To accompany the articles below, attached is a copy of the letter that was sent to homeowners regarding enforcement of the Sunday Bicycle Route Street Closures. While the bylaw is great, it doesn't make sense to remove the physical barricades, which are a relatively inexpensive and strong visual reminder that the roadway is closed to motorists on Sundays and holidays. (Also, the ability to enforce a bylaw is not the same as allocating the resources to do so.)
The name could/should be changed from Sunday Bicycle Route Street Closures to Ciclovia Routes or Sunday Open Streets as the intent is to open the roadway for all non-motorized forms of travel/recreation -- walking, cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding -- and give them priority over motorists. (That's certainly the way it used to be on Scotia St when we bought a house there 20 years ago. It was like a mini-Ciclovia every Sunday.)
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Drivers' bike-route fines loom Bylaw would enforce Sunday road closings
By: Oliver Sachgau
Sunday drivers who just can't steer clear of four special streets blocked off during the summer months will be punished if they get caught.
In the past, drivers had been discouraged from driving on Wellington Crescent, Wolseley Avenue, Scotia Street and Lyndale Drive on Sundays and holidays.
But the proposed bylaw would make it an offence, and mean a ticket -- likely around $90.
The bylaw would be in effect from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., according to a letter from the city to residents in the areas the bike routes run through.
Sally Gordon, who lives on Lyndale Drive, said she supports the proposed bylaw, as it would make biking safer for her, as well as kids in the neighbourhood.
"We've got a lot of kids, young ones, just learning to bike. There's people that just come roaring down Lyndale like you wouldn't believe," Gordon said.
Patrol Sgt. Kevin Cisaroski of the Winnipeg Police Service said the aim is to add bite to what's currently an unenforceable rule, giving police the power to respond to complaints.
"This is the next step in the evolution of the bike-route program... rather than leaving it up to voluntary compliance," Cisaroski said.
"The original bike routes weren't done by way of law. We couldn't do anything about it if people complained about non-compliance."
If the bylaw goes through, Cisaroski said officers would patrol certain blocks and watch for offenders.
He said police might offer a few weeks of education and hand out warnings instead of tickets. But he stressed that won't be considered until the bylaw is passed.
If the bylaw is passed, the city would remove barricades that currently go up on days when the routes are up and replace them with more permanent signage.
Winnipeg city councillor John Orlikow (River Heights), who proposed the bylaw, said it's important to him the bylaw gets passed quickly.
"It's a great community place on Sundays, having a street that's safe. For one day (a week), making sure that cars are off that street is warranted," Orlikow said. "I grew up on Wellington Crescent, running cross-country with my dad or speedskating. Having one day where you can feel safe, I think it's a great thing."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 5, 2014 B2
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