Police considering using barricades to keep drivers off Sunday cycling routes


With new rules for summer bike routes confusing some drivers, bringing back barricades makes good sense for city police, Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis said Friday.

A bylaw implemented last summer allows police to ticket drivers who travel more than one block on the Sunday and holiday bike routes, which are no longer barricaded. Instead, posted signs restrict vehicle traffic to one block. Drivers who break the bylaw face a fine of $90.22.

Police have been out warning drivers on the four designated streets - Lyndale Drive, Scotia Street, Wellington Crescent and Wolseley Avenue - which are considered cycling paths from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and statutory holidays from mid-May until mid-October.

But drivers still aren’t getting the message, Clunis said Friday.

"From a police perspective right now, certainly it’s not our intent that we just want to be out there ticketing after ticketing after ticketing. I wish people would get the message."

Reinstalling bike-route barricades would simplify officers’ duties, he said, and he’d like to find out why they were removed in favour of new signs.

"As a citizen, I can understand why seeing a physical barrier would certainly be far more obvious than a sign," he said. "Would the barricades actually make our job as a police service easier? Absolutely."

Removing the barricades was recommended by the public works department, which saw the new Sunday cycling rules 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.

With the new signs, Sacher said it was no longer necessary to place the barricades.

Sacher recommended that an extensive public education campaign be conducted to make motorists aware of the new bylaw.