Update: Friday, October 10th
It has been widely quoted, that an agreement signed in 1976 between the City of Winnipeg and the Portage & Main Building Owners has been the primary reason why a pedestrian crossing at Portage & Main has not be implemented. Our mayor has been quoted in the media as saying with out all the property owners consent, he would not proceed in good faith because of this agreement.
Here it is folks:
You can download the entire agreement here: /download/Dec20-1976.pdf
Here is the Trizec Building Agreement: /download/Trizec_Building_Agreement.pdf
Suffice to say, I stand behind the idea of the Portage & Main Pedestrian Overpass Proposal now more than ever. If all the city needs to do is provide access from the new structure to Winnipeg Square, then in good faith of the 1976 agreement that is what we should do!
As a proud resident of Winnipeg and believer in the revitalization of our downtown, I have come up with a solution to the long standing debate on whether to open up pedestrian traffic at our infamous intersection of Portage & Main. It has been 4 years since the City last held a design contest and nothing has happened, maybe it’s time for another one!
To read the hard to see text on the image: http://www.LeeRaito.com/download/portageandmain.pdf
Yes, Winnipeg should open up Portage & Main to pedestrian traffic and can do so WITHOUT affecting automobile traffic whatsoever. The establishment of a world class Pedestrian Overpass & Tourist Destination is the only solution that makes sense to both parties; pedestrians & automobiles. In addition to the blatantly obvious benefits to pedestrians being able to easily get to their desired downtown destination directly, there are many side benefits to building a pedestrian overpass directly above Portage & Main.
Obvious Benefit: Automobile traffic unaffected and pedestrians can easily navigate to any corner of Portage & Main with out having to go below ground.
Revenue: There are many potential revenue streams.
- Advertising revenue from state of the art TV Billboards.
- Business & Property taxes if shops are developed.
- Revenue and exposure from the movie industry.
- Ancillary revenue to downtown businesses from increased tourist traffic.
Environmental: This can and should be a green initiative attempting to leave no lasting environmental footprint.
- We could include in the design some form of automobile exhaust capture and filtering to improve air quality downtown, and lessen the impact of Winnipeg’s overall environmental footprint on our planet.
- Harness Portage & Main’s famous wind and convert to electricity to power part of the facility.
- Solar power could as well be considered, any excess electricity produced could be pushed back to the grid.
Downtown Revitalization: If we successfully design and build a world class structure that tourists & Winnipeg residents want to visit, this will bring us one step closer to fully revitalizing our downtown.
Of course, the idea in itself raises questions.
- Should the overpass remain open to the elements or should it become a closed in heated over pass with stores and other facilities?
- Can designers successfully work into the plans wheel chair accessibility?
- How can we ensure this remains a green project, and minimize its environmental footprint?
- During construction how would businesses and current pedestrian traffic be affected?
Download the 1 Page PDF Visual Concept Here: http://www.LeeRaito.com/download/portageandmain.pdf
Statement: I am not an artist and the structure depicted should and will drastically change for the better as this proposal moves forward. As recommended in the PDF, the City Of Winnipeg should establish an International Design contest to find the best workable concept. This idea has been forwarded to Winnipeg City Council for consideration.
Please contribute your thoughts, questions, agreement & or concerns below… just hit the comment button!