started this petition to
Winnipeg City Council
We, the undersigned, realize that providing transit choices for Winnipeggers means real road relief and less potholes in the long term. We, the undersigned, realize that a rapid transit system will provide transit choices to Winnipeggers and means real road relief in the long run.
We, the undersigned, realize that building new suburbs and new roads thins our existing road budget. This means more potholes in the inner city, which we cannot have.
We, the undersigned, demand that the City continue its $225 million commitment to the $600 million Southwest Transitway extension project so we don't lose $375 million in Federal and Provincial Funds. We, the undersigned, additionally demand that the City halt the construction of infrastructure to Ridgewood South and any other potential suburban developments pending approval (that is, not yet existing suburbs) until our infrastructure deficit for existing neighbourhoods is eliminated.
Winnipeg, as a city, has horrible roads filled with crater sized potholes and suffers repeated water main breaks. These infrastructure problems especially hurt our inner city. This is because for years the City of Winnipeg has not provided us with real Transit Choices and alternatives to car use for routine trips.
At the same time our City has also approved new suburban developments like Waverley West and Ridgewood South when population growth didn't warrant it. That means that our road budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner by the cost of building and maintaining ever more new infrastructure in ever more new outer suburbs. This has resulted in skimping on maintenance for roads in older neighbourhoods.
Winnipeg, as a city, is behind the curve on Rapid Transit. Only a few years ago did our City of 663,617 people get its first few kilometres of Rapid Transit with the start of the Southwest Transitway.
Our city is also filled with potholes, water main breaks, and other critical infrastructure problems. The suspension of cars and bodies of cyclists can really take a beating on our roads.
These two problems go hand in hand. Our city doesn't provide transit choices to all Winnipeggers. This means many people have to drive their personal automobiles - with the high insurance and fuel costs that entails - for more trips than they'd like to because of our lack of a rapid transit system. This results in more stress and traffic congestion than necessary. This unwanted and unnecessary process of driving back and forth in personal automobiles for every single trip also causes tremendous strain on our roads. Hence, the numerous potholes and endless construction season.
Experts realized we'd need rapid transit as far back as fifty years ago. There have been many plans, including ones left by former mayor Glen Murray, but most of them were scrapped or stalled.
Waffling on rapid transit in the mid 2000s by City Hall also annoyed the Province and Feds, who've shown interest and commitments to helping our City build a Rapid Transit system. Eventually, though, a few kilometres of the Southwest Transitway were built. The City, Province, and Federal Government came to a $600 million deal to extend the Southwest Transitway.
The Southwest Transitway will connect our downtown to the growing Southwest of Winnipeg and make trips between the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba easier. This is what we need as a city to thrive in the new knowledge economy: collaboration between post-secondary institutions in different parts of the City.
Winnipeg City Councillor Scott Fielding, however, launched a petition to halt the construction of the Southwest Transitway until various infrastructure mega-projects are completed. The total cost for the Southwest Transitway is $600 million, whereas the various infrastructure mega-projects Fiedling listed total $639 million.
Unfortunately for Fielding's misleading narrative, the City's only contributing $225 million to the Southwest Transitway extension. The remaining $375 Million is coming from the Province and the Federal Government.That $375 Million isn't the City's to spend as it pleases. If a mayor Fielding or City Council influenced by his mindset blows the deal we could lose $375 Million.
And $175 million of the Southwest Transitway City-Provincial-Federal funding deal is ALREADY GOING TO ROAD AND SEWER REPLACEMENT COSTS!
As a City, we cannot stall on Rapid Transit anymore. We have to get the Southwest Transitway done pronto and then start building a comprehensive rapid transit *system* to provide real road relief through transit choices to Winnipeggers.