The City is currently undertaking the Wolseley to Downtown Corridor Project
to identify options to improve travel choices, accessibility and
connectivity. When completed, the corridor will provide improved
connections to the Omand’s Creek pathway, the protected bicycle lane on
Assiniboine Avenue and Sherbrook Street, the bike lane on Maryland Street,
and the planned neighbourhood greenway on Ruby Street
Input from the community is an essential component of the study process.
The first round of public engagement for the Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike
Project took place in November, 2018 involving a variety of in-person
events, school travel planning and opportunities to participate online. The
input received has been summarized in the Phase 1 Public Engagement Report
and will be used to inform the development of concepts, alongside technical
Phase 1 reports are available at the links provided below:
- Phase 1 Public Engagement Report
- Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary Report
Phase 2 of public engagement is expected to begin in late winter 2019. This
phase will provide members of the public and area stakeholders the
opportunity to review and provide feedback on the preliminary design
options and alternatives.
Phase 3 of the public engagement is planned for late spring 2019 and will
focus on sharing the final design recommendation and highlighting where
public input influenced the design of the project.
For more information visit winnipeg.ca/walkbikeprojects
*Councillor wants to amend bylaws so Winnipeg is prepared when craze hits*
* City aims to ride e-scooter wave *
THE latest craze to hit urban streets across North America is poised to
roll into Winnipeg, and Coun. Matt Allard wants to be prepared.
“We want to be ready for electric scooters because this is happening across
North America,” Allard said. “They’re coming, so let’s get it right.”
The scooter craze that swept up young people almost 20 years ago has gone
high-tech. Several companies, including Lime, Bird, Skip and Spin, have put
thousands of electric scooters on the streets in major cities around the
world. Even ride-hailing pioneers Uber and Lyft have e-scooter operations.
“There have been problems in other cities and I see this as an opportunity
to put the rules in place before the industry gets here,” Allard told the
Allard, chairman of council’s public works committee, has authored a motion
for Tuesday’s committee meeting. It directs city administration to prepare
a report in 180 days about bylaw changes to facilitate dockless electric
scooter and electric bike-sharing.
While billions of dollars are being invested in e-scooter and e-bike
ventures across the globe, the headlines are dominated by the nuisance the
scooter industry is creating for many municipalities. They’ve become so
common in many downtown neighbourhoods that they’re considered litter.
People who dislike them have thrown them into garbage bins, rivers and
lakes and collected them in piles and set them on fire.
“We don’t want to see that happening in Winnipeg, so we need to get the
rules in place,” Allard said, adding a representative from Lime has
approached him. The introduction of dockless electric bikes and scooters
into Winnipeg is inevitable, said Anders Swanson, CEO of the Winnipeg
Trails Association, adding that developing policies to regulate them should
be a simple process for city hall.
“Any new technology comes with questions, but the era of electric bicycles
is here already,” Swanson said. “Electric bicycles have become extremely
popular around the world and I’ve seen electric scooters in Austin and
hundreds of people using them. Anything that gets people out and active is
a really good idea.”
Dockless electric bikes and electric scooters are rented via a smartphone
app, which allows the renter to locate the nearest bike or scooter, unlock
the device, then lock it when the ride has ended.
The first authorized use of dockless electric scooters in Canada began in
October at the University of Waterloo. It’s a pilot program between Lime,
the City of Waterloo and the university. The scooters are restricted to a
6½-kilometre set of trails linking the Waterloo campus with its nearby
technology park. News reports indicated the pilot, which was suspended for
the winter but will resume in spring and end in August, will be used by the
city to determine if and where it can be expanded.
Chris Schafer, Lime’s representative in Canada, said the company wants to
work with municipalities to put rules in place that deal with the number of
scooters and bikes that can be deployed, and where they can be parked.
“This is a phenomenon that is happening globally and in Canada. It’s a good
time for Winnipeg to take a look at it,” Schafer said. “This is another
option for active transportation.”
In October, Calgary gave Lime the go-ahead to operate a fleet of 375 rental
electric bikes for a two-year trial period. A second operator will put its
fleet into operation this spring.
Schafer said administrations in Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Windsor,
Ont., are studying how dockless electric scooters can be put in place.
This month, Edmonton instructed its administration to have dockless
electric bikes and electric scooters operating on city parkland by June.
Council is asking the Alberta government to allow electric scooters on its
active transportation network.
Schafer said electric scooters are designed for short trips, as an
alternative to a private car or taxi.
Lime charges $1 to “unlock” the electric bikes and scooters and 30 cents
“They’re designed to be the first-kilometre, last-kilometre mode of
transportation, to get you in and around the city,” Schafer said. “You’re
not taking a scooter from Winnipeg to Brandon.”
The bikes are powered by swappable batteries, which are replaced as needed
by independent contractors, known as “juicers,” or local Lime staff,
Schafer said. The electric scooters are charged overnight, he said,
collected either by local Lime teams or juicers, who are responsible for
placing them back onto the street the following morning.
Ideally, Schafer said, electric scooters would be allowed on all shared
active transportation networks: roadway bike lanes and dedicated AT path
“Electric bikes and scooters tick all the sustainable boxes for cities.
It’s not a car, it’s shared and people can access it when and where they
need it,” Schafer said.
Allard believes minimal change is required to accommodate electric
bike-sharing since e-bikes are permitted on city streets.
But scooters — whether manually driven or the electric variety — are not
permitted on Manitoba roadways and will require changes to the Highway
Traffic Act and city bylaws.
Allard said he wants the administration to consider how the e-scooter and
e-bike businesses can be regulated and where scooters and bikes can be
parked while waiting for customers to use them.
About 34,000 incidences of type 2 diabetes, stroke, breast cancer and
depression would be prevented in seven key cities between 2017 and 2040, if
cycling increased at the same rate as in London since the millennium,
according to analysis from Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity.
<https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/cycling> Cycling levels in London
have more than doubled since 2000 but have remained largely static across
the UK, where public transport is worse and car culture reigns.
Just 34% of men and 42% of women do 150 minutes of physical activity each
week, which is the minimum amount recommended by Englands chief medical
Physical inactivity <https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng90/chapter/Context>
costs the NHS about £1bn each year, rising to some £7.4bn each year when
costs to wider society are included.
The Sustrans report, Transforming Cities: The potential of everyday
cycling, estimates that more than 1bn cycling trips would take place in
2040 in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester
and Newcastle if those cities followed Londons lead.
The National Institute for <https://www.theguardian.com/society/health>
Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is recommending that cars come last when
new roads are built or old ones upgraded. Not just cyclists but also
pedestrians and those who use public transport should be prioritised, it
Physical inactivity is responsible for one in six UK deaths, which is as
many as caused by smoking. It is estimated to cost the UK £7.4bn annually,
which includes £0.9bn in NHS costs.
People can feel less safe when they walk or cycle compared with when they
drive. Weve got to change this. So asking planners to prioritise
pedestrians, cyclists and those who use public transport when roads are
built or upgraded can ensure they are safe, attractive and designed to
encourage people to get out from behind their wheel. .
*Winnipeg Foundation offer another wild card for city *
THE Winnipeg Foundation has made city hall an offer it hopes the mayor and
councillors cannot refuse.
Fast approaching its centennial year celebrations, the foundation has
offered the City of Winnipeg up to $5 million to push two intriguing plans
up its priority list of capital projects.
One is the construction of a bike-pedestrian bridge over the Assiniboine
River near Osborne Street, in an effort to provide a safer, dedicated route
for people not taking cars downtown to connect to the Active Transportation
The other is the rehabilitation of the former Carnegie Library on William
Avenue, the former home of the city archives.
The cost for the two projects is estimated at roughly $24 million, meaning
the foundation’s contribution would translate to about 20 per cent of the
total price tag.
It’s a generous offer from an institution that has proven itself time and
time again to be a force for good in the city, particularly the downtown.
However, the Winnipeg Foundation’s proposal is, in some ways, a bit of a
wild card for Mayor Brian Bowman and city council at a time when they have
more than a few fiscal wild cards to deal with.
Bowman said Tuesday the city will delay the release of its 2019 operating
budget in the hopes of getting more information from the province on its
grants. The unwillingness of the province to provide details is certainly
causing council some sleepless nights.
That said, a monetary contribution from a private charity to city
infrastructure is hardly unprecedented.
The foundation has contributed to more than a dozen high-profile public
amenities, including the Forks Market, Canadian Museum for Human Rights,
Old Market Square, Central Park, Paterson Global Foods Institute at Red
River College’s Exchange District campus, Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park,
and the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre (now under construction on
Most recently, the Winnipeg Foundation (a public charitable organization
established in 1921) provided a $1-million contribution to build a scenic
lookout as part of the $10-million promenade along Taché Avenue in St.
However, it is unusual for a charity to approach council with a request it
reprioritize the five-year capital plan.
The city is currently focused on basic, core infrastructure. Council is
already spending more than $100 million annually on roads. Add to that
enormous road-related projects such as the Waverley Street rail underpass
and the Chief Peguis Trail extension, and you can see how the gross
majority of the available money is focused on repairs and improvements to
the hard surfaces motor vehicles travel every day.
Meanwhile, efforts to get money for more progressive projects have been met
with mixed results.
The last council did, to its credit, carve out significant sums to support
the still-evolving Active Transportation Network’s dedicated bike lanes and
pedestrian paths. However, veteran councillors have, at times, shown a
limited appetite for projects that stray from the narrow band of core
That was certainly part of the motivation behind successful efforts to stop
the redevelopment of the Portage Avenue and Main Street intersection so it
could be reopened to pedestrians.
A number of arguments drove the ‘no’ side of the 2018 plebiscite campaign.
However, the core argument was tax money should be focused on roads, not
wasted on what was described as a “pet project” of Bowman and the downtown
professionals who spearheaded the ‘yes’ campaign.
Where does that leave projects such as the pedestrian-bike bridge and the
Rick Frost, chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Foundation, said he is
well-aware there are no immediate plans to start work on either. The
archives are languishing in temporary warehouses, while community
consultation on the bridge design is still underway.
However, Frost said there will be no political efforts made to convince
council to get behind the plan to move up civic funding for both projects.
Rather, the foundation will ask council to assess whether a contribution of
$5 million is attractive enough to reshuffle the capital projects deck.
If council balks, he said, the foundation is prepared to stand down its
offer. “We’re not going to lobby the city. If (council) does not want to
take us up on this offer, then we’ll move on and do other things.”
Council does have several strong motivations to take the offer.
Both of the projects identified by the foundation are, in fact, part of the
long-term capital plans. And there just isn’t enough money in the capital
budget to keep feeding the insatiable political desire to fix roads and
provide modern public amenities. Just ask the folks in St. Boniface, who
have watched the Notre Dame Arena shut down from a lack of funding to
replace its ice plant.
The city has worked with the foundation before, and the results have been
spectacular. The list of assets and amenities that involved public and
philanthropic money is testament enough to the value this relationship has
Let’s hope councillors see the value in the foundation’s gesture, and put
aside petty concerns about non-road-related infrastructure projects. In
local government, as is the case in life, looking gift horses in the mouth
is rarely a winning strategy.
*Winnipeg Foundation in giving mood as 100th birthday nears *
HERITAGE and cycling advocates are celebrating the Winnipeg Foundation’s
most recent birthday invitation.
Two civic capital projects — renovation of the former William Avenue
library and construction of a cycling and pedestrian bridge across the
Assiniboine River — could be one step closer thanks to an offer of
financial support from the country’s oldest community fund.
The Winnipeg Foundation announced Tuesday it is offering the City of
Winnipeg up to $5 million to leapfrog the two projects forward in the civic
budget process, so they would be completed in time for the foundation’s
100th birthday in 2021.
However, there are strings attached: the funds are being offered only in
support of the two proposals.
The former William Avenue library opened its doors in 1905, thanks to a
$75,000 grant from American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew
Carnegie. It last served as the location for the city’s archival collection
until a rainstorm damaged the roof during renovations in 2013. It has been
Last year, the National Trust for Canada placed the building in its 2018
top-10 endangered places list.
The proposed pedestrian and cycling bridge would link Osborne Village to
the Broadway-Assiniboine neighbourhood and the downtown. It would be
constructed between McFadyen Park and Fort Rouge Park, roughly midway
between Osborne and Donald streets. Possible options would be to build it
as either a girder, suspension or cable-stayed bridge.
“God bless the Winnipeg Foundation,” was the reaction Cindy Tugwell,
executive director of Heritage Winnipeg, said she had when she heard the
organization wanted to assist in the proposed renovation of the former
William Avenue library. “They want to save heritage when nobody else
does... The Carnegie library was well underway to being renovated when the
rainstorm came in the summer (of 2013). If not for the rainstorm, the
archives would have never left the building.”
As for the bike and pedestrian bridge potentially being pushed to the front
of the line, Mark Cohoe of Bike Winnipeg said: “That’s amazing.”
“This really takes this project from the realm of ‘If we’re lucky,’ to
something more doable and realistic,” he said. “It is exciting news.”
Cohoe said the bridge has long been dreamed of by local bike advocates.
“It helps create access across the river and into Osborne Village,” he
said. “It also creates a city landmark... It would make a huge difference.
It would encourage a lot more people to get out there.”
Rick Frost, chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Foundation, said in a
statement the foundation’s centennial projects proposal acknowledges the
past and gives a nod to the future.
“For all citizens of Winnipeg, it is critical we preserve, embrace and
learn from our past if we are to build a better future,” he said. “The
second half of our proposed centennial project looks to the future of our
city — bringing people together and spanning lines that often divide.
“A new pedestrian and cycling bridge... will provide a direct, safe and
convenient connection for walking and biking that plugs into the city’s
growing Active Transportation Network.”
Frost asked Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and city councillors to look at its
proposal favourably during the upcoming 2019 civic budget process.
The library, the city’s first and its main branch, was closed in 1977, when
the Centennial Library (now known as the Millennium Library) opened. The
William Avenue library reopened a year later, and was home to the city’s
archives until 2013.
While city administration has asked the building be renovated, and include
a temperature and humidity controlled vault, the plan has since been
rejected by civic politicians.
A spokesman for Bowman said the mayor is aware of the Winnipeg Foundation’s
proposal. “He has recommended to them that it be raised, discussed, and
considered as part of the 2019 budget preparation process, which is a
trajectory the Winnipeg Foundation has indicated they’ll follow at city
hall,” the spokesman said.
“The mayor believes any city-building proposal and partnership merits
consideration, and looks forward to reviewing this proposal and any others
as part of the open and transparent 2019 budget discussions.”