A timely discussion next Wed after work at the Good Will (poster
*From:* Urban Brew <urbanbrewwpg(a)gmail.com>
*Subject:* Urban Brew: Sidewalks First! Winter City Accessibility March 28
There’s been a lot of talk lately about sidewalk accessibility – not just
during Winnipeg’s winters, but all year round. And not just for people with
disabilities, but for older folks, parents with strollers and pedestrians
of all kinds.
We’re tackling this topic at our next Urban Brew event, March 28 at the
Good Will Social Club. If you don’t know, Urban Brew is a group of
Winnipeggers who meet quarterly over beers to talk about better urban
design. At this event, we’ll hear from experts and then break out into
smaller discussion groups to explore ways other winter cities deal with
sidewalk maintenance that might work in Winnipeg.
All the details are on the enclosed poster! Please consider attending, and
sharing the event with your network.
We would love to see you there!
The Urban Brew team
Hello AT network...
I wanted to make sure to extend a warm early invitation to ModeShift
<http://Modeshift.ca>- an exciting new event coming up next month, starting
on the 15th April.
I doubt any of you will want to miss it.
Tickets for Janette Sadik-Khan at the WAG on April 16
on sale now and likely to sell out, so get yours soon.
Choosing the early bird ModeShift registration option gets you into the WAG
event and a whole lot more, including a full conference on April 18-19.
What's happening that week?
We have high profile guests coming to speak from the US, the Netherlands,
Canada, and equally exciting folks from here at home.
Besides a tight-knit conference, there will be public events in the evening
that week, outdoor tours, dinner dates, action taking place on the street
and more. Engineers, urbanists, planners who love cycling take note:
Herbert Tiemens and engineer/planner responsible for bicycle policy for the
region of Utrecht is a go-to voice both nationally and internationally on
all things Dutch design. He will be giving an intensive pre-conference
workshop. Be there. Details coming soon, but save April 16-17 if you can.
And academics, culture makers, public health experts: don't miss Kay
Teschke talk. She wants to talk about helmets (yes, she's going there...)
and other things she has not been shy to research in her time heading up
some of the most well-known transportation research coming out of the UBC.
Robin is a veery smart and interesting guy. I can't wait to tell you what
Mr.Mazumder is cooking up. If any of you would be willing to use your
professional expertise to work with youth to help make their city-building
dreams come alive, you will want to join us for that too.
A full slate will be released by the start of April but I think you will
find this all pretty darn exciting already. I do.
Watch the website for regular updates as we put on the final touches.
Check out this video teaser on Twitter
<https://twitter.com/WinnipegTrails/status/974325127973400576> and Facebook
share widely if you like it!
If you want to get more directly involved or here details, give me a call.
Would love to chat and tell you more.
ED, Winnipeg Trails
Conference Director for ModeShift
* Mayor mulls snow-clearing changes after complaints*
COMPLAINTS about the poor job of sidewalk clearing following last week’s
snowstorm have prompted Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman to speculate about
changing how the work is done.
Bowman told reporters Wednesday he is willing to change the sidewalk
snow-clearing policy, if the city can afford it.
“I’m open to making changes, if we can improve the quality of service for
thosewho rely on our sidewalks to get around our city,” Bowman said.
“I think reviewing the policy is a good idea. I think we should be open to
changes that can work within our financial means to improve the quality of
service for those that have accessibility needs.”
Advocates for the disabled, cyclists and transit have long complained the
policy favours vehicles over other forms of transportation, and last week’s
storm only added to the controversy.
While most Winnipeg streets are clear of snow, sidewalks in many areas
remain impassible. Many people complained city hall wasn’t following its
own rules for clearing sidewalks downtown and on busy streets within 36
hours of the end of a storm.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re walking, biking or taking transit, the system
we have is just not working for everyone,” said Mark Cohoe, executive
director of Bike Winnipeg.
“A week delay between a snowstorm and a clean street that is accessible for
you is just not workable.”
Allen Mankewich, a wheelchair
user who lives and works downtown, said there’s no question the city is not
complying with council’s direction to clear sidewalks on busy streets at
the same time as the roads.
“I live on a P1 (regional) street and I wasn’t even able to get down my
street until earlier this week. A week after the storm, I had to go a
different way each day just to get to work,” he said.
Mankewich said when he tried to manoeuvre a downtown sidewalk three days
after the storm, he ended up flipping his wheelchair.
“The job that they’ve done wasn’t adequate,” he said.
“As far as I can tell, the snow-clearing policy that is on the books, they
weren’t even following that.”
Mankewich said clearing sidewalks to compacted snow conditions is acceptable
when the temperature falls below -20 C.
When the temperature hovers around freezing, as they have since the March 5
storm, the snow is too soft and creates conditions that are impossible to
traverse for people who have mobility issues and for those who use a
He said some of those people have been forced to use roads, despite concern
Councillors have been waiting two years for a report on how to improve
In March 2016, the public works committee directed the public works
department to work with various stakeholders— Winnipeg Trails Association,
Bike Winnipeg, Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities and the city’s
own active-transportation advisory committee — to establish terms of
reference for a review of the policy, with the aim of developing a strategy
that refocuses the priority to include sidewalks, as well as pedestrian and
It also asked for cost estimates.
After repeated delays, the administration is expected to deliver a report
to the public works committee at its April 6 meeting.
While Bowman said he’s looking forward to hearing what the administration
has to say, Cohoe pointed out it’s taken the public works department two
years just to return with a request to initiate a study that will include
cost estimates and options.
Cohoe said he suspects public works department staff is reluctant to
initiate a study requiring council to find additional funds, if making
sidewalks accessible across the city in winter is a priority.
In the meantime, Bowman said he wants to know if the department complied
with the sidewalk policy this past week.
“The question that I’ve raised with the public service (is) whether or not
the policy as directed has been followed and to what extent, over the last
week,” he said. “The direction previous councils have established is that
P1 (regional) sidewalks are cleared in the same priority as P1 roads.
Report in today's Sun:
The key to the fountain of youth may rest on the back of a bicycle.
A new study found that cycling can hold back the effects of aging and help
boost the immune system.
Researchers studied a group of 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 and
compared them to a group of 75 healthy adults aged 57 to 80 who did not
exercise regularly and 55 young adults between the ages of 20 and 36.
It found cyclists preserved muscle mass and strength as they aged, while
maintaining stable levels of body fat and cholesterol.
According to the research, an organ called the thymus, which makes immune
cells called T-cells, typically starts to shrink at 20-years-old. However,
the thymuses of older cyclists were generating as many T-cells as those of
“Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his
message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary
society,” said professor Janet Lord, director of the Institute of
Inflammation and Aging at the University of Birmingham to the U.K. Guardian
“However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing
automatically makes us more frail. Our research means we now have strong
evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout
their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer
but not healthier.”
The study’s findings were outlined in two papers for the journal Aging Cell
City homes in on option two for greenway extension
*Addition will connect pedestrians from St. James to Dan Mac *
The City of Winnipeg is prioritizing a fasttracked option for the Yellow
Ribbon Greenway extension.
On March 6, the CoW hosted a public info session on the YRG at the
Bord-Aire Community Centre (417 Hampton St.), which saw a small but engaged
turnout. The drop-in event was aimed at providing area residents with
probable plans for a pedestrian (cycling and walking) corridor to be added
between the existing YRG and St. Matthews Avenue.
Option one is a connected pathway which would take pedestrians northeast
off of the existing greenway, just as it dips south to meet Silver Avenue.
Option two is a much shorter pathway and would take cyclists and walkers
north from the greenway, just before it meets Silver Avenue, to where it
would join St. Matthews Avenue.
The budget for option two is $750,000, while the budget for option one,
including the construction of a bridge, is $1.3 million. The City’s active
transportation co-ordinator Stephanie Whitehouse said most people want to
see this connective trail put into place as soon as possible, and the
difference for cyclists is only 60 seconds extra time with option two,
making it favourable with the community as well.
Whitehouse said while stakeholders and engineers explored a number of
options internally, cost and timeline are big factors in why the City is
tentatively moving ahead with option two.
“It proved the preferred option because we can roll it out relatively
quickly within this year,” Whitehouse said. “Option one wasn’t really
within our current budget, so it meant construction would have to happen
over a few years.”
The plan looked promising to some residents.
“It’s encouraging,” Westwood resident Paul Gittel said at the event. “If
you have more people cycling, you’ll have a healthier population. I don’t
cycle in the winter, I cross-country ski, but that adds an option for
people who do (cycle).”
Whitehouse said the project will connect two areas of the city that already
see a lot of cycling.
“What it’s supporting is, of course, local access to this amazing YRG, but
as well, we want to support the commuter movement
towards the downtown, where we’ve got the University of Winnipeg, the
downtown core, Polo Park.”
St. Matthews Avenue should also see the completion of buffered bicycle
lanes this summer, which Whitehouse says is a “key corridor” towards the
Coun. Scott Gillingham (St. James-Weston-Brooklands) said the extension was
a campaign promise that he’s very excited to see through.
“I’m hearing more and more from people that want to cycle, not just for
recreation but as a means of commuting to and from work or school, and by
providing this pathway, it increases the confidence that cyclists have
because a lot of it will separate cyclists from vehicles,” Gillingham said.
“This will connect St. James to the River Heights area and downtown, and
it’s a very important project.”
More info and maps can be found at winnipeg. ca/publicworks/pedestrians
Cycling/ walkbikeprojects/yellowribbongreenwayextension. stm#tab-documents