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Poll
Question: What should we do with Portage and Main
Open - 8 (44.4%)
Leave as is - 6 (33.3%)
Develop over/under passes - 4 (22.2%)
Total Voters: 18

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Author Topic: Portage and Main  (Read 1256 times)
theaardvark
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« on: September 29, 2018, 01:20:52 PM »

With so many of the posters here feeling outspoken about stadium location, rapid transit and such, how's about a thread on Portage and Main.

Why does it seem like I'm the only one who doesn't understand the benefit to opening P&M, let alone incurring millions of dollars in expenses to do so?

It will kill car traffic through the area, diverting traffic away from the downtown. 

It will attract beggars, can you imagine the status of having one of those corners?  The busiest traffic stopped area in the city?  Short of posting a cop there to stop it, it has the potential for disaster.

We have issues with snow clearing for pedestrians already downtown, this will make things even worse.  So the foot traffic is not 365 days a year.  Add in the wind, rain and other weather events and it even gets worse for attracting the small amount  of potential foot traffic the local retailers hope to gain. 

Want something truly forward thinking and attractive to visitors, that will actually bring people to the city to see it rather than opening P&M to street level crossing that could end up being tragic if/when a fatal accident happens, or become a thing like the "running of the bulls"?  When that first fatal accident happens (and you know it will, especially with the pedestrians presently using the area.  99.9% may be business people, students, etc, but there are pedestrians in the area that either do not have the awareness or respect that navigating an open P&M requires, and will lead to confrontation or worse. 


Lets make a 365 day a year usable option.  Either a skywalk network, or a tunnel network.  Here's the key.  2 elevators at each "corner".  Backup if one goes down, or during maintenance.  An enclosed space that foot traffic can use 365, and does not interrupt car traffic. 

This is done in Vegas all down the strip.  Skywalks let you get from one side of the strip to the other, with elevators and escalators and stairs. 
Sure, ours would have to be covered for 365 use, but pedestrians would be safe.

https://www.thehighline.org/ is a shining example of taking a negative and turning it into an attraction, improving local property rates and more...  a great documentary https://youtu.be/7CgTlg_L_Sw

And there are places like this...  https://www.grandcanyonwest.com/skywalk--eagle-point.htm

I'm not saying we can make something on this scale, or this grandiose, but there could be design elements created that make it interesting and attractive.  And make the intersection both safe for pedestrians and effective for traffic.

Win / win.  Opening it, in my opinion, is a lose/lose/lose.  Costs money to make an intersection that is slow and dangerouse, and not useable for a significant part of the year.

Obviously, I'm a "No" vote in the election, and option 3 here.
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Pigskin
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 12:40:59 PM »

Bad idea. Leave Portage and main the way it is.
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bluengold204
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 12:55:45 PM »

Open it up.
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Norlorne Dr.
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2018, 09:08:32 AM »

With so many of the posters here feeling outspoken about stadium location, rapid transit and such, how's about a thread on Portage and Main.

Why does it seem like I'm the only one who doesn't understand the benefit to opening P&M, let alone incurring millions of dollars in expenses to do so?

It will kill car traffic through the area, diverting traffic away from the downtown. 

It will attract beggars, can you imagine the status of having one of those corners?  The busiest traffic stopped area in the city?  Short of posting a cop there to stop it, it has the potential for disaster.

We have issues with snow clearing for pedestrians already downtown, this will make things even worse.  So the foot traffic is not 365 days a year.  Add in the wind, rain and other weather events and it even gets worse for attracting the small amount  of potential foot traffic the local retailers hope to gain. 

Want something truly forward thinking and attractive to visitors, that will actually bring people to the city to see it rather than opening P&M to street level crossing that could end up being tragic if/when a fatal accident happens, or become a thing like the "running of the bulls"?  When that first fatal accident happens (and you know it will, especially with the pedestrians presently using the area.  99.9% may be business people, students, etc, but there are pedestrians in the area that either do not have the awareness or respect that navigating an open P&M requires, and will lead to confrontation or worse. 


Lets make a 365 day a year usable option.  Either a skywalk network, or a tunnel network.  Here's the key.  2 elevators at each "corner".  Backup if one goes down, or during maintenance.  An enclosed space that foot traffic can use 365, and does not interrupt car traffic. 

This is done in Vegas all down the strip.  Skywalks let you get from one side of the strip to the other, with elevators and escalators and stairs. 
Sure, ours would have to be covered for 365 use, but pedestrians would be safe.

https://www.thehighline.org/ is a shining example of taking a negative and turning it into an attraction, improving local property rates and more...  a great documentary https://youtu.be/7CgTlg_L_Sw

And there are places like this...  https://www.grandcanyonwest.com/skywalk--eagle-point.htm

I'm not saying we can make something on this scale, or this grandiose, but there could be design elements created that make it interesting and attractive.  And make the intersection both safe for pedestrians and effective for traffic.

Win / win.  Opening it, in my opinion, is a lose/lose/lose.  Costs money to make an intersection that is slow and dangerouse, and not useable for a significant part of the year.

Obviously, I'm a "No" vote in the election, and option 3 here.

I doubt escalators in -50 windchills would work very well.
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Jesse
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2018, 12:01:50 PM »

Honestly, I don?t feel either side of this argument has a whole lot of evidence on their side. I?ve entered into this matter as a neutral and have been waiting for something to convince me, and nothing really has.

I don?t want to slow down traffic, but I don?t know who much this would slow down traffic. And, obviously, pedestrians are way more inconvenienced now that drivers would be. I understand aards? Point about panhandlers, but the occurs on every busy intersection anyways. There are way more things we should be spending our limited funds on, that?s for sure. But we wouldn?t have anything nice if we only spent money on what we should.

I hate the existence of the underground. Talk about a pointless waste of resources. It?s confusing for many people, dangerous to travel through, and should probably just be filled with cement. I believe in trying things to make downtown more open and safe. This obviously wouldn?t do that, but is maybe a first step?
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blue_or_die
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2018, 02:17:00 PM »

Honestly, I don?t feel either side of this argument has a whole lot of evidence on their side. I?ve entered into this matter as a neutral and have been waiting for something to convince me, and nothing really has.

I don?t want to slow down traffic, but I don?t know who much this would slow down traffic. And, obviously, pedestrians are way more inconvenienced now that drivers would be. I understand aards? Point about panhandlers, but the occurs on every busy intersection anyways. There are way more things we should be spending our limited funds on, that?s for sure. But we wouldn?t have anything nice if we only spent money on what we should.

I hate the existence of the underground. Talk about a pointless waste of resources. It?s confusing for many people, dangerous to travel through, and should probably just be filled with cement. I believe in trying things to make downtown more open and safe. This obviously wouldn?t do that, but is maybe a first step?


Agree with a good amount of that, but just to point out, there's going to have to be big bucks spent on repairing the barricades and the whole intersection and underground leakage anyway, so a lot of the ~12M quoted would be spent anyway.

I also don't understand why this is some sort of compelling issue. There are busy intersections all over the world that people cross. Traffic sucks there anyway at rush hour and an extra five minutes isn't going to kill anyone. I know people have to drive through downtown for their commute, but for people who work downtown, I don't understand taking your car, sitting in traffic and then finding and paying for parking. If I worked downtown I'd totally take the bus and save time, money, and ware on my car. Speaking of traffic and transit, check out this article about making Fort (super underutilized street) a north-south transit corridor just like Graham, to take lots of traffic off Main St. and help encourage development:

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/civicelection2018/team-open-proposal-a-win-for-both-sides-497653701.html

Anyway, the thing that pisses me off the most is how, in a city with plenty of priorities to debate, a ducking intersection is in the spotlight. Who could possibly care SO much, one way or the other?
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Knocker42
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2018, 02:25:25 PM »

Right on.
The south perimeter and Route 90/Kenaston make the city look 3rd class.  Get them done pronto.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2018, 04:06:16 PM »

The "fors" want it open for a revitalizing of street traffic downtown, which will increase business, and increase property values.  Which is great, they are businessmen that are allowed to lobby to increase business.

I have yet to see anyone comment on how the intersection, which will be the busiest by far in the city, with some of the longest spans to cover, is somehow going to be safe for pedestrians.  I get it, pedestrians aren't going to cause accidents, bad drivers do.  But the existence of those pedestrians in the intersection makes an accident possible, and with the sheer volume of traffic, probable.

So, we are putting pedestrians at risk (but they know the risk when they decide to cross a street, right?) for economic gains of a few businesses in that area?  At the potential cost of business in the concourses?  Peter/Paul...  really. 

The real losers in this will be the pedestrian casualties and their families.

After the first fatality, will there be a hew and cry for closing it?
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Jesse
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2018, 04:10:30 PM »

Agree with a good amount of that, but just to point out, there's going to have to be big bucks spent on repairing the barricades and the whole intersection and underground leakage anyway, so a lot of the ~12M quoted would be spent anyway.

Absolutely. Forgot about that piece

The "fors" want it open for a revitalizing of street traffic downtown, which will increase business, and increase property values.  Which is great, they are businessmen that are allowed to lobby to increase business.

I have yet to see anyone comment on how the intersection, which will be the busiest by far in the city, with some of the longest spans to cover, is somehow going to be safe for pedestrians.  I get it, pedestrians aren't going to cause accidents, bad drivers do.  But the existence of those pedestrians in the intersection makes an accident possible, and with the sheer volume of traffic, probable.

So, we are putting pedestrians at risk (but they know the risk when they decide to cross a street, right?) for economic gains of a few businesses in that area?  At the potential cost of business in the concourses?  Peter/Paul...  really. 

The real losers in this will be the pedestrian casualties and their families.

After the first fatality, will there be a hew and cry for closing it?

I don't agree with this point at all. What keeps fatalities from occurring at every other intersection? Unless you want to overhaul the entire system of how people cross streets, this isn't really a valid point.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2018, 04:13:45 PM »

I doubt escalators in -50 windchills would work very well.

Not sure an outdoor street level crossing works too well at -50c either.  Whereas a concourse works 24/7, 365.

Escalators won't, but elevators would.  Or something like these... with elevators (2 each corner for redundancy to increase use even during a breakdown or maintenance)



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theaardvark
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2018, 04:14:55 PM »

Could you imagine the celebrations that could be had at P&M if these structures were there?
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Jesse
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2018, 04:30:23 PM »

Melissa Martin has a great piece in the freep that everyone should check out.
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blue_or_die
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2018, 04:48:00 PM »

Melissa Martin has a great piece in the freep that everyone should check out.

This one?

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/civicelection2018/an-open-and-shut-case-492732301.html
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Jesse
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2018, 04:52:48 PM »

Nope. In today's paper.

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/civicelection2018/buried-broken-heart-498030681.html

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Norlorne Dr.
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 05:04:23 PM »

Not sure an outdoor street level crossing works too well at -50c either.  Whereas a concourse works 24/7, 365.

Escalators won't, but elevators would.  Or something like these... with elevators (2 each corner for redundancy to increase use even during a breakdown or maintenance)





I really like these 2.  The idea of something similar to this in Winnipeg is very intriguing. 
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