Should we lower residential speed limits?
I regularly hear from many residents of St. James concerned about the
speeds that vehicles are travelling down their streets.
My office receives multiple requests every year for speed humps, slow down
signs, stop signs, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic studies and increased
police enforcement, all in an effort to make the streets we live on feel
safer. The people of St. James are not alone in their desire. My council
colleagues receive similar requests from residents across Winnipeg who are
calling for steps to be taken to improve the sense of safety on local
This is a trend that is growing across Canada. The cities of Vancouver,
Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto are currently engaged in studies examining
the reduction of speed limits on residential streets to something less than
The City of Winnipeg is also considering reducing the default speed limit
on residential streets to either 30 km/h or 40 km/h. The speed limit is
currently 50 km/h on residential streets.
A recent report from the city’s administration says “(t)here is a strong
interest from both Council and the public to investigate a city-wide speed
limit reduction for Winnipeg’s residential streets, as reducing speeds is
proven to make streets calmer, quieter, and safer for people walking,
biking, driving, and enjoying their neighbourhood.”
Council has asked city staff to conduct a jurisdictional scan, to examine
the impacts of reducing speeds on residential streets to 30 km/h or 40
km/h, to review the existing street classification system, to look at best
practices and engineering data and to conduct public engagement in order to
get feedback, ideas and involve the public in decision-making.
This work will take place over the next year. The study will also include a
trial speed limit reduction on one street in each ward (including the St.
James ward) of either 30 km/h or 40 km/h. The pilot streets have not yet
I support lowering the default speed limit from 50 km/h on Winnipeg’s
residential streets. Research shows that there is a relationship between
speed and the severity of injuries in a collision. Even though lower speeds
are known to improve safety, I still hear from some residents (albeit
fewer) who want the speed limit to remain at 50 km/h.
Therefore, I believe 40 km/h on local streets has the best chance of
getting public support as a reasonable middle ground between those
residents opposed to any change and those calling for 30 km/h.
I realize that speed limits are a contentious issue, so I want to hear from
Are you in favour of seeing speed limits on residential streets lowered
from 50 km/hr?
Please call me at 204-986-5848 or email scottgillingham(a)winnipeg.ca
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
A healthier community — one bike at a time
Over the spring and summer months, I have been working very closely with an
organization in the Notre Dame constituency that does really great work.
The Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub, also known as The WRENCH,
builds, repairs, and helps to maintain bikes. They sell, rent, and donate
their bikes, not just to individual people, but they even have entire
fleets available for businesses.
Bicycles are a fantastic way to participate in active transportation. We
know that getting around by bike is healthy not only for ourselves but for
the environment and our community, as well. In cities around the world
where bike use is more common, traffic congestion lightens up and air
pollution is reduced.
The WRENCH is a permanent fixture of Hugh John Macdonald School, where
staff and volunteers provide skills and training to students. They also do
community outreach events such as cycling safety workshops and bike
giveaway/tune-up events which they have held at IRCOM and Rossbrook House.
I was thrilled to work with The WRENCH on some of these outreach events
where I got to witness firsthand how hard they work for our community.
Not only is The WRENCH promoting a healthier community by getting people on
bikes, they are also saving bike parts that are still useable from
landfills. Sustainably is a core value of the organization.
Most recently, I was happy to be in attendance when The Electronic
Recycling Association (ERA) donated four laptops to The WRENCH that will be
used by staff to keep the organization running, growing, and thriving.
*Because The WRENCH has been so successful at making a good impact in our
community, it is expanding. It is currently in a basement on Logan Avenue
which it has outgrown. So, The WRENCH is looking to purchase a larger
building to meet the demands of the growing organization. In order to
achieve this, The WRENCH is planning a capital campaign to raise $250,000
to put towards the purchase of a bigger space.*
To learn more about this fantastic organization and to see its event
schedule, you can visit thewrench.ca/
As always, feel free to get in touch with my office at
Malaya.marcelino(a)yourmanitoba.ca or call 204-788-0800.
** please share widely **
City seeks input on enhanced AT routes
The City of Winnipeg wants your views on opening local streets to offer
greater active transportation access.
As part of its COVID-19 response, Winnipeg now offers 10 enhanced temporary
active transportation routes, which prioritize bicycles and pedestrians by
limiting motor vehicles to one block of travel between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The move was meant to help Winnipeggers safely enjoy the outdoors with
enough room to socially distance themselves from others. The current routes
are slated to last until at least Sept. 7.
*To help evaluate future options for these “open streets,” Winnipeggers are
asked to complete a survey now posted at *winnipeg.ca/walkbike2020.
Prior to 2020, four enhanced AT routes were offered each year on Sundays
and holidays only, between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving weekend.
Complete the survey by September 7th.
An article about the growing size and shape of personal trucks, and the
danger they pose to other road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists:
FYI Bike Winnipeg argued this issue at the latest PUB review of MPI road
safety programs, and the PUB has ordered MPI to analyze the extent to which
personal trucks do more harm to other road users than sedan type vehicles.
MPI is in a unique position to do this, what with having 100% of the data
from crashes in the province and a methodology for assigning costs to injury
(v. other jurisdictions which have highly variable injury cost settlements
arising from court proceedings). It will be interesting to see what this
11 Harvard Ave
Winnipeg R3M 0J6
WINNIPEG -- After three years of road construction, the new Empress Street
overpass, which included rehabilitation and the creation of a new cycling
and pedestrian route, is now open.
On Thursday morning the City of Winnipeg, along with the federal and
provincial government, got together for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to
officially reopen the stretch of road between Portage Avenue and St.
"I can't tell you how great it is to have protected cycling facilities that
are separate from the road," said Coun. Matt Allard, chairperson of the
Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works said.
"Infrastructure investments like these are so essential to encouraging mode
Despite the pouring rain, Allard said he did cycle to the announcement to
give the new cycling route a try.
The project cost about $23 million, with $921,000 coming from the province
and nearly $4.5 million coming from the federal government. The rest of the
project was covered in the City's capital budget.
"As a (former) city councillor, I understand that the city can't do it
alone – we need the federal government and the provincial government to
step up and that is exactly what we've been doing," said Dan Vandal,
Minister of Northern Affairs, representing the federal government.
The project included new accessible pedestrian ramps on the north and south
side of Portage Avenue, as well as new bi-directional bicycle paths in a
protected lane along Empress from the Assiniboine River path.
"As an avid cyclist, I am very thrilled to be partnering with my civic and
federal counterparts to build more active transportation, because we know
in Winnipeg we get all kinds of weather," said Rochelle Squires, Manitoba
Minister of Municipal Relations.
"I know this pathway will be used well into the future for all the people
who do choose the active transportation."
Coun. Scott Gillingham, who represents St. James, said this was a project
he's had in his sights since he was elected.
"When I was fundraising in 2014, the residents told me many times that
roads were the number one issue, specifically around the Polo Park area, so
I'm glad to see this project completed," he said.
The City of Winnipeg has more information about the project online
First Fridays talk puts post-pandemic Winnipeg in focus
THERE are few aspects of daily life in Winnipeg and beyond that haven’t
been changed, in some way, over the past few months by the pandemic — among
them how we interact and communicate, get places and buy things.
Urban designer and visual artist Lawrence Bird doesn’t have all the
answers, but he does have plenty of ideas that he’ll be discussing Friday
with Alison Gillmor, moderator of Building a Post-Pandemic Future, this
month’s First Fridays in the Exchange Art Talk.
>From bike lanes to open-plan offices, Bird and Gillmor will discuss how
prior pandemics have transformed the world and what kind of changes the
current one might inspire.
The big question is if Winnipeg — a city that “doesn’t change
super-quickly,” says Bird — will do the unexpected and embrace the changes
that may be coming, or remain entrenched in its old ways.
“It’s been 10 years or so since there has been a gradual movement
downtown,” says Bird. “Will that stop? Will they turn around? I don’t think
Changes to urban design and architecture have been the response, in some
cases, to pandemics of the past, such as the creation of Central Park in
New York City to improve public health, or the construction of the avenues
of Paris; improvements that benefited the wealthy while displacing other
communities, he says.
Adding to the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic was the need to lock
down personal care homes to outside visitors which, in some cases,
eliminated any communication between residents and family. Recognizing the
need for family contact, the province put out a call for “visitation
shelter” designs that would allow in-person connections while ensuring
other residents and staff remain safe.
Bird is an urban designer at Sputnik Architecture Inc., which recently
submitted a design. He believes the pandemic — and learning from past
mistakes — may help people better understand the need for new urban designs
that are sustainable, inclusive and equitable. One example is shared road
spaces — called “woonerfs” in Holland.
“A couple decades ago, this idea came up that rather than separating cars
and pedestrians, they can walk in the same space,” he says. “And the result
is less accidents. Instead of zooming through, focused on the road, the
(drivers) are looking out for pedestrians and the pedestrians are looking
out for cars. It’s a mutual recognition.”
Could an idea like that actually work in a car-centric city such as
Winnipeg? It already has, he says. “Winnipeg has actually experimented with
this in John Hirsch Place, the alleyway by the Royal Manitoba Theatre
Centre,” he says. “People can walk through there and drive through there.
There haven’t been accidents, as far as I know.”
“You could do that along many other streets in Winnipeg.”
Building a Post-Pandemic Future, with Lawrence Bird, will be streamed
online at firstfridayswinnipeg.org Friday at 7 p.m. The event is free to