‘Everyone should have a voice’: City looking for public take on the future of Graham Avenue

The City of Winnipeg is looking for your input on the future of a major downtown artery.

As part of its overall CentrePlan 2050 downtown revitalization project, the city is reaching out to residents and stakeholders for input on the future of Graham Avenue. The initiative comes as part of a broader redevelopment plan following the relocation of bus routes as outlined in the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan.

Graham Avenue currently serves as a key downtown thoroughfare for Winnipeg Transit buses, cyclists, and pedestrians. However, bus routes are relocating to Portage Avenue within the next five years, so the city is now looking at ways to reimagine Graham Avenue’s purpose and design.

Phase 1 of the public engagement process kicked off with a comprehensive public survey, as well as several stakeholder seminars. City Councillor Sherri Rollins, whose Fort Garry-East Fort Rouge ward includes Graham Avenue, says people overwhelmingly want Graham to become a pedestrian walkway, with no vehicles allowed.

Rollins is excited about the future of Graham Avenue. “Whether it’s a stylist or a bookstore, there’s something really special that has in the past gone on and can be revived in the future,” she said.

“We’re going to attract people by creating that place to stay, that place to play, that place to shop,” Rollins said, adding that it’s about making Graham Avenue a destination that caters to the diverse needs of those living, working, and visiting downtown.

The engagement project comes during a period of high crime in downtown Winnipeg. The city’s most recent homicide happened on Graham Avenue on Friday, a broad-daylight attack that has Winnipeg police searching for suspects.

“On Dec. 15, 2023, at approximately 1 p.m., Winnipeg police responded to the 200 block of Graham Avenue for the report of a female that had been stabbed,” said Const. Claude Chancy.

The city has published the Phase 1 results online. Rollins encourages all Winnipeggers to take part in future public engagement for Graham Avenue.

“Everybody should have a voice in the downtown, the downtown should be Winnipeg’s playground,” she said.

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