*(Thanks to Terry Zdan for the share)*
*New Report Highlights Ways to Improve Safety of Protected Bike Lanes at
The * Transportation Research and Education Center* at *Portland State
University* published a report
that offers suggestions on extending protected bike lanes through
intersections. Protected bike lanes are becoming increasingly common around
the United States, yet there is little guidance for how to extend the
protected lanes through one of their most dangerous links: the
intersection. Led by Chris Monsere and Nathan McNeil of Portland State
University in collaboration with Toole Design Group, the latest report from
the National Institute of Transportation and Communities (NITC) offers
contextual guidance for designing intersections that are comfortable for
*Strategies to Develop Accuracy Checks for Bike and Pedestrian Count Data*
The * Transportation Research and Education Center* at *Portland State
University* published a study
that highlights methods to improve the accuracy of bicycle and pedestrian
traffic monitoring data. The research provides a practical method to verify
bicycle and pedestrian traffic counts and improve data review efficiency.
The results of the research will help planners better estimate bicycling
and walking to inform policy and decision making.
Beth McKechnie (she/her) *| *Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3777 x102 | 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
*Councillor blasts city after accidentally walking into traffic *
A WINNIPEG councillor got a scare Wednesday when he accidentally walked
into oncoming traffic, coming off a downtown sidewalk that was recently
narrowed by the public service.
Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski), who is blind, was walking north from a media
interview at Portage Avenue and Main Street, towards city hall around 7:30
When he passed around Main and Bannatyne Avenue — a strip that had part of
its sidewalk narrowed this fall to accommodate a new loading zone — Eadie
said he accidentally stepped off the sidewalk and into the road.
The councillor said he was met with honks from drivers passing by, and one
motorist stopped to direct him back to the sidewalk.
“I just thought you know, ‘What a stupid setup.’ It makes it very
difficult, especially in the winter. In the summer, there would be more
identifiable markings at my cane-tip level that would have given me a cue
as to where I was. But when you feel snow and stuff, it’s a different
situation,” Eadie said.
Afterward, the councillor blasted off an angry email to the directors of
public works and planning, property and development (an email he mentioned
would have contained more “F sharps” had he not been more relaxed thanks to
a recent trip to Mexico).
“Please remember to consult with stakeholders before running off
half-prepared for the outcomes of changing our right-of-ways!” Eadie wrote
in all caps.
“I want to live a long accessible life as independently as possible. I
don’t need anymore disabilities, thank you very much!”
The narrowing of the sidewalk in question drew scrutiny last year, as it
shrunk from 4.9 metres wide to 2.2 metres with little public consultation.
The pavement was pared back to make way for a new loading zone in front of
the School of Contemporary Dancers at 211 Bannatyne Ave, to help make room
for student drop-offs after the loading zone to the west side of the
building was replaced with a bike lane.
Ken Allen, a communications officer with public works, said the
transportation planning division has to balance pedestrian, cyclist and
motorists’ interests when designing downtown right-of-ways.
The juggling act “sometimes involves making compromises to achieve an
acceptable solution for all users,” he said by email.
Allen emphasized the new path still meets Winnipeg’s downtown accessibility
standards, which legally require a 1.5-metre sidewalk. He said the street
changes at the site included concrete pavement, curb and sidewalk repairs;
construction of new curb ramps and asphalt overlay; and installation of
detectable warning tiles at the intersection near 211 Bannatyne.
Eadie said he was grateful there weren’t more cars on the road at the time
of the incident, but doesn’t know if the public service could improve
anything about the accessibility of the strip.
On a later trip back to the area with the Free Press, Eadie couldn’t
pinpoint the exact spot where he wandered into the road, but explained he
must have come off the sidewalk — which is fairly low to street level — and
into the loading zone, due to lack of traffic noises so early in the
jessica.botelho(a)freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @_jessbu
*Wolseley traffic-calming plan touted for cyclists *
DOWNTOWN residents can expect more one-way streets, protected bike lanes
and traffic-calming measures if the city’s proposal for active
transportation in and around Wolseley and the core gets the green light.
Following more than a year of public consultations, the City of Winnipeg
has made public its plans for the “Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project.”
The blueprint aims to close gaps in the area’s pedestrian and cycling
network, while increasing safety and convenience for all commuters.
It suggests making sections of major arteries, including Westminster and
Wolseley avenues, one-way to prevent short-cutting that backs up traffic on
surrounding residential streets. Also on the table are more right-on-red
light restrictions, speed humps, and raised bike lanes and crosswalks.
“Everybody has a right to get where they want to get to and you hope you
can go as quickly as you can, regardless of your mode of transportation,”
said Greg MacPherson, executive director of the West Broadway Community
“I think they’ve done a good job of trying to balance convenience and
safety, and the overall hope for a greener approach to transportation in
MacPherson said the community has been pushing for changes to the flow of
traffic in the area for years, since a large chunk of residents don’t own
vehicles. He typically commutes on foot, although he also bikes and owns a
While 70 per cent of the city’s population drives to work, the latest
census data indicates only 37 per cent of residents in West Broadway rely
on cars as a go-to mode of transportation. About 32 per cent take the bus,
20 per cent walk, and nine per cent bike to work.
Wolseley resident Nicholas Douville, 38, bikes to work every day — rain or
shine, summer breeze or windchill. He submitted some of the 11,000 comments
the city received during phases 1 and 2 of the project.
Douville said his main concern is Maryland Street gets so backed-up during
rush hour motorists try to sneak through residential roads and create
traffic jams, which can put cyclists in danger due to increased traffic in
areas with no bike lanes.
To avoid short-cutting, the city has proposed a westbound one-way traffic
stretch between Maryland and Chestnut streets. As for other one-way
sections, the city has proposed restrictions for eastbound traffic along
Westminster, as well as Young and Balmoral streets west of Langside Street.
“If there was a bike lane that could be cleared (on Westminster) and kept
up, that would be the greatest thing, because I wouldn’t have to worry
about driving straight along with cars,” said Santiago Lasko, a 16-year-old
student who commutes to and from high school in the West End.
A protected bike lane could stretch along Westminster, starting at Chestnut
in the west, to Young and Balmoral streets and Granite Way until Osborne
Street in the east, as per the plan.
Mark Doucet, the study’s project manager and a transportation facilities
planning engineer with public works, reiterated the intent of the study is
to balance all commuter interests.
Members of the public are invited to provide feedback online.
The city is also holding an open house for in-person consultations at
Westminster United Church on Jan. 29, 6-8 p.m.
*(Thanks to Terry Zdan for the share)*
*Stop as Yield Law*
Starting on January 1st a new law went into effect making Oregon the fourth
state with a "Stop as Yield" law for people riding bikes (Idaho, Delaware,
& Arkansas being the other three). Also known as the "Idaho Stop" after the
law that was first passed there in 1982, this new law allows people on
bikes to approach an intersection with a stop sign at a "slow speed" and if
it is clear (no other person with potential right-of-way present) then they
may proceed through the intersection without coming to a complete stop. If
there is a pedestrian or other vehicle that has the right-of-way then the
person on the bike is *still required to stop*.
Different from the Idaho law there is no provision to treat a red traffic
signal as a stop sign (except a flashing red light used at stop controlled
intersections). This section from Idaho, which allows people riding bikes
to treat a red traffic signal as a stop sign, was added in 2006 but was not
considered for the Oregon bill.
It's important to remember that this "Stop as Yield" law still requires
people riding bikes to STOP if a pedestrian, a person in a car, or another
road user may have the right-of-way at the intersection. Be courteous, take
your turn, and be safe. If you've approached the intersection with care and
it's safe and clear you can keep that momentum going and roll on through!
For more information on how the law came to be read this post on
BikePortland.org: "*How Oregon Got Idaho Stop*
*Oslo holds key to making Winnipeg safer *
* Norway’s capital bans cars in certain areas*
BRENT Bellamy has long called for more bike paths and pedestrian-friendly
streets to make Winnipeg safer by reducing the number of fatal collisions.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising for the senior design architect with Number
Ten Architectural Group (who also writes a column in the Winnipeg Free
Press) to take to social media Friday, pointing out different civic
policies created different results in 2019. In Winnipeg, two cyclists and
13 pedestrians were killed on city streets; in similarly-sized Oslo, zero
such fatalities were recorded.
There was one angle Bellamy didn’t tweet about: he could easily have been
the third cyclist killed, when an inattentive SUV driver collided with him
at Wellington Crescent and Academy Road in early December.
“I was so lucky,” he said Friday. “(The driver) was turning and looking for
an opening, and I was yelling at him but he plowed into me.
“He hit me just behind the seat. I have a Dutch bike, so I sit upright, and
it was just like a tablecloth being pulled out — the bike was hit and I was
left on the pavement in the same position.”
Such an incident would likely not have happened had he been cycling in the
Norwegian capital instead of Winnipeg, he said. One of the biggest reasons:
Oslo has banned cars in certain areas of the city.
As well, Oslo has replaced almost all of its downtown parking spots with
lanes for bicycles, benches to sit on, small parks to congregate in,
greenery, and dropped speed limits to 30 km/h.
“The biggest difference between the two cities is just political will —
they just decided to do it and they did it,” Bellamy said.
“I was there five years ago, and they had no bike lanes and they have hills
— it’s not a great place to bike — but they just decided, ‘Let’s do it.’
Traffic was getting worse there, just like here. We have 15,000 more cars
on the road every year. Oslo was the same,” he said.
“They decided they could build expensive, big roads or they could ban cars,
build 15 kilometres of bike trails each year, and expand public transit —
and it has worked.”
Bellamy pointed to a tweet by Anders Hartmann, who works on policies for
walking, cycling and road safety in Oslo, which had information on the
number of road deaths in the city.
Hartmann, after noting, “This makes me happy,” pointed to a graph that
shows road deaths in Oslo, now with a population of 673,000, has not only
been going down since 1975 (41), but has dramatically fallen since about
Hartmann also noted the only fatality in traffic last year involved a
driver who died after a car struck a railing at a light rail station. No
children died in a traffic-related death in Norway in 2019.
Still, Hartmann posted it doesn’t mean Oslo had reached Vision Zero, a
global traffic project aimed at having no fatalities or serious injuries
caused by vehicles. It began in Sweden in 1997, and the City of Winnipeg
has since adopted it.
“While we are making great progress, there is still a way to go to
consistently keep deaths at zero for all road users,” he said.
Marc Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg, said the Nordic countries
and the Netherlands are at the forefront of Vision Zero, and he would like
to see Winnipeg follow their lead. “The numbers show if you use that
pathway, the results are there,” Cohoe said.
“The numbers of people killed in a collision over there is miniscule
compared to the numbers in North America. Losing 13 or 15 people on our
streets isn’t acceptable. Why do we accept it on our roads, but we wouldn’t
in the workplace? I’m hoping we can do more with the city’s transportation
master plan this year.
“Over there, they say five minutes of inconvenience isn’t worth the lives
we are losing — we will still get around. And they have buy-in from the