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City slams brakes on Osborne Village pedestrian scramble

A proposed pedestrian scramble at a busy Osborne Village intersection has been rejected.

In October, the Winnipeg public service was asked to look into options for improving pedestrian and cyclist safety at River Avenue and Osborne Street. Among the proposals was an option to eliminate an existing slip lane in favour of continuous sidewalks and scramble intersections.

A scramble intersection allows pedestrians to cross simultaneously in all directions, including diagonally, while vehicular traffic is stopped. According to a report before the public works committee, pedestrian scrambles are used in several other Canadian cities, but not in Winnipeg.

The report highlights pedestrian scrambles not only improve pedestrian safety, but also “increase pedestrian visibility, comfort and positive place making for the neighbourhood.”

However, the public service is recommending against adding a pedestrian scramble at the intersection “because it would likely increase both vehicle and pedestrian delays and also be cost-prohibitive.”

The report outlines a scramble would increase wait times by 20 seconds at the intersection. The report said other intersections nearby would also be impacted by the extended traffic signal cycle length.

The report also rejected plans to eliminate the slip lane citing it would negatively impact Winnipeg Transit users and motorists.

The public works committee meets Tuesday, April 9 at city hall.

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