Demand for more mobility and exercise amid lifestyle changes imposed by
the lockdown has also boosted bike sales across the UK.
"Very strong" bicycle sales at bike and car parts chain Halfords this
week saw its shares soar by 23%.
Some bike stores are battling to meet demand. Broadribb Cycles in
Bicester normally despatches 20-30 bikes a week, but manager Stuart
Taylor says the shop is currently selling 50 bikes every day - and
seeing a commensurate rise in demand for servicing.
"It's just gone crazy," he told the BBC. "People are dragging bikes out
of sheds and garages and finding they need new tyres and cables.
But rusty cyclists may be nervous on busy roads, so the pressure group
Cycling UK has commissioned research showing how 100 "pop-up" lanes in
10 English cities could make cycling and walking easier.
The Scottish government has announced£10m of funding for councils to
provide temporary space on the roads this way
and Cycling UK is urging ministers in Westminster to follow suit.
Sent from my tablet
Cycling in London could increase tenfold and pavements could be widened to
g-until-at-least-end-of-year-says-whitty> physical distancing and queueing
outside shops, under plans to overhaul the capital's streets post-lockdown.
As part of the <https://www.theguardian.com/uk/london> London Streetscape
plans, new walking and cycling routes along major corridors would be
fast-tracked , including temporary cycle lanes along routes such as the busy
thoroughfare of Euston Road.
But the office of the London mayor,
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/sadiq-khan> Sadiq Khan, said millions
of journeys a day would need to be made by other means, with London's public
transport capacity potentially running at a fifth of pre-crisis levels.
If people were to switch even a small fraction of those journeys to cars,
Khan said, London risked grinding to a halt, air quality would worsen and
road danger would increase.
The mayor and <https://www.theguardian.com/uk/transport> Transport for
London (TfL) said they would work with boroughs to focus on three areas:
* The "rapid construction" of a strategic cycling network, using
temporary materials, with new routes, aimed at reducing crowding on public
* A "complete transformation" of local town centres so that people
can walk and cycle where possible, including widening footways on high
streets so that people can safely queue outside shops.
* Reducing traffic on residential streets and creating "low-traffic
<https://www.theguardian.com/uk/tfl> TfL said its modelling suggested there
could be a tenfold increase in distances cycled, and up to five times the
amount of walking compared with pre-coronavirus levels, if travel demand
*Dropping speed limits best path to traffic ‘calming,’ says councillor*
Changes to Winnipeg speed limits and new traffic safety measures could be
on the horizon for city residents over the coming months.
On Wednesday, a Standing Policy Committee report, advocated for “a whole
new suite of traffic calming measures” was accepted by council – although
the road to safer streets in Winnipeg is paved with controversy and
The motion was partly in response to ongoing complaints filed by concerned
residents regarding vehicle speed problems on city streets.
Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverly West) said the report will align Winnipeg with
many other jurisdictions regarding traffic safety initiatives.
“There are many new approaches to traffic calming that many cities
throughout the world are using,” she said. “One of the things that I’ve
learned is traffic calming is very labour intensive, time-consuming and
Lukes said that many Winnipeg streets were designed with cars at the top of
the transportation pyramid – resulting in the need for traffic calming and
“And expenses are being incurred,” she said. “Many of our streets are still
being designed in a manner that does not encourage traffic calming. In my
almost two decades of working on active transportation initiatives, I’ve
never heard more public outcry than I have in the last few years.”
To avoid wasting a fortune on road safety infrastructure, Lukes said the
best way to bring about calmer streets is lowering speed limits.
“Of course, there would be some initial investment for signage,” she said.
“Cities all over the world are lowering speed limits on residential
Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski) agreed with Lukes about the need for traffic
calming but had his own take on excessive speed on Winnipeg streets.
“The condition of the street dictates how fast people are driving,” he
said. “Our streets are so bad that nobody’s actually speeding. They’re not
speeding because there’s – I guess you could call them – natural decay
speed bumps called potholes all over the place. I think it’s very important
that public consultations do happen.”
Cutting to the chase, Eadie said the biggest problem on Winnipeg streets is
drivers who flout the rules.
“And I’m not just going to blame drivers,” he said. “There are cyclists who
don’t follow the rules of the road, and they cause problems for everybody
as well. Everybody needs to follow the rules and do things appropriately.
Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege. Police can’t be on every street
and every block.”
Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort-Rouge East Fort Garry), said that a cost-benefit
analysis leads her to believe that lowering residential speed limits to 30
km/hr is a “cheap alternative” to other, more costly, traffic safety
initiatives like speed bumps.
“I just want to acknowledge the budgetary reality that need not be if we
just reduce speeds.”
Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights – Fort Garry), said that if council
decides to lower speed limits, residents will continue to “drive the road.”
“We can arbitrarily say we should have 10 km/hr or 30 km/hr,” he said. “But
the problem is we’re going to have to do some road modifications if we
don’t want to have people driving at those speeds.”
Orlikow said that safer streets can’t be predicated on a one-size-fits-all
“We have to have many different facets to it,” he said. “But, it is a
serious issue that we are facing.”
Mayor Brian Bowman explained that creating safer streets is a long-term
project that could take years.
“I do obviously think that adopting new processes for triage, for analyzing
and implementing requests for traffic calming measures is entirely
appropriate at this stage.”
Report puts more school-zone driving restrictions on city’s radar
SCHOOL-zone speed limits are here to stay and could be expanded in the
future, according to a public service review from the City of Winnipeg.
A review of all school-zone speeding tickets issued in 2018 in the East
Kildonan and Transcona districts revealed the reduced 30 km/h limit appears
to be achieving its goal of slowing drivers. Fewer speeding tickets were
issued in those zones than in photo-radar areas near schools that didn’t
have a lowered speed limit.
Based on feedback from school administrators in six local school divisions,
the report’s authors have flagged several school-zone changes the city
could consider, including keeping lowered speed limits in effect all day,
every day, not just during school hours; placing school-zone limits at
middle schools and high schools; and expanding school-zone limits to
streets that are near schools but not necessarily adjacent to school
Those suggestions haven’t been officially put forward as recommendations,
but the report notes some of the changes could be made with approval from
city council and/or changes to municipal bylaws.
The review, which was released as part of the agenda for next week’s East
Kildonan-Transcona community committee meeting, was requested last spring
by city councillor Shawn Nason (Transcona), who said he hears regular
concerns about speeding in the ward, which contains several school zones,
and he wanted to know the location of the problem areas.
Nason said Wednesday he will review the report.
“One of the things I was looking for was areas that were having increased
photo-radar tickets, so that we could look at safety perspectives,” Nason
The majority of speeding tickets issued near schools in the ward were via
photo radar, on streets where there is no lowered speed limit. Very few
tickets were handed out for speeding in 30 km/h school zones, according to
the review. Most tickets were issued in “school areas” that have signs
identifying them as such. The signs allow photo radar enforcement to happen
there, but the posted speed limit is not lowered.
The most common place to get a “school area” photo radar ticket was at
northbound Plessis Road, north of Rosseau Avenue West. Of the total of 523
tickets issued in East Kildonan-Transcona in 2018, 198 tickets went to
drivers in that spot. Another 104 speeding tickets were handed out near
Polson School, at 491 Munroe Ave., which doesn’t have a lowered speed limit.
Despite the 30-km/h limit in place outside of St. Joseph the Worker School,
at 505 Brewster St., 25 speeding tickets were handed out there in 2018,
making it the most commonly ticketed reducedspeed school zone in the
City eyes repairs, Arlington Bridge rebuild in limbo
THE City of Winnipeg is seeking bids to extend the life of the Arlington
Bridge — a century-old structure that has survived no shortage of criticism
or construction since it was built in 1912.
Last week, the city posted a request for tender for a contractor to
undertake numerous structural steel-related repairs to the North End
overpass. Among them: replacing eroding or corroded elements and installing
new steel pieces, including diaphragms, support brackets and decking.
The contractor would be required to temporarily support the floor beams
framing to enable construction while the bridge is still open, according to the
Bids will be accepted until May 22.
For years, the city has sought technical expertise and community feedback
on the future of the bridge, which was originally built to connect two
Winnipeg neighbourhoods, the West End and North End, separated by the CP
Since the 1940s, the bridge’s condition has been questioned, leading to
countless temporary closures — as well as warnings of a permanent one. It
was expected to be demolished this year.
The latest posting comes almost one year since the city completed its “A
Better Bridge for Arlington” project.
“Today, the bridge is nearing the end of its usable life and must be
replaced,” states a public engagement report posted on the city’s website
in May 2019.
Last year’s report expanded on a 2016 functional design study of the
Arlington Street structure. The design study determined it was best to
replace the bridge in its current location.
Designs with accessibility standards, improved active transportation and
better traffic flow in mind were submitted and considered. Two final
proposals included three permanent traffic lanes (two northbound and one
southbound), two unidirectional bike lanes and two sidewalks.
However, the transformation of the viaduct remained in limbo because the
project never received funding. The lowest estimated price tag for a
bridge is $319 million.
In June 2019, a city report identified 22 major capital projects for the
next decade — a new Arlington Bridge included — that totalled $4.9 billion.
Mayor Brian Bowman said the report underlined the need for greater
financial assistance from other levels of government.
More recently, the city ranked upgrades to the aging North End sewage
treatment plant, relocating its insect control centre, and replacing
residents’ water meters as top infrastructure priorities. In a list of
infrastructure priorities, the Arlington Bridge placed 31st.
Running alongside a major thoroughfare, it’s no surprise to see fast-food
boxes and wrappers, bottles and cans, cardboard and plastic bags littering
the Bishop Grandin Greenway in the spring.
For years, the Friends of the Bishop Grandin Greenway have organized a
spring clean-up event that sees community members remove thousands of kilos
of garbage from the greenway.
The greenway is a 4.7-kilometre long multi-use trail that stretches
alongside Bishop Grandin Boulevard from the Red River to the Seine River,
with connections into the Waverley Heights area.
"In past years, we usually see 40 volunteers come out on a specific
clean-up day," Nicole Grabowski, a Friends board member said. "Last year,
we picked up 700 pounds (318 kilograms) of trash."
This year, with the need to avoid contact to reduce the spread of COVID-19,
the Friends cancelled the formal event and replaced it with a clean-up week
from May 3 to 9.
The Friends have attached garbage bags to the mileposts along the trail,
which they are asking people to fill with garbage and debris as they travel
the greenway. Once filled, the bags can be dropped at the mileposts — which
are located near major intersections — or behind the service shed at the
end of Glen Meadow St. (near the tunnel) or by the community garden.
Bishop Grandin Greenway volunteers will collect the garbage bags throughout
"This is important to me, given what the greenway means. It’s a link to
other active living paths in other parts of the city. You can see geese and
other birds, and see a lot of people out enjoying the day, on bikes, roller
blading and walking," Grabowski said.
She is a resident of River Heights, but joined the board of the Friends a
year ago in order to volunteer for a green project.
Friends’ vice-president Derick Young has been a board member since 2009. He
said the idea for the greenway came about 20 years ago when local seniors
expressed dismay about the decline of green space in St. Vital.
"People began working with the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Trails
Association, and they got the trail system put in place over the next eight
years, along with a community garden," Young said, adding the greenway
continues to be expanded.
"We were supposed to hold a 20th anniversary event, but that had to be
postponed until the fall," Grabowski said.
The goal of the Friends is to restore the greenspace, and develop awareness
of the area’s natural and historical value, he said.
In the summer of 2019, they added a wildflower garden just west of St.
Mary’s Rd., run by the Winnipeg Wildflower Project. The garden plot
contains several different varieties of wildflowers and grasses from
Prairie Originals. Once established, seed from the plot will be collected
to grow native grasses and wildflowers elsewhere in the city.
The trail now links with other trails extending to Sage Creek in the east,
and to the Waverley West area. It will eventually join trails along
McGillivray Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway to form part of a city-wide
active transportation network.
For more information, see www.bishopgrandingreenway.com