Council to vote on bike route barricades

A civic committee has given the green light to reinstate barricades along the city's Sunday/holiday bike routes.

At Tuesday's public works committee meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of bringing back the barricades, which helped warn motorists the roadways were for local traffic only.

The motion to reinstate the barricades must still be approved by council.

The barricades were removed this year and replaced with signs at the intersections that read, "Motor vehicle travel limited to one block, 8:00-20:00, Sundays and holidays."

However, the removal of the barricades was met with displeasure from councillors whose wards are within these routes.

River Heights-Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow and Daniel McIntyre Coun. Cindy Gilroy voiced their approval of the motion from the city centre community committee, which called for the barricades to return along the four designated streets.

Lyndale Drive, Scotia Street, Wellington Crescent and Wolseley Avenue are considered cycling paths from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and statutory holidays from mid-May to mid-October.

Orlikow said since the barricades were removed, his Sundays have been filled with emails and phone calls from his constituents, who say motorists are not reading the signs.

Gilroy, who is also on the public works committee, echoed these concerns stating at the meeting, "it is just not working," now that the barricades are gone.

The barricades were removed this year after a recommendation from the public works department, which saw it as a way to save money.

Public works director Brad Sacher told a civic committee last July that it cost the department $35,000 a year to have staff put up and take down the barricades on the four routes every Sunday during the cycling season.

Progress on cycling routes

A 20-year strategy for constructing a network of pedestrian and cycling paths across Winnipeg is heading back to city council for approval.

The pedestrian and cycling strategy was endorsed Tuesday -- for the second time -- by the public works committee.

Couns. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) told the committee they were concerned that area residents weren't notified about the impacts the strategy will have when specific streets are identified as routes. They also said the maps in the report contained errors.

But the report was unanimously adopted without changes after a senior administrator said the strategy is a long-term guide that will be subject to council and public approval before any component is implemented.

Brad Sacher, director of public works, said annual action plans will contain detailed routes and costs and they will be subject to public consultation and council approval.

Sacher said the strategy included maps to demonstrate where gaps exist in existing pedestrian and cycling routes and where new routes should go but they're not set in stone.

Coun. Janice Lukes said councillors and residents will determine the details of routes on an annual basis.

Questions about the public consultation process of the study were resolved when the new office of public engagement reviewed what the strategy authors had done and said the methods were adequate and complied with industry best practices.

-- Aldo Santin, Kristin Annable

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 24, 2015 B3