WINNIPEG -- Several groups have joined forces to ask all levels of
government to help make Winnipeg more accessible to cyclists and
The Green Action Centre, Winnipeg Trails, Safe Speeds Winnipeg, and Bike
Winnipeg are calling on the government to create a pop-up connected cycling
network in Winnipeg.
This would mean Winnipeg cyclists and pedestrians could access a safe route
to get where they’re going no matter where they are in the city.
“Right now in Winnipeg we do have some cycle routes and some of them are
protected, but there’s giant gaps in that infrastructure,” said Mel
Marginet from the Green Action Centre.
“So for most folks, they can take a leisurely trip on their bike, maybe do
a weekend trip with their kids, but the idea is that of being able to get
to your essential services, to be able to get to your job, in the fall when
the kids go back, for them to get to school."
Marginet added, “There’s usually parts of the trip where they feel
comfortable, but there’s always an intersection or perhaps a strip that’s a
little bit scary and very intimidating, and because of that getting there
on a bike or foot just seems inaccessible and impossible.”
The groups sent out a letter in June -- addressed to Mayor Brian Bowman but
also provided to the provincial and federal governments – asking for the
connected network for walking and cycling.
Marginet noted the letter was specifically addressed to Bowman as he has
the most power in this situation.
“It’s the municipal government that really has to champion and really has
to prioritize this initiative,” she said.
On Thursday, representatives from each of the groups will be delivering the
letter to Bowman at Winnipeg City Hall, Minister Rochelle Squires at the
Manitoba Legislative Building, and then the Office of MP Dan Vandal.
Bowman has been invited to speak on the request, Squires will be available
for comment, and Vandal won’t be available for comment but welcomes
receiving the letter.
“Right now always the go-to is just to build roads and highways and we just
need to get beyond that,” Marginet said.
*- With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagace*
City Adopts New Framework to Keep Pedestrians and Cyclists Moving Safely
July 10, 2020
The City of Mississauga is moving forward with an Active Transportation
COVID-19 Recovery Framework following approval of a report
was brought to Council this week. Starting this summer, the City will
introduce more short-term and long-term active transportation options for
cyclists and pedestrians that allow for safe physical distancing. Residents
can look forward to Quiet Streets that limit vehicle traffic, temporary
road closures that provide more space for cyclists and pedestrians and 17.9
km of new separated and on-road bike lanes that will be installed by the
end of the year.
“Our efforts continue to build cities for people and ensure our residents
can continue to travel safely and comfortably around our city while
respecting physical distancing,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “It’s
especially important now that we are in Stage 2 and are further reopening
our economy that we provide residents with more ways to move. During this
pandemic, communities like ours have seen cycling increase by as much as 60
per cent. This framework responds to those needs and will work to provide
our residents with more options to travel around our City comfortably while
providing relief for our busy sidewalks, multi-use trails and enhancing
access to local amenities.”
Throughout the spring, the City installed temporary active transportation
lanes in Wards 4, 7 and 9 to give local pedestrians and cyclists more space
to practise physical distancing. The framework allows for the introduction
of more short-term options in the form of temporary road closures and Quiet
Streets. Temporary road closures will help reduce crowding in Mississauga
hotspots, particularly on weekends. Quiet Streets, which temporarily limit
vehicle traffic to local traffic only, will provide more space for
cyclists, walkers and runners to safely and comfortably use the road.
“Active transportation will shape how residents move around Mississauga
during recovery and beyond,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner,
Transportation and Works. “We’ll be expanding Mississauga’s cycling network
long-term. By adding 17.9 km of new on-road bicycle lanes and separated
bicycle lanes by the end of the year, we permanently increase the City’s
on-road bicycle lane network by 30 per cent.”
Based on data from Peel Public Health and the City’s transportation
planning teams, locations for the projects outlined in the framework have
been selected using criteria that includes: population density, vehicle
ownership per household, commute distances and potential risk of COVID-19
exposure. Locations were also chosen to help fill gaps in Mississauga’s
existing cycling network.
In addition to consulting Peel Public Health, several key City strategic
initiatives support the rapid expansion of the cycling network in
Mississauga, including the Cycling Master Plan
<https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/cycling-master-plan>, the Climate Change
Action Plan <https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/climate-change>, the Transportation
Master Plan <https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/transportation-masterplan> and
Vision Zero. The Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee was also consulted
in the development of the framework.
“Staff from across the organization have listened to residents and we
recognize the immediate need for more options to travel safely by bike or
foot, in both the long-term and the short-term,” said Helen Noehammer,
Director, Infrastructure Planning and Engineering Services. “We’re
reprioritizing our work plans and using relatively simple materials,
available budget and existing contracts in order to accelerate this work.”
No new funding is required for the projects identified in the framework.
Estimated to cost $1.3 million, budget for the projects will come from
existing funding sources, with $830,000 coming from the Federal Gas Tax
Reserve Fund and $470,000 coming from the Development Charges Reserve Fund.
Noehammer added, “The installation of additional cycling infrastructure
will lead to operational impacts. We’re continuing to finalize what
dedicated year-round maintenance of this infrastructure will look like,
especially in the spring and winter.”
To stay up-to-date on COVID-19 impacts on City services, visit
follow the City on Twitter @citymississauga
Making Furby Street safe for pedestrians
A new initiative aims to make Furby Street safer for pedestrians.
The Winnipeg Trails Association and West Broadway Community Organization
have partnered to introduce “traffic calming measures” to the block of
Furby Street between Westminster Avenue and Broadway.
They will install a mobile planter on the street, which encourages drivers
to slow down on their commutes home.
The organizations are working with public works to design the measures,
pending council approval. The City Centre community committee approved the
project, which went to the infrastructure renewal and public works
committee on July 7.
While the motion works its way through council, the WTA has designed a
prototype which it will present to the city.
Anders Swanson, executive director of the WTA, said the prototype will
serve as a visual reminder for drivers that they are moving through a
residential street and they need to be mindful of pedestrians.
“‘Traffic-calming measures’ is a very technical sounding term, what it
really means is we’re helping to make our streets into a community asset.
It’s a way to remind drivers that ‘hey, you’re entering a place where
people are living, so maybe slow down,’” Swanson said.
The WTA’s prototype is a wooden planter, placed along the side of Furby
Street. Residents will be able to grow herbs and vegetables in it, with the
bright greenery serving as a deterrent for speeding. Drivers will still be
able to use the road, the WTA hopes that the increased greenery will catch
their eye and remind them to be cautious.
The proposal is part of their Healing Trails Program, a partnership with
the West Broadway Community Organization to create a more walkable and
Greg MacPherson, executive director of the WBCO, is excited about the
proposal. He said residents in West Broadway have been pushing for a more
“Our mandate is derived from public consultations, our biggest one being
the five-year community plan. Through all of our surveys and consolations,
residents in our neighbourhood want more infrastructure for active
transportation,” MacPherson said.
“That block of (Furby Street) is very busy, it’s one of the most densely
populated streets in the area. There’s a lot of seniors, people with
chronic health issues … They walk wherever they go. Having a bunch of cars
speed through there is a huge concern for them.”
MacPherson said in the 2018/2019 census, around 60 per cent of West
Broadway residents community primarily by cycling or walking. The WBCO did
a huge survey in 2016, going door to door asking residents what they want
from their neighborhood. According to their survey, 90 per cent of
residents wanted traffic calming measures of some kind.
The City of Winnipeg has seen a push for active transportation routes
throughout the city. Recently, council extended its Sunday/ holiday bicycle
routes, closing some streets off to vehicle traffic until September.
Organizations like the WTA and WBCO have been pushing for a more walkable
city for years.
MacPherson said Winnipeg is lagging far behind other cities when it comes
“I’ve been to several other cities in Canada and around the world. I’m
sorry to say, but Winnipeg is a little behind on this. You see cities
everywhere that are starting to take active transportation more seriously,
all the studies we have show it benefits our society,” MacPherson said.
“I’d love to live in a city where I wasn’t reliant on motor vehicles to get
from A to B. Not everyone can afford a car.”
>From left: Janell Henry, Healing Trails’ program manager and Anders
Swanson, Winnipeg Trails’ executive director, standing beside one of the
planter box traffic-calming devices.
City of Winnipeg opens underpass beneath Fermor Avenue Press release from
June 8th: https://winnipeg.ca/cao/media/news/nr_2020/nr_20200608.stm#2
On June 8, Save Our Seine joined city councillors Matt Allard (St.
Boniface) and Brian Mayes (St. Vital) and Bike Winnipeg’s Mark Cohoe) at
the official opening of the new Fermor Tunnel.
This was a day to celebrate. The tunnel allows people to walk or ride
safely under Fermor Avenue. Just east of the tunnel, new trails under the
refurbished bridge allow deer, other wildlife, and people to cross under
the bridge and access the river. The new tunnel and river trails will
enhance movement along the Seine River corridor.
Canada’s history was built around its rivers. Indigenous people, voyageurs,
fur traders, and European settlers used rivers to travel across the vast
Canadian landscape. In Manitoba, people travelled on the rivers using
canoes or paddlewheel steamboats to carry heavy goods. They walked and
drove carts on muddy trails beside rivers. The rivers were transportation
corridors that belonged to everyone.
The long lot settlement pattern recognized the need for public movement
along rivers. The land along the river’s edge was considered to be “common
land.” During the development of our city, we lost sight of this history.
We overlooked the value of rivers as travel corridors. We built roads,
bridges, and buildings that now limit public access and block movement
along river corridors.
Save Our Seine’s goal is to enhance the Seine River as natural corridor for
wildlife, active transportation, recreation, and tourism. The dream is to
create a continuous trail from the Red River to the floodway.
Today, disconnected trail fragments along the Seine River are interrupted
by significant barriers. Fermor Avenue was one barrier. Highway 100 is
Thanks to another transportation project, Highway 100 will not remain an
obstacle. As part of a massive 25-year project to improve traffic flow and
safety along the south perimeter, the province has agreed to replace the
box culvert over the Seine River.
This culvert is too narrow for the river channel. It is often blocked by
debris or beaver dams that prevent canoes from passing. Terrestrial
wildlife must walk or swim through the culvert or cross the busy highway.
The new culvert will have room for a riverside trail. Just imagine, people
will be able to walk, bike, or canoe along the river between Royalwood and
St. Norbert. Deer will have a way to move safely under the highway.
Although the timeline for the culvert replacement is still uncertain, we
are already counting the days.
Michele Kading is a community correspondent for St. Vital and the executive
director of Save Our Seine.
*ONE STEP CLOSER TO 30 KM/H *
CITY council’s public works committee has voted largely in favour of a plan
to test 30 km/h speed limits.
The City of Winnipeg would also hire a consultant to study lowering the
default speed limit for all residential roads, but only if council approves
the cost in its 2021 budget process.
If council approves the changes, the speed reduction would be tested on
sections of streets with low-volume, low-speed traffic patterns, including
sections of Roch Street, Eugenie Avenue, Warsaw/ Fleet avenues, Machray
Avenue and Flora Avenue.
However, the committee also moved to require each greenway change be
subject to the area councillor’s approval before it is implemented. City
staff would also be tasked to consult with councillors on where best to
place additional speed-reduction trials, if council agrees.
I found this report today that looks at a 30km/hr vs 40km/hr speed
reduction and compares collision and injury rates. It makes a pretty strong
case for 30km/hr over 40km/hr, especially in a winter city.
Effect of reducing the posted speed limit to30 km per hour on pedestrian
motorvehicle collisions in Toronto, Canada - aquasi experimental, pre-post
*Results*:Speed limit reductions from 40 km/h to 30 km/h were associated
> with a 28% decrease in the PMVC incidencerate in the City of Toronto (IRR
> = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.58–0.89). A non-significant 7% decrease in PMVC
> incidence rates wereobserved on comparator streets that remained at 40
> km/h speed limits (IRR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.70–1.25). Speed limitreduction
> also influenced injury severity, with a significant 67% decrease in major
> and fatal injuries in the postintervention period on streets with speed
> limit reductions (IRR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.13–0.85) compared with a 31% notstatistically
> significant decrease in major and fatal injuries on comparator streets (IRR
> = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.37–1.31). Theinteraction term for group and pre-post
> comparisons was not statistically significant (p= 0.14) indicating that
> there wasno evidence to suggest a pre-post difference in IRRs between the
> intervention and comparator streets.
> *Conclusions*:Declines in the rate of PMVC were observed on roads with
> posted speed limit reductions from 40 km/hto 30 km/h, although this
> effect was not statistically greater than reductions on comparator streets.
Of note, in the results section they also note that while there was no
difference between seasonal collision/injury rates on the 30km/hr streets,
there was a marked seasonal difference on the 40km/hr roads, with winters
having a far higher collision/injury rate.
*City testing of e-scooters up to province *
A trial project deploying electric scooters throughout Winnipeg will
require a green light from the province before any of the e-powered
two-wheelers hit city streets.
An administrative report on the standing policy committee on infrastructure
renewal and public works meeting agenda Tuesday recommends the city ask the
provincial government to approve a trial for e-scooters to operate on the
city’s transportation network.
The request is the first step toward opening the door to dockless scooter
and “micromobility” operators, such as Bird Rides Inc. and Lime, in
Winnipeg. Currently, provincial legislation prohibits electric scooters
from using public right-of-ways in Manitoba.
Dockless e-scooters and e-bikes have gained some popularity with urbanites
throughout Canada for ease of access and ubiquitous availability. Electric
scooters can be deployed — on boulevards, in parks and plazas — and rented
through a smartphone application.
Users can find a nearby scooter on the app, unlock and rent the vehicle
with their phone, and then zoom to their destination, where they leave the
scooter for the next user.
“I’m pleased to see the public service has an open mind about asking the
province of Manitoba to change the law concerning scooters,” said Coun.
Matt Allard, chairman of the infrastructure renewal and public works
“I believe this technology could play a key role in our active
transportation environment here in Winnipeg, giving people more options to
get around outside of their cars.”
A spokesman for the provincial government said Tuesday in an email
statement e-scooters do not meet the definition of a motor vehicle or a
bicycle under the Highway Traffic Act.
“There is no means under the existing legislation to pilot test e-scooters
and other new vehicle technologies,” the spokesman said.
In March, the province introduced the Vehicle Technology Testing Act, which
established a framework for testing autonomous vehicles and new vehicle
technologies, he added. “Once the bill is passed and a regulatory framework
is in place, consideration can be given to safely testing e-scooters and
other vehicle technologies that do not currently conform with the (Highway
City officials hoped to work with third-party micromobility operators to
establish a short-term rental network for bikes and e-bikes, in addition to
scooters, throughout Winnipeg, but following an expression of interest
learned most major players only offer e-scooters.
“It appears that, if the city is interested in the provision of
micromobility options, the public service may have to take an active role
as a stakeholder in the operation of this program,” the administrative
report states. “The cost of such a program could be quite significant, but
there appear to be merits to offering such a program as a city service.”
The public service has asked for permission from council to develop a
business case for a city-led program.
“With the dramatic drop in Transit ridership due to COVID-19 and its
uncertain future, we need to continue to develop other alternative
transportation options for Winnipeggers who get around without a vehicle,”
Allard said. “This could fit into this picture.”
If passed by the standing policy committee, the report would move on to
executive policy committee and council for consideration.
*Feedback from residents will help determine next steps*
* Year-long test of 30 km/h proposed for five city streets*
WINNIPEG could soon test a 30 km/h limit on five streets and hire a
consultant to study lowering the default speed limit for all residential
There’s no plan to lower any speed limits at this time, in part because the
required signage would cost millions of dollars.
A new public service report calls for a one-year reduced-speed trial, which
would cost between $250,000 and $300,000.
An exact date hasn’t been set for the trial, though it could occur in fall
2020 or spring 2021, said David Patman, the city’s manager of
Patman hopes the test period will trigger plenty of feedback to help
determine the city’s next steps.
“We want to hear from as many people as we can about this because we know
this is such a major issue for people in Winnipeg,” he said.
Many Winnipeggers have publicly pushed council to reduce the city’s default
50 km/h speed limit to 30 km/h on residential roads, arguing that would
reduce the risk of fatal crashes and heighten pedestrian and cyclist safety.
By contrast, a petition against lowering the limit to 30 km/h has gathered
more than 6,000 signatures.
Patman said the trial project should attract broad input prior to any
decision on a more permanent change.
“We want to take a look at the feedback we get from doing this small trial,
seeing how people feel when they’re travelling at 30 (km/h), if it’s
something that people in Winnipeg can live with,” he said.
If approved, the speed reduction would be tested on sections of streets
with low-volume, low-speed traffic patterns. That would include Roch Street
(from Poplar Avenue to Arby Bay), Eugenie Avenue (from St. Mary’s Road to
Youville Street), Warsaw Avenue/Fleet Avenue (from Nassau Street to Lindsay
Street), Machray Avenue (from Fife Street to Main Street) and Flora Avenue
(from Sinclair Street to King Street).
If council approves the proposal as is, the city would also hire a
consultant to study the impacts of both 30 km/h and 40 km/h speed limits on
all residential roads. No budget has been approved for that study.
Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface), the chairperson of council’s public works
committee, said he supports the trial project.
“I think it’ll allow Winnipeggers the opportunity to think about it, try it
and see how it works in the city,” said Allard.
Patman estimates it would cost the city about $7.8 million to add enough
signs to legally reduce the speed limits on all Winnipeg residential
streets right now, due to provincial sign rules he deemed an impediment to
lowering speeds more quickly.
Currently, the Highway Traffic Act requires a fixed speed limit of less
than 50 km/h to be signed on every affected Winnipeg street at the point
that limit begins, after each intersection with a roadway (other than a
back lane) and as close as possible to the intersection itself.
The report suggests council ask the province to require fewer speed limit
signs to reduce a street’s maximum speed.
Allard said he’d prefer the city be granted the power to add “gateway
signage,” which he defines as posting signs with a new default speed limit
at the edge of a neighbourhood or city they apply to, should council
actually approve one.
Mark Cohoe, the executive director of Bike Winnipeg, deemed it “a little
disappointing” that the city isn’t taking more action to reduce speed
limits right now but said he’s glad to see a test project proposed.
Cohoe said lower speed limits should make neighbourhoods safer and more
“It goes beyond the safety issue, it’s also a noise issue, it’s a
livability issue,” he said.
Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverley West) said she’d prefer to see the city test a
speed limit reduction throughout an entire neighbourhood instead.
“I don’t really understand how using five streets is going to give them a
comprehensive (view on this),” said Lukes.
All of the changes would require full council approval.
joyanne.pursaga(a)freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga
* Birds of a feather fix bikes together *
GREGORY Allan wants you to get on your bike and ride, and he and the other
volunteers at Orioles Bike Cage will help make it happen.
Located at 444 Burnell St., just north of St. Matthews Avenue, Orioles Bike
Cage is a community bike repair shop. Its mission is to make cycling and
bicycle repair knowledge accessible to all, and to remove barriers people
face in keeping their bikes in working order.
“I love working with the public. I love sharing knowledge. I love teaching
people,” says Allan, who has volunteered at the shop for 10 years.
“I really, really like bikes. I think they’re amazing machines,” the
31-year-old adds. “I love the community vibe we get at Orioles. Those
feel-good community vibes for me are really important.”
Community members can visit the shop every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The workshop space provides shared tool access and recycled bike parts, as
well as repair advice from volunteers.
There is no cost for the service, but pay-what-you-can financial donations,
donations of bike parts or in-kind labour are encouraged.
For Aaron Maciejko, volunteering at the shop stems from a passion for
“Orioles allows people to get transportation at an affordable price and
empowers them to take charge in their lives,” says Maciejko, 41. “That’s
Maciejko first got involved at the shop seven years ago when he was getting
into bike polo, a sport adapted from horse polo and played on bicycles.
He has fond memories of building his first bike using a frame and spare
parts he found at the shop.
“I was looking for something I could use specifically for bike polo,” he
says. “I’ve since gone on to build a number of other bikes.”
Charles Pearce started volunteering at the Bike Cage in 2012 and says the
community there keeps him coming back.
“It’s very friendly,” says Pearce, 39. “It’s a good way to meet people.”
In addition to volunteering at the shop, Pearce has also been involved with
Meals on Wheels.
He enjoys volunteering because giving back to the community is important to
“It’s always good to offer help when people need it,” he says. “If
everybody (were) just completely closed off, it’d be a pretty boring world.”
More volunteers are needed to help at Orioles, Allan says. No experience as
a bike mechanic is required to volunteer.
“There’s a lengthy list of things we need done in the shop,” he says.
“Cutting up rags, sorting parts, finding holes in tubes, dealing with scrap
metal and scrap rubber, separating aluminum from steel, and on and on it
Greeters are also being sought who will help welcome and orient community
members who visit the shop, as well as people who are willing to represent
the shop at special events.
“Running the shop takes so many different roles and tasks,” he says.
A volunteer orientation is set for Saturday, July 18. Anyone interested can
email oriolesbikecage@gmail. com.
Whether you want to volunteer or just need help with your bike, Pearce
invites folks to support Orioles Bike Cage.
“I’d encourage everybody to come out,” he says. “If you want to learn to
fix your bicycle and all that, we’ll definitely show you how.”