Winnipeggers using a wheelchair experience a lot of inconveniences at Portage and Main

Winnipeggers using a wheelchair experience a lot of inconveniences at Portage and Main

A month has passed since the elevator broke down in the underground concourse at Portage and Main.

Vandalism is the official cause of the breakdown. Some residents of the city especially acutely feel the breakdown of the elevator. For example, Allen Mankewich, a man using a wheelchair. He is frustrated due to the situation.

"When you require different forms of accessibility, it just seems like you have to do another level of planning everytime you go out, or anytime you do anything. That can be really frustrating," said Allen Mankewich.

The city administration informed that in order to repair the elevator, a very rare detail is needed, which the elevator manufacturers do not provide.

“The City worked with the original equipment manufacturer to fabricate the part, which required additional time. The elevator is now expected to be in operation tentatively by the middle of this week.”

"It definitely needs to be looked at if there is a better way to take the mechanics out of the stairwell. It's a wide stairwell,” said Transcona City Councillor Shawn Nason.

Non-working elevator delivers a lot of inconveniences. Mankewich said that there several more lifts in the building. However, they do not work on weekends and in the evenings.

Anders Swanson from the Winnipeg Trails Association made a video. In the video, it is clearly seen how two people behave on a coffee break underground. One of them uses a wheelchair. The video shows that a person in a wheelchair has to spend two, or even three times more time to drink coffee.

"We also need to remember, there are certain reasons why you can't make decisions that impact the independence and mobility of other people. That's why the whole reason opening Portage and Main would have made sense," said Swanson.

Allen Mankewich said that working elevator is the only way to improve the situation at the moment.

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Portage and Main breakdown of the elevator Winnipeg Trails Association
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