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Winnipeg Transit Maintenance Garage Expansion Recommendations

Winnipeg Transit Maintenance Garage Recommendations

Don’t Just Maintain a Faulty Status Quo – Improve Connectivity

Winnipeg Transit will be expanding their vehicle overhaul and repair shop located at 421 Osborne Street beginning in 2017, with completion scheduled for 2019. As part of this expansion project, transit plans to build a new staff parking lot at the western end of Brandon Avenue, rerouting the existing bikeway connecting the Fort Rouge Yards pathway to the west end of Brandon around the parking lot and onto the existing sidepath along Brandon Avenue.

We’d like to ensure that development of any cycling infrastructure associated with this project is coordinated with the 2015 Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies and 2017 Pedestrian and Cycling Program Action Plan. The former shows Brandon as a neighbourhood greenway connection from the Fort Rouge Yards/WinSmart Trail to the South Winnipeg Parkway/Churchill Pathway and Hay Street Neighbourhood Greenway. The later forecasts spending of nearly $2.5 million in 2018 and 2019 to acquire property and construct a pathway from Togo to Brandon connecting the South Winnipeg Parkway north of Togo to the Churchill Pathway and Hay Street Neighbourhood Greenway.

As this project includes changes to Brandon it would seem like there is a lot of potential for coordination of these projects to remove what right now is a fairly significant barrier in our cycling network, the section of Brandon between the intersection of Daly @ Carlow and the intersection of Togo with the South Winnipeg Parkway.

   Planned Projects 2017-2020

  • Togo to Churchill Pathway Connection ($2.5 milliom)
    • Design & Property Acquisition (2018)
    • Construction & Property Acquisition (2019)
  • Pembina Highway Buffered Bike Lanes
    • Grant to Osborne – NB & SB ($4 million)
    • Northbound Construction (2017)
  • Osborne Street Underpass Rehabilitation ($2.5 million +)
    • Conceptual Design & Property Acquisition (2019)
  • Confusion Corner to Fort Rouge Park Bikeway ($700K)
    • Conceptual Design & Construction (2019)

Status Quo is Not Acceptable

As things stand now, people biking between the South Winnipeg Parkway and the Fort Rouge Yards/WinSmart/SWRTC AT Pathway are expected to:

  • Follow a bike path adjacent to the sidewalk on the north side of Brandon Avenue to the South entrance of the Transit Complex
  • Proceed North along a multi-use pathway to Woodward Avenue
  • Proceed East along Woodward to Osborne,
  • Proceed North along a shared sidewalk on the west side of Osborne until Glasgow
  • Cross Osborne and then Woodward as a pedestrian
  • Proceed North along a second shared-use sidewalk on the east side of Osborne to Togo Avenue
  • Finally, ride east to the end of Togo Avenue where it meets up with the South Winnipeg Parkway (Togo marks the effective end of the South Winnipeg Parkway)

From the point where the Fort Rouge Yards pathway exits onto the Heatherington back lane a person biking along this connection would ride on 5 different facility types, encounter 12 facility type transitions, and 7-8 crossings/intersections over roughly 1.1kms. Brutal!

Yet instead of trying to improve things, we get a solution that ignores planned network improvements and manages to make this connection a bit more confusing (more bends, more driveways to cross, more crossing with poor sightlines). We can do better than this!

A Better Solution is Both Possible & Affordable

Bike Winnipeg feels that a better solution would be to do the following:

  • Re-route people on bikes up Arnold or Carlow to Nassau and then Brandon
    • Look into diverters or traffic calming circles along this route to maintain flow,  minimize stops, and reduce cut-through traffic
    • Include this as part of the Togo to Churchill project
  • Consider closing off Brandon at Nassau but at least force eastbound traffic on Brandon to stop at Nassau
  • Look into a traffic diverter at Nassau and Brandon
  • Extend the pathway leading off of Brandon to Woodward all the way to Glasgow
    • Converting the parking lot north of Woodward to angled parking would provide enough space to extend this pathway all the way to Glasgow
      • Converting to 45 degree angled parking would allow for a reduced aisle width of 12′ paired with parking space lengths of 15′, providing up to 18′ of space for a new pathway south of the parking lot
      • The parking lot aisle would need to be one way, entering from the east and exiting to the north onto Glasgow
      • A southern pathway would thus by-pass the parking lot entrance and exit.
    • You might have to purchase a slice of the vacant property being proposed for temporary parking to accommodate a two-way protected bike path along the southern side of Glasgow leading into Osborne
  • Develop a protected intersection at Osborne and Glasgow
  • Ensure that the signals at Brandon and Osborne can be activated by people on bikes and that they provide adequate crossing times
  • Consider implementation of turning restrictions at Brandon and Osborne to limit/reduce traffic on Brandon
    • Include this as part of the Togo to Churchill project

Winnipeg Transit Maintenance Garage Recommendations

Transit Complex Overview

Brandon to Glasgow Closeup

Protected Intersection with Truck Apron

Protected Intersection - Two Way Cycle Track

The length of pathway required for this extension (all the way to Glasgow and Osborne) is more or less equal to the length of pathway needed to detour around the proposed new staff parking lot, so construction and maintenance costs for both options should be similar.

Costs to improve the intersection at Osborne & Glasgow would be additional costs, but provide a significant improvement to the directness and comfort of bike routes connecting the South Winnipeg Parkway, the Churchill Pathway, the Hay Street Neighbourhood Greenway and the Fort Rouge Yards Pathway while putting in place improvements that will eventually be needed to connect to a rehabilitated Osborne Street Underpass including cycling facilities to connect to confusion corner.

The existing pathway along the eastern edge of the Fort Rouge Yards and Southwest Transit Corridor should remain as a back lane/pathway connection into the transit complex for use by staff, through a locked gate if desired. This would provide convenient access to existing bicycle parking within the transit complex.

Homeowners with back lanes along the eastern edge of the Fort Rouge Yards and Transit Complex should also be consulted about possible traffic calming measures meant to reduce unwanted through traffic in the back lanes cutting between Arnold and Brandon.

If you agree with these ideas, please take a few minutes to fill in the online survey available until January 27, 2017.

Further Reading




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