If you’ve ever tried to walk or bike across the Perimeter (PTH 101) at the end of the Northeast Pioneers Greenway, you know it’s a question of running for your life. Playing dodgeball with motorized cars is no fun (at all). Fortunately, the provincial government recognized this and committed in 2011 to build a safe pedestrian and cycling crossing.
This important connection links the extremely popular and well-used Northeast Pioneers Greenway with East St. Paul and the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail that leads all the way to Birds Hill Provincial Park and Lockport. (If you’re interested in that route, check out this blog post on biking to Winnipeg from the park.) It also connects residents from both sides of the Perimeter with destinations such as a sports complex, soccer fields, and church.
Construction of the crossing will be part of a larger road project to build a new interchange at the Perimeter and Highway 59. A public information session took place this week – find the presentation boards from the September 24, 2014, open house here.
Green Action Centre was one of several stakeholder organizations consulted on the AT portion of this project. Here is a high level summary of key points:
- There are two possible versions of the pedestrian and cyclist crossing: (1) An AT bridge over the Perimeter or (2) an at grade (ground level) crossing with the Perimeter raised over top. The second option is being called a “through-pass” as the crossing would remain at ground level as opposed to a tunnel or underpass.
- If the AT bridge option is chosen, the height of the overpass would be about 9 metres (29.5 feet) total and would have circular rather than switchback access at either end. Use of the bridge would be restricted to AT users only.
- If the “through-pass” option is chosen, there would be a 5 metre (16 feet) shared path with a concrete barrier separating pedestrians and cyclists from motorized vehicles. There would also be separation of pedestrians and cyclists, with space allocated for each.
- Regardless which option is selected, lighting will be provided.
- Construction is expected to start in June 2015 with completion anticipated by 2018.
- We have been assured that signage will be posted to guide cyclists and pedestrians to other crossing options during the 3 years of construction.