“Portage and Main is a critical node and a network in one, the most important synaptic nerve connection in the system. Restoring this intersection’s commercial, cultural and complete transportation functionality is the essential ingredient in the economic renewal of downtown.”
For Winnipeggers, one major pedestrian obstacle is the intersection of Portage and Main. Here’s a thoughtfully penned article from today’s Winnipeg Free Press, written by former mayor Glen Murray.
“The debate over opening Portage and Main is tied up in the mistaken idea that one intersection should be or could be responsible for so much of the traffic flow. Before Portage Place cut off north-south traffic, there was a better distribution of traffic along streets such as Edmonton and Kennedy. In fact, improving transit infrastructure and restoring the functionality of the downtown street grid system would solve any marginal traffic issues created in opening up Portage and Main.
Most importantly, restoring Portage and Main as the downtown pedestrian connector unlocks and restores the value and increases the income of properties up and down the two high streets. Currently, Portage and Main acts as an artificial border to the downtown and psychological barrier to the east. Opening the intersection to pedestrians will allow the spilling over of culture and commerce to Portage East and will unlock the further potential our downtown.”