WINNIPEG, MB — Heavy trucks are welcome on Provencher Boulevard. That’s the message – loud and clear – from a report released by the City of Winnipeg on Jan. 31.
In September of last year, St. Boniface Councillor Dan Vandal proposed a truck ban on Provencher Blvd. so that his constituents could enjoy a patio in peace and quiet. Of course the proposed truck ban got a fair amount of criticism from the trucking community and associations. But it turns out that to de-list Provencher Boulevard as a truck route is not only inconsistent with the guiding principles of the Transportation Master Plan, but has negative safety and other implications far beyond Provencher Boulevard.
The report’s highlights:
• Winnipeg’s Regional Street system must accommodate numerous functional requirements, including urban goods movement;
• Regional Streets are generally designated as truck routes;
• Provencher Boulevard fulfills the full-time truck route criteria;
• The removal of Provencher Boulevard as a full-time truck route would require trucks to use two possible alternate truck routes;
• Both of those alternate scenarios are undesirable;
• Marion Street east of Des Meurons is not well-equipped to accommodate additional truck traffic;
• There is a higher proportion of “residential – multi-family” on Marion Street and Goulet Street versus Provencher Boulevard;
• From a traffic safety perspective, it is undesirable to displace truck traffic from a higher class of facility to such a roadway (Des Meurons);
• One of four strategies forming the basis of Our Winnipeg is the formalization of how transportation will be provided in Winnipeg for the next 25 years;
• The proposed truck route re-designation of Provencher Boulevard would be inconsistent with this strategy.
Terry Shaw, general manager of the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) commented: “While we don’t agree with their approach, we understand the intentions of certain citizens in the St. Boniface area who are attempting to improve their neighborhood. That said, we believe that their wants are far outweighed by the needs of the rest of the citizens of Winnipeg. This report, authored by a City of Winnipeg Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, confirms that position. Provencher Boulevard is a full-time truck route and needs to stay that way.”
Vandal is disappointed with the city’s decision, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. He said the city’s report was “pretty one sided.”
That being said, city council is not giving up on the issue and has asked for yet another report to see if some restrictions or a seasonal ban might work as a better solution.
The issue of banning trucks on Provencher Blvd. will still currently being reviewed.
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