From: Samantha Rodeck <info(a)tonsmb.org>
On behalf of the TONS (Transportation Options Network for Seniors) Board of
Directors, I am pleased to share with you the informational resource that
is attached in two formats for your viewing ease. In light of November
being falls prevention month and with the wintery months rapidly
approaching, we would like to highlight the importance of snow clearing for
sidewalks and roads in Manitoba and especially with an increase in Snow
Birds likely to be staying within your communities this winter. Now more
than ever, Older Manitobans need to have options for staying active and
independent within their communities so we can ensure the health and
vitality of our aging population. Community mobility is an essential
component of an age friendly community, its essential for ensuring a sense
of freedom even during the winter months and especially as COVID has
impacted the ability for individuals to remain active indoors. Please share
this as widely as possible and especially to ensure this informational
resource makes its way to businesses, municipalities, government
departments and not for profit organizations.
If you have any questions or would like the opportunity to discuss further,
please feel free to contact me with the information listed below.
Transit hub could transform downtown
AT the beginning of this year — back when we could shake hands and see each
other’s faces – the city of Winnipeg announced it was no longer planning to
build dedicated bus rapid-transit corridors. This came shortly before the
opening of the Southwest Transitway, the city’s first completed line. The
announcement felt like the end of Winnipeg’s rapid-transit dream.
Two weeks ago, however, the city released a new vision for the future of
rapid transit, as part of the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan. The new concept
shows a dramatic departure from the original plan of dedicated bus-only
roadways, a system that would provide fast service between end points, but
— as the Southwest Transitway demonstrates — one with important
The costly and slow-to-implement system runs largely through open fields,
with several stations built far from where large numbers of people live,
and without access to many of the destinations potential users would want
The new plan focuses on integrating rapid transit onto existing major
roadways, using priority signal lanes. Outside of downtown, the plan is to
build dedicated transit lines on roads such as Main Street and Portage
Avenue that run down the centre of the road, with stations located in the
median, similar to Winnipeg’s old streetcar network.
Once complete, the system can incorporate modern low-rider and connected
buses that emulate the capacity and ride quality light rail. This type of
system will likely better integrate transit into neighbourhoods, provide
greater access to destinations and make it more usable for everyday trips.
A key advantage is that it will use existing road space, with diamond
lanes, queuejump lanes at intersections and priority traffic signals,
meaning it will be far less costly and time-consuming to implement.
Another important change is that priority will be given to developing the
system in downtown first, bringing together the three main lines that will
cross the city. Possibly the most alluring part of the plan is that
beautiful Union Station, sitting prominently at the top of Broadway, will
become the central hub of the rapid-transit network.
In 1911, the Manitoba Free Press celebrated Union Station as “The Most
Modern Railway Terminal in the World.” Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the
architects of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, it was once the bustling
centre of the city, welcoming people from across the world. To see it
brought back to life with crowds of transit riders (when we are allowed to
have crowds again) hurrying across the polished marble floors under the
majestic dome, surrounded by bustling kiosks, shops and restaurants, is an
exhilarating image to dream about.
For inspiration, Winnipeg might look to Denver, Colorado. In 2014, after
years of planning, the city’s underused historic Union Station, surrounded
by empty buildings and surface parking lots, became part of a
transformational urban redevelopment. Like in Winnipeg, a rapid-transit hub
was established in the old station, but they didn’t stop there.
A complete multi-modal transportation centre was created, bringing together
light rail, intercity rail, taxis, ride sharing, downtown shuttles,
regional and local bus routes. A cycling hub with bike storage, showers and
locker rooms, connected to the area’s protected cycling network, was
established and a major pedestrian promenade with markets, plazas and
public space was developed to connect the station to the surrounding
The project involved partnerships between private developers and public
agencies including city, county, state, and federal entities. A complete
master plan was developed that looked well beyond Union Station itself and
established a vision for a 36-hectare section of Denver’s downtown,
supported by tax increment financing and other government programs.
The result of thinking big was that the project became the centrepiece of
the most active development site in the United States. The connectivity
provided by Union Station as a transit hub has created a centre of gravity
that has attracted construction of more than 3,000 residential units, 750
hotel rooms, two million square feet of office space and a quarter million
square feet of retail. The Union Station redevelopment has spawned a
completely new urban neighbourhood, attracted US$3.5-billion in private
investment and has transformed downtown Denver.
The key to Denver’s success is that it looked at it holistically, bringing
together transportation planners, urban planners, governments and private
developers to create an overarching vision and detailed masterplan,
complete with funding strategies and zoning regulations, not only to
maximize Union Station’s potential as a multimodal transportation hub, but
to leverage its opportunity to create renewal across downtown.
The announcement that Winnipeg’s Union Station will become a rapid-transit
hub could be the first piece in the puzzle toward creating a similar
catalyst for development and growth. If we want to take full advantage of
the opportunity, our public and private leadership must also come together
to create a bigger, more impactful vision.
If we think big, and then prioritize those aspirations in our public
spending, this little announcement lost in the headlines of a global
pandemic could change how we move around our city and fundamentally
redefine our downtown forever.
*Brent Bellamy is creative director at Number Ten Architectural Group.*
Active transportation bridge a real blessing
In 2013, the active transportation bridge linking Elmwood with Point
Douglas was opened. Now in 2020, the bridge remains a useful connection
between two neighbourhoods, giving cyclists and pedestrians options as they
travel across the city.
Before the bridge was constructed, getting from one side of the Red River
to another on foot or by bicycle was somewhat complicated, often involving
a long detour to the Louise or Redwood Bridges. Even for drivers, the trip
over the bridge was somewhat risky, as evidenced by the number of times
someone failed to navigate the entry onto Henderson Highway successfully
and crashed into a house just beyond the curve.
While the new Disraeli Bridge helped to correct some of the problems that
caused accidents such as these, the active transportation bridge gave
people another option for crossing the river. Access from the Elmwood side
is on Midwinter Avenue, one block south of Talbot Avenue. On the Point
Douglas side, the bridge connects with Rover Avenue, parallel to Higgins
As the City of Winnipeg website explains, the active transportation bridge
incorporates several of the supporting piers from the old bridge. At five
metres wide, the bridge is sufficiently large to allow for several cyclists
and pedestrians to pass each other without crowding each other. The bridge
is high enough to allow boats to pass by on the river without making the
slope excessively steep for cyclists.
Although some features that were originally planned for the bridge, such as
benches, failed to materialize, many interesting features were included in
the design. On one side of the pathway, patterns of holes punched into
steel structures help to tell the stories of the neighbourhoods the bridge
connects. Several lookout areas give people the chance to stop for a few
minutes out of the way of traffic to admire the river or to watch birds
flying or swimming by.
While the current enthusiasm for walking and cycling might eventually
diminish, structures like the active transportation bridge between Elmwood
and Point Douglas are good for encouraging Winnipeggers to get out into the
fresh air. With the additional opportunity to learn about the
neighbourhood, the bridge serves a useful purpose in the city.
*Susan Huebert is a community correspondent for Elmwood. *
From: Lacey Friedly <rlacey(a)pdx.edu>
Date: Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 6:48 PM
Is shared micromobility the ideal first/last mile supplement to transit?
Can electric scooters make it easier for historically disadvantaged
populations to get around? In just three years, brand-new fleets of
e-scooters have substantially disrupted and altered the urban mobility
landscape. For proponents, it's tempting to view them as a new answer to
old problems. But a new study concludes that cities should not depend on
e-scooters as a de facto solution―to first/last mile or equity
problems―without targeted management interventions. Read the research:
*Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)
<http://trec.pdx.edu/> at Portland State University*
Trails group ramps up accessibility in Winnipeg
THE Yellow Dog Tavern is the proud owner of a new set of wheelchair ramps,
thanks to two customers who wanted to see the Exchange District business be
Anders Swanson, director of the Winnipeg Trails Association, and Allen
Mankewich, an accessibility advocate and wheelchair user, decided they were
going take it upon themselves to make it happen one evening while out for a
They had noted a lack of ramps connecting the Donald Street building’s
entrances to the sidewalk a few centimetres below. Swanson and Mankewich
had just left a meeting on accessibility policy, so the topic was top of
“I was like: ‘You know what? Forget it. I’m going to Home Depot on the way
back and grabbing some stuff to make those ramps,’” Swanson told the Free
Press with a laugh.
The 7.5-cm ledge at the entryway might not warrant a second thought from an
able-bodied person. However, Swanson said, for someone who uses a
wheelchair, it could mean the difference between getting into the building
independently and asking for assistance.
“Allen and I went and measured it, and just figured out something that
worked,” said Swanson. “That’s what Winnipeg Trails does every day. It
tries to break down barriers for people moving under their own power.”
Swanson installed the ramps on Saturday. The Yellow Dog Tavern had recently
re-opened following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so he figured
now was the time to put them to use.
Greg Ash, tavern owner, said he is pleased with the finished product.
“There’s a lot of old business that don’t have that design to the street,”
said Ash, adding the ramps fit in well with streetscape and he appreciates
the hand-painted design that matches the Yellow Dog signage.
A Winnipeg Trails Association social post about the project garnered
significant positive feedback. Swanson said he’s excited about the
reaction, because it will mean more people looking to set up such ramps
outside their own businesses.
“If there’s any businesses that need some advice on how to build these
ramps or want to talk about freedom and mobility and universal access, they
can always get a hold of us. We’re happy to talk to them,” said Swanson,
adding he’ll personally help build ramps for any business that reaches out
to the association.