compounding effect on the number of people on a bus.

The Dillon report says $5.5 million will be needed for additional buses and routes.

Safety

There is no increase in risk to safety for car-on-car accidents

There will be an increase in vehicle-pedestrian accidents risk to safety for pedestrians, where currently the risk is zero. Risk will be same as other major intersections nearby

Closest intersections in Top 20 for pedestrians hit over past five years- Donald Street & Ellice (9), Main and Broadway (5), Main and York (5)

There is a decrease in risk for on-street crime for pedestrians, as removing the barriers will open sightlines

Pedestrians with disabilities will have access to the street and will not be hindered by buildings closed after business hours or elevators with mechanical issues

Traffic - Times are based on getting through entire model, not just Portage and Main

No matter how pedestrians are introduced at Portage and Main, there will be a negative impact on vehicular traffic

The Dillon Report analyzed three different ways to move people across the intersection

Alternative 1 - Adding pedestrian crossings at all four sides

Alternative 1 shown to have the least effect on traffic

Alternative 1 shows adecrease of seven secondsfor cars travelling on Portage eastbound and turning left onto Main

Alternative 1 shows an increase of 5 minutes and 10 secondsfor cars travelling north on Main street and turning right onto Portage Avenue East

Averageincrease in time to get through Portage and Main is 33 seconds

The Dillon report recommends eliminating right turns for cars heading north on Main Streetand turning right onto Portage Avenue East as alternatives are close by, it would be safer for pedestrians, reduce interference for transit and would eliminate a lengthy delay for those vehicles when waiting for pedestrians.

Eliminating that right turn would also allow the city to reclaim space for sidewalks

The Dillon report recommends a Leading Pedestrian Interval - giving pedestrians a quick head start to cross before cars can start turning right

Canada’s busiest intersection, Yonge and Dundas in Toronto, sees 129,704 cars daily

Who is in favour?

Mayor Brian Bowman

Coun. Jenny Gerbasi

Coun. Mike Pagtakhan

Coun. Matt Allard

Coun. Scott Gillingham

Coun. Cindy Gilroy

Coun Brian Mayes

Coun. Marty Morantz

Coun. John Orlikow

Coun. Devi Sharma

Candidate Chris Clacio

Coalition for Portage and Main

Society of Manitobans For Disabilities

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Frank Sherlock, Exec. VP, Artis REIT

Dave Finnbogason, VP Corp.Dev., James Richardson & Sons

Who is opposed?

Coun. Jeff Browaty

Coun. Shawn Dobson

Coun. Janice Lukes

Coun. Ross Eadie

Coun. Jason Schreyer

Candidate Jenny Motkaluk

Candidate Umar Hayat

Candidate Don Woodstock

Candidate Tim Diack

Candidate Desmond Thomas

Candidate Venkat Machiraju

Candidate Doug Wilson

Amalgamated transit Union Local 1505

Manitoba Trucking Association

Top 10 Intersections by car volume - P&M is No. 3

Rank

Intersection

24 hour Weekday vehicle volumes

1

Lagimodiere Blvd & Regent Ave W

90,000

2

Moray St & Portage Ave

83,000

3

Main St & Portage Ave

81,000

4

Waverley St & Bishop Grandin Blvd

80,000

5

Kenaston Blvd & Sterling Lyon Pkwy

79,000

6

Century St & Ness Ave

78,000

7

St Mary's Rd & Bishop Grandin Blvd

76,000

8

Queen Elizabeth Way & Stradbrook Ave

74,000

9

Pembina Hwy & Corydon Ave

73,000

10

Kenaston Blvd & Grant Ave

73,000

Top Four intersections by size

Kenaston and Sterling Lyon - 46 m (150.5 feet)

McGillvray and Waverley - 40.2 m (133.4 feet)

Lagimodiere and Regent Avenue - 37 m (121.5 feet)

Kenaston and McGillvray - 32.2 m (106.4 feet)

Top Three intersections by length of time for pedestrian crossing

McGillvary and Waverley: crossing McGillivray is 7 sec of Walk + 40 sec of Flashing Don’t Walk = 47 sec

McGillvray and 200m W of Kenaston : crossing McGillivray is 7 sec of Walk + 35 sec of Flashing Don’t Walk = 42 sec

Kenaston and Sterling Lyon: crossing Kenaston is 5 sec of Walk + 35 sec of Flashing Don’t Walk = 40 sec

Quiz Questions

1)

Why was Portage and Main closed 40 years ago?

a) Too many people were being hit by cars

b) It was a business deal to funnel people to an underground mall

c) Pedestrians were backing up traffic

d) Cities around the world were blocking their major intersections

2)

What is the total estimated cost of removing the barriers?

a) $1.1 million

b) $11 million

c) $101 million

d) $200 million

3)

How much longer would the average commute be for cars?

a) 54 seconds

b) 18 seconds

c) 3 minutes 22 seconds

d) 5 minutes 10 seconds

Sources

Dillon Report

Winnipeg Tribune

City of Winnipeg/Winnipeg Police Service/Council minutes

Jino Distasio, University of Winnipeg Institute of Urban Studies, Director

West End Dumplings Historical Blog

Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Wikipedia