One of the great advantages of living in Winnipeg is that the airport is “almost downtown”. Getting from the airport to downtown is only a problem because, as Bart Kives suggested in his recent column this “City needs a policy heavyweight for mayor”, or more clearly: Winnipeg needs a mayor who has the intelligence, vision and motivation to build a better city. A REAL solution….
Anyone who has access to a computer can bring up a map of Winnipeg. Obviously there are two streets that go directly from the airport to downtown – Ellice and Sargent, and equally obviously therein lies an opportunity to both build a better city, and support one of the most vibrant multicultural communities in the centre city that is in desperate need of infrastructure rejuvenation. If Ellice and Sargent were one way streets with coordinated traffic lights and increased parking…diagonal parking on one side… the trip downtown would be short and smooth, and it would pass through an area that could become the very best introduction to Winnipeg, an area that already exemplifies the marvellous cultural diversity of this city. With ongoing streetscaping, tree planting, and economic incentives with the objective of highlighting that diversity those two streets would return to their former economic heyday.
A fast and smooth trip, a visual introduction to Winnipeg’s historic ‘West End’ and today’s cultural diversity, rejuvenation of a whole section of downtown, all in one larger vision of building a better city.
Re-name the streets, or part of them, as ‘Folklorama Way’ and you have win-win situation for everyone involved.