If anyone knows what was done and on which streets to create "new residential bike routes" in Fort Garry, could you please email me? (see #3 below in sidebar) 

I am drawing a complete and utter blank on anything being done other than the convoluted route, which has been around for years, being included on the bike map. 



* * * * *

Unprotected lanes dissed

Bike paths on Pembina should be separate, city advised

By: Bartley Kives 

Consultants hired to determine the best way for cyclists to travel between downtown and the University of Manitoba warned the city not to build unprotected bike lanes along Pembina Highway.

In a 2009 study commissioned by the city to help determine what new bike infrastructure to build, consulting firms Stantec Inc. and Marr Consulting concluded traffic volumes and speeds on Pembina Highway were too high to warrant anything other than bike lanes that would separate cyclists from motor vehicles.


Consultants hired by the city to consider new cycling routes made the following recommendations about Pembina Highway:

1. Do not build on or along Pembina

What the consultants suggested:The speed and volume of motor-vehicle traffic along Pembina Highway is so large, bikes would need to be completely separated -- and the cost would be too high.

What the city did: Took this advice, at first. Then changed course and built bike lanes alongside Pembina from Chevrier Boulevard to Plaza Drive.


2. Divert cyclists north of Jubilee into Crescentwood & Rockwood

What was suggested: Create new bike routes along Nassau Street and Harrow Street to allow cyclists to avoid Pembina.

What the city did: Built these bikeways in 2010.


3. Divert cyclists south of Jubilee onto Point Road and Crescent Park

What was suggested: Create a new bike route through residential areas east of Pembina in Fort Garry -- supplemented by a new bikeway running alongside the second phase of the Southwest Transitway.

What the city did: New residential bike routes were created, but the second phase of the transitway was delayed -- and is now slated to run farther west of Pembina.


4. Build a new riverside connector path

What was recommended: A new riverside path from Riviera Crescent to Plaza Drive was needed to complete the alternative to Pembina.

What the city did: Nothing. The crucial gap remains in place.


5. Build a bike tunnel at the Jubilee Overpass

What was suggested: Build a tunnel to bypass this choke point, ideally as part of the Southwest Transitway extension.

What the city did: Something such as this is still in the works.


6. Promote the city's cycling network

What was suggested: Promote cycling routes along the side streets to get bikes off Pembina.

What the city did: Published a cycling map and created a website.

Given that fully separated lanes would have cost up to $22 million at that time -- and still would have exposed cyclists to danger at intersections -- the consultants advised the city to build new southwest Winnipeg bike routes away from Pembina Highway.

The city heeded this advice for two to three years, when new bike routes were developed in residential neighbourhoods parallel to the busy thoroughfare.

But in 2012, council approved the construction of unprotected bike lanes along a one-kilometre stretch of Pembina between Chevrier Boulevard and Plaza Drive. The consultants warned encouraging people to use Pembina Highway as a cycling route would be counterproductive and undesirable.

"Due to the high volumes and speeds of traffic on Pembina Highway, (alternative) routes would be more effective at encouraging (less-experienced) cyclists," the project team wrote in a report that circulated among city staff in 2009 and was later obtained by the Free Press.

"To create safe cycling facilities on Pembina Highway, full separation from motor-vehicle traffic is a necessity and separation between pedestrians and cyclists would also be preferred."

After reviewing six potential options for fully separated Pembina bike lanes -- including cycle tracks on each side of the street and a path down the centre median -- the consultants concluded it would be far more cost-effective to create cycling routes on side streets and wait for the construction of a bike corridor along the second phase of the Southwest Transitway to provide a more direct alternative for commuter cyclists.

"The project team decided not to recommend treatments on Pembina due to the extremely high costs of construction. There are too many other needs in the city's active-transportation network," the consultants wrote.

Instead of building along Pembina Highway, the consultants recommended the construction of new bikeways through the Crescentwood, Earl Grey and Rockwood neighbourhoods north of Jubilee Avenue and through the Point Road and Crescent Park neighbourhoods south of Jubilee Avenue.

To make this work, the consultants said the city would need to build a tunnel to allow cyclists to bypass the Jubilee Underpass and a new riverside path that would connect Riviera Crescent to Plaza Drive.

The city built the new residential neighbourhood bike routes, but has put off plans to bypass the Jubilee Underpass until its reconstruction, now planned for 2015 to 2019. The Riviera-to-Plaza connector has not been built.

The city also delayed plans to complete the Southwest Transitway, which is now expected to be finished no earlier than 2020 -- on a route that extends as far as 1.6 kilometres to the west of Pembina Highway.

"I think the whole thing has been totally messed up by the delay in rapid transit," said Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi. "It makes sense to have a leisurely route through residential neighbourhoods, but it also makes sense to have a more direct route. Now we have to wait until 2020 for that."

Gerbasi said she sees the unprotected bike lanes built along Pembina Highway two years ago as a stopgap measure. The Pembina Highway route has been criticized since the death last week of a Bombers fan who was cycling to Investors Group Field. He collided with a vehicle near Bishop Grandin Boulevard, while the recommended bike route suggests cyclists exit Pembina before that, at Plaza Drive.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 17, 2014 A3