Recently, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce proposed a two-block beautification plan to screen backyards along Route 90. Instead of embracing the long-needed idea, the local media and residents went out of their way to pan it.
That’s what’s wrong with our town these days. We’ve lost our ability to see the big picture and to make things work instead of finding objections to every plan.
Let’s take hold of this bold initiative by the Chamber and overcome some of those objections.
First, a couple of residents have worried that the proposed fence would isolate their back alley, making it a haven for criminals. That issue is readily solved by making the back alley an asset for residents, with attractive lighting and plantations of flowering shrubs and vines facing the backyards, as well as on the freeway side of the fence. This could even improve property values, not to mention screening some of the noise from the busy freeway.
City Council is worried about the estimated $7-million cost, which is really not that much in the context of the payback in pride and forward thinking by citizens and investors.
They need to look at the forest and not limit their thinking to the trees. The fact is, the airport route is an eyesore from start to finish and the only thing wrong with the Chamber’s plan is its limited scope.
We need a comprehensive approach that would include:
- Development of a complete route beautification plan.
- Creation of a designated airport route.
- Education of taxi drivers to follow the designated route.
- Priority expenditure to clean up and repair the route by city streets and parks departments.
- Buy in (or by-laws) to encourage local businesses to clean up and follow the plan.
This is not only doable, it’s vitally necessary for our city’s pride and our future prosperity.
Dorothy Dobbie is the publisher at Pegasus Publications Inc.