The city will host an Open House on Oct. 20 to unveil detailed designs for long-term plans to upgrade Manitoba Avenue West. The Open House will be held at Gaynor Family Regional Library from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The City of Selkirk established the Manitoba Avenue Task Force in 2009. Members of city council – currently Kelly Cook, who acts as chair, Darlene Swiderski and April Hourie – along with city staff and members of the province’s Manitoba Infrastructure department sit on the task force.
Planning ahead for future development
The task force has studied the performance of the street and has consulted with the public numerous times since its inception. On Oct. 17, city council will adopt the Manitoba Avenue Detailed Design Staging Plan – a document that reveals the vision for Manitoba Avenue and the timeline that upgrades and improvements will occur. The plan addresses work related to the street, sidewalks, pathways and sewer and water.
Adopting a long-term vision for Manitoba Avenue aligns with the city’s Strategic Plan in several ways – the public consultation process engaged the entire community in shaping our future; improving Manitoba Avenue helps build a strong and stable economy by taking firmer control of our economic destiny and building on Selkirk’s status as a regional service centre; and the plan helps achieve maximum value from our resources.
City of Selkirk Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol said Manitoba Avenue is currently functioning exactly as it should. The Detailed Design Plan is broken down into short-term work that will be addressed in 1-5 years; medium-term work that will be addressed in 5-15 years; and long-term work that will be addressed in 15-plus years.
“We took a long-term approach on this. Right now the street is functioning at peak performance, there’s really no problems with it,” Nicol said.
“The engineers, based on accepted practices and standards for roads say that Manitoba Avenue is functioning within the design parameters, so there’s really no requirement to do anything at this time.”
But the city is taking a proactive approach and planning to do the work required to accommodate increased traffic and development in the future.
Manitoba operating within accepted levels
Dan McDermid said the city has studied everything from traffic counts on Manitoba Avenue to wait times to turn onto Manitoba from five different intersections and all numbers fall within the recommended traffic and wait guidelines.
“We are at the point where it’s suggested that we start planning for changes to the roadway to improve its performance,” McDermid said.
Nicol said those familiar with Selkirk will have noticed heavier traffic flow on Manitoba in recent years, due to increased development. It is busier, he acknowledged, but still operating within accepted levels.
“It’s busy, but it’s Selkirk busy,” Nicol said.
“It’s become one of the busiest streets in town, so there is a change. Long-time residents of Selkirk have noticed that traffic has been impacted by the growth and development, but it’s still operating within the design parameters of the roadway.”
Short-term plans include an Easton Drive intersection upgrade, addition of a consistent pedestrian and cyclist route on both sides of Manitoba, sewer repairs and an upgrade to the Manitoba Avenue and Hwy. 9 intersection.