'Playing catch-up': Winnipeg mayor weighs in on adjustable bike grid ideaCoun.
Janice Lukes has been trying to get her council colleagues on board with a
plan to catch up to other major cities quickly with a downtown bike grid.
*By:* Braeden Jones <http://www.metronews.ca/authors.jones_braeden.html>
Winnipeg’s Mayor Brian Bowman is setting off for the Big City Mayors’
Caucus meeting in Ottawa this week, where he’ll sit on a panel with his
colleagues from the west, Mayors Gregor Robertson, Don Iveson and Naheed
They’re not meant to discuss cycling, but among that company, Bowman is the
lone leader who hasn’t fast-tracked the expansion of downtown bike lanes.
On Tuesday, after the current and former chair of Winnipeg’s public works
committee traded jabs over the former’s attempt to get a downtown
adjustable grid fast tracked — in vain — Bowman weighed in on the concept,
and whether or not Winnipeg is late to the game Vancouver, Edmonton and
Calgary are already playing.
“I don’t agree we are falling behind, we are actually playing catch-up
significantly,” Bowman said.
He explained this current council “inherited” poor active transportation
(AT) infrastructure, and said it’s “going to take time to play catchup,”
but noted progress has already been made during his tenure.
“It’s a 20-year long-term plan, but let’s even look at this year,” he said.
“This year we increased the AT budget by 57 per cent, a sizeable
improvement from the previous year.”
He also lauded the council-supported pedestrian and cycling strategy.
But even with that plan, AT upgrades in Winnipeg are tied to road renewal
in most cases, far from the quick turnaround pushed for by big-city mayors
he’s meeting with this week.
Innovative solutions like Edmonton’s efforts to install adjustable pre-cast
curbs to rapidly build bike lanes downtown, which is still underway but was
just initiated last fall, are exactly what former public works chairperson
Coun. Janice Lukes tried to get current chair Coun. Marty Morantz to
Bowman said he’d look at “any opportunities” the city has “to do things
more efficiently,” but he wouldn’t voice support for the idea, even in
“It would be nice to fix all of the roads, to build all the bike paths, and
fix everything with transit all in one year, but we are committed to a
thoughtful plan that is an award winning plan, and pursing its
implementation,” Bowman said.
Winnipeg city councillors exchange barbs over bike lanes
Former public works chair accuses successor of ignorance after he quizzes
her on urban-cycling theory
By Bartley Kives, CBC News
The question of whether bike lanes help or hinder traffic safety generated
a cycle of barbs at city hall in a dispute between council's current and
former public works chairs.
On Tuesday, Coun. Janice Lukes (South Winnipeg-St. Norbert) appeared before
the committee she used to oversee to express concern that the city is about
to delay the construction of an adjustable grid of downtown bike lanes.
This prompted her successor, public works chair Marty
Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge), to suggest bike lanes do not
protect cyclists from traffic accidents at intersections.
Morantz also asked Lukes if she is familiar with the work of 87-year-old
U.S. cycling activist John Forester, who lobbied in the 1970s for cyclists'
right to use the road and argued against keeping bicycles separated from
Lukes, the former director of the Winnipeg Trails Association, asked
Morantz if he was familiar with anything about cycling before he became
public works director.
Outside the committee room, Lukes called Morantz ignorant.
"I think he just doesn't understand. He doesn't follow this," Lukes said.
"It's just ignorance."
Lukes said she remains upset that Morantz amended her request to ask the
city to study the idea of installing an adjustable downtown bike grid as a
means of quickly creating more room for cyclists. Morantz, she said,
amended that motion to simply find out whether the grid is consonant with
city active-transportation guidelines.
"Had he read it in the first place, he would have seen that it was in
there, but this was more of a delay tactic," Lukes said. "This probably
won't happen in two or three years or longer. The only way it will happen
sooner is if it's the mayor's priority."
Morantz said he has conducted his own research into urban cycling and he
believes there is an alternative to what he described as the "conventional
wisdom" about protected bike lanes.
"I don't think any debate is ever settled," Morantz said. "I think it's
important for people to know that there's another school of thought."
Morantz said city hall should be lauded for spending more on cycling
infrastructure "than we ever had before" and denied he is attempting to
scuttle an initiative favoured by Lukes, who was removed from the city's
executive policy committee last fall by Mayor Brian Bowman.
Bowman, for his part, said he believes protected bike lanes do serve
"That's what the experts tell us," the mayor said. "When we developed our
pedestrian-cycling strategies, it contemplates protected bike lanes in many
The city plans to spend $4.7 million this year on conventional
bike-and-pedestrian infrastructure, plus another $3.6 million to extend
buffered bike lanes along Pembina Highway between DeVos Road and Killarney
Avenue and $1.6 million to create protected bike lanes on Empress Street
between Portage Avenue and St. Matthews Avenue.
Bike grid discussion returns to City Hall TuesdayCoun. Janice Lukes says
she plans to reiterate her call for city staff to look into the feasibility
of fast tracking a downtown bike grid, Tuesday.
In the time it took Winnipeg’s public service to report back on whether an
adjustable grid of bike lanes would fit the city’s existing plans, Edmonton
has installed nearly 7 km of protected cycling infrastructure
That really frustrates Coun. Janice Lukes, who last fall pitched a similar
adjustable infrastructure to expedite the bike-lane build
locally, around the time councillors out west unanimously supported
fast-tracking their version by this spring.
She hosted a well-attended info session with experts involved with bold
cycling infrastructure projects in Calgary and Edmonton on a panel, then
tried to get the Infrastructure and Public Works committee (IRPW) to order
a report on what it would take to follow suit in Winnipeg.
But rather than research cost and feasibility, the committee asked
administration to take 120 days to report back on whether the concept
aligned with existing pedestrian and cycling strategies (PCS).
“Surprise,” Lukes said Sunday. “They’ve come back and said it is in the
plans. Imagine that.”
An administrative report going to the IRPW committee Tuesday confirms what
Lukes said about half a year ago, council had already looked at the roads a
downtown “grid” would go on, and “adjustable methods” are already
“considered as an implementation method at some locations.”
The report notes “adjustable” bike lanes are a deployment method of
protected cycling facilities, and concluded with “this being the case,
adjustable methods for the implementation of a protected bike facility fits
within the goals and objectives of the PCS.”
Administration recommends the committee accept the report for
information—there is no further action advised.
“I guess what I am going to have to do then is come back with my original
motion… direct the department to study it again,” Lukes said. “Now that we
see it is in fact in the strategies, hopefully (the committee) will say,
‘okay, let’s study what it’ll cost to implement downtown in a short
While she is pleased IRPW committee members will now know the public works
department is acquainted with her preferred implementation method, and
hopeful it can gain traction, she’s less happy with how the process has
“We need to start it now, then refine it, that’s the whole idea with an
adjustable grid,” she said.
Lukes explained that a protected bike grid allowing people to travel safely
around the heart of a city is part of a bigger picture, with growth, civic
pride, place making, bolstering the economy, and attracting new businesses
and workers all in the frame.
Without that bigger picture in the equation, she thinks it’s worth moving
quickly on this item “for safety” at the very least.
But she worries the IRPW committee, whose chairperson said “taking a baby
step forward on this is a good idea” when her motion was changed in
November, will concur with the administrative report to the point that
there is no action taken, and no appetite for catching up to similar cities
rolling out grids across the country.
Even if the committee does support her original motion, she still has
little hope that a new report would be ready in time to get a plan into the
2018 budget by the fall, pushing the whole idea back to 2019 at the
“It’ll never get in unless the mayor made it a priority,” she said.
*Excellent article and resources on StreetsBlog:*
For 20 to 30 years now, many cities have been laying down bike
infrastructure where it’s cheap and easy..
...cities are now looking systematically for possible connections between
their existing bikeways.
These examples [in Austin, New York City, Tallahassee, Seattle and
Vancouver B.C.] demonstrate the value in shifting away from focus on the
“low-hanging fruit” of bike infrastructure – streets with excess auto
capacity or unused parking – and toward the most important roads for
bicycle connectivity, even if they require difficult tradeoffs. These
changes may be more politically difficult, but if chosen well they promise
bigger payoffs in ridership and safety.
Thought others might also have missed this article published last month (or
was it just me?)...
Racks, corrals and cages: Winnipeg adding more bike parkingCyclists will
have more parking options this summer, especially downtown where the
downtown BIZ has plans for three eight-spot corrals.
Considering the plethora of parking lots in Winnipeg, it can be hard to
believe that some commuters struggle to find a spot – but that's often the
reality for cyclists.
And that's why Mark Cohoe said it was a good thing that city council
approved a grand total of $185,000 in grants to create more bike parking
"There's some areas where (bike parking) is better… but if you get into
other areas it drops off significantly," said Cohoe, executive director of
Bike Winnipeg. "There's definitely some spots where it's really hard to
Stephanie Whitehouse, the city's active transportation coordinator, said
the money allocated this week "is a culmination of two years of budgets,"
as 2016 grants "hadn't gone out."
She explained the grants follow the city's approved strategies by giving
groups like business improvement zones (BIZ's) funding to increase their
area's bike parking.
"They hear from local businesses and people where the demand is and then
they facilitate and install the facilities," she said, adding it often
factors into "beautification" efforts.
Once the group decides what they'd like to install and where, the public
works department reviews the plan prior to installation.
Grants approved this week include $45,000 to the Downtown BIZ, $15,000 for
the Exchange District BIZ, $5,000 for the Old St. Vital BIZ, and $10,000
each for the Corydon, South Osborne, Transcona, West Broadway and West End
Melanie Andrushko, the acting transportation project manager for the
Downtown BIZ, said the plan is to spread new bike racks "throughout the
downtown and the Exchange District in 2017."
"We will be looking to add to the current inventory of bike racks situated
on the sidewalks, but we would also like to try and add two on-street bike
Known as "bike corrals," the on-street parking is meant for high traffic
locations and can fit eight bikes or more–the grant approved for the
Downtown BIZ is for three corrals, worth approximately $32,000, as well as
other short-term racks.
Andrushko said 400 responses to a recent BIZ-led transportation mode survey
found "most respondents would like to use cycling more as their preferred
mode of transportation," so the new racks and corrals are helping make that
Whitecourt said she's eager to "get the ball rolling" on the corrals, which
could be permanent fixtures.
"We did have some in the past but they had to be installed then removed,
they were seasonal… they don't always weather well," she said. "We're
looking for a durable one."
Council also approved $30,000 for Bike Winnipeg to install racks in areas
without a local BIZ, and $30,000 for the Green Action Centre to install
racks and bike cages at schools.
Whitehouse said the bike cages, which are exactly what they sound like, are
a response to bike theft happening "repeatedly," which is "particularly
traumatic for children."
"To lose such a valuable piece of equipment for them is hard… also we are
looking to encourage more kids to bike to school," she said.
For anyone adding it all up on their calculator who noticed that all
amounts to just $175,000, kudos, the final $10,000 is for the Winnipeg
Public Service itself to install a bike cage downtown at 180 King St. for
city staff to use.
That installation follows the city's pedestrian and cycling strategy goals,
which binds the city to demonstrating "leadership in providing short-term
bicycle parking for visitors to the City of Winnipeg facilities and secure
long-term parking and end of trip facilities for employees at municipal
*Sustainability Planner (Temporary)City of WinnipegPlanning & Land Use*
*Closing date: June 1, 2017 *The Sustainability Planner works
collaboratively with City Departments, other levels of government, and the
community to achieve the City’s goals of sustainability and environmental
quality as directed by the Mayor and Council by providing the
administrative support and coordination appropriate to develop, maintain
and enhance sustainability initiatives. In addition to sustainability
initiatives, under the direction of the Principal Planner, this position
also participates in divisional projects and tasks related to mid- and
long- range planning as required.
*As The Sustainability Planner You Will Be*
- Assisting the Environmental Coordinator in prioritizing and supporting
the sustainability goals and actions of the City of Winnipeg.
- Developing detailed action plans, including project scope, key
stakeholders, timelines and budgets.
- Working collaboratively with other departments, community agencies,
levels of government, community groups, etc. and represent the Planning,
Property and Development Department on working groups and community groups
dealing with sustainability initiatives.
- Drafting briefing notes, Council reports, memos, discussion papers and
other written communication on proposed sustainability policy and
initiatives and presents to the Environmental Coordinator.
- Participating in major planning initiatives, such as the preparation
of local area plans and the review of Plan Winnipeg (OurWinnipeg).
*Your Education And Experience Includes*
- Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Environmental
Studies/Science, Geography, Natural Resource Management or Planning with a
demonstrated knowledge of municipal environmental issues, or an equivalent
combination of academic and experience (critical).
- Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management, Planning,
Environmental Studies/Science, Geography, Public Administration would be
considered an asset.
- A minimum of twelve (12) months experience in planning/implementing
- Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective professional
and working relationships with a wide variety of people (including elected
and senior appointed officials).
- Demonstrated highly developed oral and written communication skills.
*Conditions Of Employment*
- Applicants will be required to undergo testing to determine their
knowledge, abilities and skills as they relate to the qualifications of the
If YOU are interested in this exciting opportunity, please submit your
application, including a detailed resume, online at winnipeg.ca/hr . OR, by
mail quoting *Posting #: 115282 Sustainability Planner by June 1, 2017* to:
Mark Laubmann, Recruitment Clerk, Planning, Property & Development, 2nd
Floor - 65 Garry St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4K4.
We have great benefits and competitive salaries, and we are committed to
ongoing learning and career development! For more information on this
opportunity and other careers within the City, visit: *www.winnipeg.ca/hr
WE SEEK DIVERSITY IN OUR WORKPLACE. INDIGENOUS PERSONS, WOMEN, VISIBLE
MINORITIES, AND PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY ARE ENCOURAGED TO SELF-DECLARE.
Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Requests for
Reasonable Accommodation will be accepted during the hiring process.
*** Please share widely. Thanks! ***
*Green Action Centre seeks Compost Courier (Driver/Cyclist) for Social
*Position Description: *
Green Action Centre seeks an independent and energetic individual who is a
proficient driver and cyclist to assist the weekly operations of our social
enterprise, Compost Winnipeg.
Green Action Centre is non-profit, non-governmental organization, based in
Winnipeg and serving Manitoba. We promote greener living through
environmental education and encourage practical green solutions for
homeowners, workplaces, schools and communities. We recently launched the
social enterprise Compost Winnipeg, a fee for service operation that offers
compost collection services to offices, food vendors and households in
In cooperation with other Green Action Centre staff, the Compost Courier
has the following duties and responsibilities:
- Pick-up, weighing and tracking of organic waste from Compost Winnipeg
- General customer service;
- Cleaning and maintenance of compost collection bins as required;
- Transportation of organic waste to composting facilities;
- Promotion of Compost Winnipeg services to potential customers;
- Regular communication and logistics planning with the Compost Winnipeg
project manager; and
- Other duties, as assigned.
Must be reliable and able to work without close supervision. Key
- Organized, punctual, responsible and self-disciplined;
- Good communication skills;
- Able to work well with others;
- Valid driver’s license;
- Competent driver with clean driving record;
- Competent cyclist;
- Ability to consistently and safely lift 25 kilograms;
- Available to work Tuesday - Friday 8:00AM – 3:30PM; and
- Knowledge of composting or willingness to learn.
Starts Tuesday June 20, 2017.
This is a permanent position with the possibility of increased hours.
Begins at $15 per hour (28 hours per week).
This position reports to the Compost Winnipeg Project Manager. A criminal
record check will be required.
Resume and cover letter must be received by 4:00 PM CDT, Tuesday June 6,
Submit a resume and cover letter to Kelly Kuryk info(a)compostwinnipeg.ca.
Digital applications are preferred. Printed applications can be dropped off
or mailed to our office (Green Action Centre 303 Portage Ave, 3rd Floor,
Winnipeg MB, R3B 2B4).
*No phone calls please.*
www.compostwinnipeg.ca and www.greenactioncentre.ca for more information.
*Beth McKechnie* | Workplace Commuter Options
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/>Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3772 | Find us here
Green Action Centre is your green living hub
Support our work by becoming a member
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/become-a-member/>. Donate at