Bike Winnipeg gathering cycling map input to close gapsThe city has invited cycling advocates to crowdsource safe routes for its next city-wide cycling map.
Winnipeg is a city of few bike lanes, so bike commuters improvise often–they know tricky routes, safe routes, sneaky routes–and a new bike map being produced this summer will bring all that expertise together.
Bike Winnipeg will include crowd-sourced bike routes in a proposal that will help inform the City of Winnipeg's next "city-wide cycling map," so it's inviting cyclists to offer their pointers at an open house at the Millennium Library on April 11.
"Basically what we are doing is looking at where there is no sort of bike facilities and asking people to point out routes they know that are low-stress, and maybe point out barriers where it's maybe more nasty to ride," said director Mark Cohoe.
The City of Winnipeg recently closed a request for proposals for a new cycling map to replace the last one produced in 2014 and distributed in 2015 at libraries, community centres, bike shops and bike events like Bike Week, as well as in PDF form online.
Since 2009, the printed cycling maps have been free to the general public and are meant to provide comprehensive route information. The council-supported pedestrian and cycling strategy directs the city continue producing the city-wide cycling map, and just like the 2014 version, public input is being valued.
A city spokesperson confirmed Bike Winnipeg was tasked with "gathering some information on informal routes that will be provided" to whatever successful contractor ends up producing the maps.
Cohoe explained the approach to the map is appropriate, since it recognizes "there are a lot of areas in the city where there's nothing (for bikes)."
"They've asked us to have people point out residential streets that are more or less straight connections with not so many stops," he said. "We're looking for something ideally where if you have to cross a busy street, there's a safe way to cross it."
Cohoe said anyone who figures they've got some decent routes fitting that description should attend the April 11 workshop between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
"We'll have some maps out there so people can help us pinpoint the routes… we'll send that to the city and they'll share it with whoever ends up doing the map," he said.