CAA, Bike Winnipeg push city for transportation improvements https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-transportation-recommendati...
CAA Manitoba and Bike Winnipeg have joined forces to ask the City of Winnipeg to make a number of improvements to the city's roads and bike lanes.
A list of recommendations released Wednesday by the two organizations — one representing drivers, the other city cyclists — starts with calls to reinstate the cancelled fall street sweeping program and improve lane painting on roads with bike lanes.
"Some of these things are small changes that really don't require a big financial impetus. It's just sort of changing some of the priorities," said Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg.
The recommendations grew out of concerns identified in a poll conducted by Probe Research last June.
The poll asked Winnipeggers about their cycling habits, problems they face and what they wish to see to improve cycling infrastructure in the city.
Among those polled, 59 per cent said road surface maintenance in Winnipeg is poor, while 36 per cent said lane painting and signage needs improvement.
The city increased its active transportation budget by 31 per cent in 2018, from $13.2 million to $17.3 million.
It also budgeted $116 million for road renewals in 2018, an increase of $11 million over 2017.
However, that increase was earmarked for a single project: rebuilding Empress Street between St. Matthews Avenue and Portage Avenue. Money set aside for new roads and bridges, major repairs and equipment purchases dropped by $74 million, to $246 million.
While the CAA and Bike Winnipeg recognize that significant improvements to active transportation have been made, they don't want to lose momentum, said Liz Kulyk, corporate manager of government and community relations at CAA Manitoba.
"I think the overall theme is they need to continue. They can't ever go down again," she said.
Wednesday's list of recommendations was the final release in a three-part series on transportation from CAA and Bike Winnipeg. The first focused on cycling habits of Winnipeggers, while the second focused on safety concerns.
The full list of recommendations from CAA and Bike Winnipeg is as follows:
- Reinstate the cancelled fall street sweeping program "to address accumulation of material at curbs that create slippery situations for cyclists." This forces cyclists farther into vehicle traffic. Leaving the material on the road also creates issues for drivers, as it degrades the pavement faster, resulting in more repairs and financial investment over time, the organizations say. - Prioritize roads with bike lanes when deciding which ones need lane painting - Undertake a proactive community stewardship campaign, empowering citizens to request lane painting if markings are faded, damaged, missing or unclear. - Increase the number of locations with "high visibility" green paint that warns users of conflict points, such as sidewalks, driveways and intersections, by 25 per cent. - Commit to investigating and consulting with the public on options such as reducing residential speed limits or adding traffic calming measures on main cycling routes by 2019. - Commit to purchasing social media advertising about new facilities that require behavioural changes, such as the no-right-on-red signs installed along the McDermot/Bannatyne bike lane corridor.
The recommendations have been forwarded to city administration and the mayor's office.
City spokesperson Tamara Forlanski said the city is currently constructing multiple cycling improvements which include protected bike lanes.