Winnipeg committee to talk school zone lights, 7 years after initial offer

Seven years after it was first proposed, the City of Winnipeg is looking at the idea of installing flashing lights in school zones again this week.

In 2016, local business Expert Electric offered to install the lights free of charge, and five years later the city had approved one set — and then nothing happened.

Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverley West), chair of the city’s standing policy committee on public works, told 680 CJOB’s The Start that she expects the current makeup of council to address some issues — like this one — that fell by the wayside under the previous administration.

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Read more: Frustrated Winnipegger rescinds offer of free school zone lights, arguing city bureaucracy

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“I think under this new mayor, we’re going to be making a lot more decisions and being a little more decisive than in the past, and this is one of the topics we just have to deal with,” she said.

“How we deal with it, we’ll decide that at the committee tomorrow.

“We’ve got a new chair, we’ve got a new member on this committee, and we’re going to make some decisions.”

In 2020, Expert Electric’s Chuck Lewis, who made the initial offer, expressed his frustration with city bureaucracy, at one point rescinding his offer because he couldn’t deal with the headache of municipal red tape.

“It has been five years,” Lewis said at the time. “We could have probably had 50, 60 schools done by now. They know where I am and they know how to get a hold of me.”

Lewis’s original offer had been to install a pair of the solar-powered flashing lights in each of this city’s school zones — with his own crews taking care of maintenance for the first five years.

Click to play video: 'Frustrated Winnipeg electrician installs flashing school zone lights himself'

Frustrated Winnipeg electrician installs flashing school zone lights himself

Although the public service was supposed to give the committee a list of prioritized school zones, Lukes said there’s no report yet, and she isn’t sure what to expect in that regard when the committee meets Tuesday.

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“There is no list there, there is no report — so when there is no report, there’s going to be either a request for an extension of time, or there’s going to be some other statements brought forward,” Lukes said, “and then the committee will have to decide what we do.”

Click to play video: 'Former councillor, consultant respond to Winnipeg’s failure to accept gifted school zone lights'

Former councillor, consultant respond to Winnipeg’s failure to accept gifted school zone lights

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