Councillor Jeff Browaty wants to see the question of opening Portage and Main put on this October’s civic election ballot.
The North Kildonan city councillor introduced a motion at city hall Thursday to consider a resolution to place the following question on the Oct. 24, 2018 ballot: “Do you support the opening of Portage & Main to pedestrian crossings? YES/NO.”
The motion will be considered at the next council meeting on July 19.
“I remain opposed to the opening of Portage & Main to pedestrian crossings for many reasons,” Browaty said. “I believe we should have an honest debate, get all the facts on the table and that we should consult with the public through a ballot question during the October 24, 2018 election.”
“If I am a member of the next council, I am prepared to respect the result of this vote,” Browaty said.
Portage and Main was closed about 40 years ago due to an agreement with the city and building owners on the street’s corners to force pedestrians underground to an underground concourse. Critics say the concourse is dark, confusing and highly inaccessible to those with disabilities, and having the iconic intersection closed to pedestrians had made the corner bad for business.
Others say the corner should remain closed, fearing for pedestrian safety and traffic snarls.
Any vote on the election ballot would not be binding.