[From the APBP listserv]
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has published a report
their phase 2 e-scooter pilot program, evaluating it against the goals they
established for it. I found a lot in the report that would be of interest
to active transportation professionals, including what types of facilities
are used, how usage changes when new facilities are installed, how to
reduce sidewalk riding and ped-unfriendly parking, what reduces pedestrian
conflict, what percentage of scooter trips replace walk/bike trips, and
Principal | *Alta Planning + Design, Inc.*
*Working remotely: c**:* 503.752.4144
Portland, OR | altago.com
Public health orders mean outdoor activity is one of few options left, but
clearing must keep up: advocates
Manitobans are being encouraged to stay active and get outdoors this
pandemic winter — but advocates say that means sidewalk and active
transportation route clearing has to keep up.
"If people felt trapped before, they're really going to feel trapped now,"
said Anders Swanson, executive director of the Winnipeg Trails Association.
The organization is working with multiple city councillors and community
groups to try to make more opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, biking
and walking this winter.
On top of those efforts, the city should be doubling down on sidewalk
clearing, with extra attention to areas around schools, grocery stores and
seniors' homes, Swanson said.
"Right now, trails and getting outside is really the only recreational
opportunity that is available. I think it's taken on an importance that
even we couldn't have conjured before this," he said.
"People are going to need to get outside. More than ever, we need to look
at … the ways we maintain our existing pathway networks to make sure that
everybody has access."
David Kron, executive director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of
Manitoba and a spokesperson for Barrier-Free Manitoba, said poorly
maintained sidewalks affect everybody.
"It's not just for folks who are in the disability community. It's for all
Winnipeggers and all Manitobans," he said. "It's a safety issue. It's an
access issue. It's [an] equality issue."
Everyone can appreciate getting outdoors and getting some exercise,
especially during the pandemic, Kron said.
"It's great to get out and get some fresh air, and it's something you can
do safely together, but separately," he said. "It's just what everybody
'Fear of falling'
Aida Champagne, board member and consultant for the Filipino Seniors Group
of Winnipeg, said the people she works with are lonely right now and facing
limited options for how to get out of the house.
Sidewalks can be treacherous even with very little snow, and popular
options for indoor activities, like mall walking, are closed.
"It's too lonely to be cooped inside a house, especially for some seniors
without any relatives, or living alone in their apartments or a nursing
home," she said.
Connie Newman, executive director of the Manitoba Association of Senior
Centres, said the seniors she works with — and she herself — are also
apprehensive about getting outdoors in the winter.
"For many of us and many of our centres, the ability to get outside and
enjoy relatively OK fresh air right now is very, very important for own
mental health and our physical health," she said.
"I love to walk in my neighbourhood, and yet with our icy conditions, it
makes it almost impossible because of fear of falling."
'A bleak winter if we don't'
No matter your reason for getting outside, Swanson said it can have a major
impact on mental health.
The Winnipeg Trails Association has some projects in the works that he
hopes to share more information on soon, but everyone can play a role in
helping make the outdoors accessible, he said.
"What we're looking at doing is bringing enhanced winter trail activities
to every area of the city, because, quite frankly … it's going to be a
bleak winter if we don't," he said.
"I think that there's a role for everybody to play, to be honest."
Champagne and Newman echoed that sentiment.
If you're a business owner or a homeowner, ensuring the sidewalks in front
of your property are cleared can be a huge help, they said.
"The more the individual person can do on our side streets, on our
cul-de-sacs, to make sure the front sidewalks are cleared — that would be a
great support," Newman said.
"From a city point of view, our main sidewalks should be cleared. And if
they can't be cleared, there should be sand on them so that we can all
Kron added that one perk of the pandemic has been the increased ease of
working from home, which has helped some in the disability community who
had faced challenges in their commutes. He hopes to see that change last
longer than COVID-19.
Michael Cantor, manager of maintenance for Winnipeg's public works
department, said the city isn't planning on doing anything differently
regarding sidewalk or active transportation clearing this year, but will
continue an effort launched last year to enhance clearing of those areas.
The city worked with community groups like Bike Winnipeg to determine which
active transportation routes are the highest priority, he said.
He expects to see more people using those routes this season, as usual
winter recreation options remain closed due to public health orders.
The city launched *new features on its website for snow clearing this year*
<https://www.winnipeg.ca/PublicWorks/snow/default.stm>, so residents can
check an interactive status map to see crews' progress during major plowing
Spending time outdoors in the Manitoba winter still might not be everyone's
idea of fun, but Swanson said this is the year to change that attitude.
He's focused on highlighting the benefits of winter in Winnipeg.
There's magic out there waiting to be found, he said.
"We take … this embracing of winter pretty seriously," he said. "We think
this winter is going to be the winter that sort of defines us as a city,
because it can sink us in a lot of ways."
Begin forwarded message:
From: Barrie Kirk <bkirk(a)cavcoe.com>
Date: December 3, 2020 at 6:08:05 PM CST
To: "Zdan, Terry (MI)" <Terry.Zdan(a)gov.mb.ca>
Subject: City of Toronto's Automated Sidewalk Winter Maintenance Challenge
Tired of falling, councillor wants to give icy sidewalks the slip
HE has fallen multiple times on pavement so slick that even thick winter
boots couldn’t keep him upright.
“I can remember two total wipeouts. Just falling onto the ground and ending
up horizontal,” said St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard.
Now Allard, chairman of city council’s public works committee, is searching
for ways to make sidewalks and active transportation routes less slippery.
The councillor, who has tried to rely on Winnipeg Transit and active
transportation as much as possible since January 2018, said he’s fallen a
few times over the past two years, including one incident that damaged his
In November, he said he slipped twice in one walk while turning right onto
Main Street near city hall, at one point grabbing a building to avoid
hitting the ground.
“The sidewalk was icy and slippery and the road was pristine, bare
pavement,” said Allard. After he raised the issue on social media, Allard
said he heard from hundreds of Winnipeggers who also want the city to find
a way to make sidewalks and paths less treacherous.
The councillor said he’ll raise a motion at a council committee in January,
which would require city staff to study how to improve the condition of
sidewalks and active transportation paths. The motion will call on the
public service to study the health costs linked to slips and falls on
sidewalks and how changes to snow clearing and ice treatments could make
the surfaces safer.
“I think there are always ways to make things better, so I’m asking the
questions,” he said.
Allard said he wants the city to consider factors such as increasing sand
and salt treatments to add traction, new snow and ice control equipment,
and an altered snow clearing schedule.
Southdale resident Mary McWilliams said she agrees there’s room for
improvement, especially on the Vermillion Road sidewalk she avoids walking
on each winter.
“There’s just a sheet of ice,” said Mc-Williams. “I’m a senior, and I had a
hip replacement a couple of years ago, so I would not even try to walk on
it for fear of falling.”
Last winter, the city implemented some sidewalk and active transportation
snow-clearing improvements, which cost about $800,000 annually.
Michael Cantor, Winnipeg’s manager of streets maintenance, said those
changes ensure that snow is cleared from entire active transportation
routes to avoid gaps and that top-priority sidewalks (typically the most
used ones) are cleared each time at least five centimetres of snow
accumulates on them.
“Before, some of those paths weren’t cleared on a priority basis and they
were more cleared based on whether resources are available. Now… it’s
defined based on usage,” said Cantor.
Cantor said that’s triggered a “dramatic improvement” in snow clearing,
while ice control is still performed on an as-needed basis, following
sidewalk inspections and 311 complaints.
Cantor said the city could explore additional work to remove ice, though
changes would largely depend on how much council is willing to pay for the
joyanne.pursaga(a)freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga