September 19 update:
Lower residential speed limits, Ontario coroner urges — The Globe and Mail
Original June 19 item:
Ontario’s Coroner has released a report that reviews all accidental cycling deaths in that province between 2006 and 2010. Entitled Cycling Death Review: Road Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility (PDF), 14 recommendations are listed in the “Consolidated List of Recommendations” (starting on page 28 of the print/PDF report). Many of the recommendations are things that BttF has actively advocated for:
Bike to the Future (BttF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making cycling in Winnipeg a safe, enjoyable, accessible, and convenient transportation choice year-round. BttF relies largely on volunteers to promote cycling education, advocate for cycling infrastructure, and generally encouraging more people to cycle more often.
BttF is looking for an energetic and organized individual who is passionate about cycling in Winnipeg to work as Executive Director. The Executive Director will be responsible for providing administrative support, strategic planning and direction, resource generation, and public relations. The Executive Director will report to and receive direction from the BttF Board.
Compensation includes a base amount of $600 per month for 40 hours work per month, and an amount equal to 30% of resources generated in excess of $5000 per year. A flexible work schedule is required.
Resumes and cover letters can be sent to Loren Braul, Bike to the Future Co-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Deadline: October 6, 2012
Bike to the Future recently completed our annual spring counts of commuter cyclists in Winnipeg. As in previous years, Jeremy Hull organized the effort and produced a report.
On August 7, Jeremy delivered printed copies of Commuter Cycling in Winnipeg, 2007 – 2012 to the mayor and each city councilor at City Hall, along with a cover letter. He also sent individual emails with similar text and the report attached to the 30 MLAs with Winnipeg constituencies, to the City of Winnipeg’s Kevin Nixon and David Tang, and to Jacqueline East and her colleagues at Dillon Consulting.
The report and cover letter are also on our website’s BttF’s Publications page under “2012, Forums and Surveys”.
Bike to the Future thanks Jeremy and all the volunteers who have been counting cyclists since 2007.
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg (BVW) works with event promoters to offer a bicycle valet service at events. This reduces traffic and parking congestion, and encourages active transportation use in Winnipeg.
We are always looking for volunteers to help with setting up the valet and parking bikes at events. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, please contact BVW Coordinator Amanda at BVWcoordinator@bicyclevaletwinnipeg.ca.
The Manitoba Legislative Assembly passed two Highway Traffic Act amendments during the session that just ended.
Volunteers from Bike to the Future and the Manitoba Cycling Association collaborated to study the amendments and determine how they would affect cycling in the City of Winnipeg, and on provincial roads … from transportation, recreation, and sport perspectives.
The amendments are:
On Wednesday June 6, the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development met to hear presentations about these and other bills. Charles Feaver (BttF Provincial Committee Chair), Jason Carter (MCA President), Tom McMahon (BttF Co-Chair), and Anders Swanson (esteemed cycling advocate) made presentations.
Hansard transcript (PDF)
- Charles’ presentation starts on page 32 (PDF page 18).
- Tom’s presentation starts on page 37 (PDF page 23).
- Anders’ presentation starts on page 39 (PDF page 25).
- Jason’s presentation starts on page 46 (PDF page 32).
Ciclovia (event info)
The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is looking for your help to make Ciclovia 2012 a success. We’re looking for cycling related in-kind donations, volunteers, and participants.
In particular, we need volunteers to help with route signage placement, marshaling and group rides. As appreciation, these key Ciclovia volunteers will receive special gift packages ($25 value per each time you can assist us). You will also receive food and wine tickets to use at Manyfest.
We also really need donations of bike lights, prizes and used helmets. Also, if you have unneeded bikes and/or parts, bring them to Ciclovia and drop them off at The WRENCH display.
We still especially need block captains, site decorators, and take-down crews.
Calling for Lead Cyclists for the Winnipeg Ten + Ten & Five Running Race.
Sunday September 9
8:00 AM: 10K start
8:30 AM: 5K and 10 mile start
Two cyclists are needed for each race.
Prior to the race we are available to pre-ride the course to assist you to become familiar with the course and the aspects of being a lead cyclist.
At our June 2012 Monthly Meeting, Bike to the Future approved a Cyclists’ Bill of Rights. Thanks to all the volunteers who collaborated for many hours to produce this document.
Bike to the Future’s response:
We are disappointed that this is the primary measure that the Manitoba Government is proposing for the safety of cyclists. (Note that the Province’s other proposed amendments to Highway Traffic Act may or may not be be overall positive for cyclists.)
Helmet legislation does nothing to prevent accidents; it only reduces the chance of head injury when an accident does happen.
The fear of motor vehicle traffic prevents many people from cycling more often. To increase the physical activity level of Manitobans, the Government and MPI must focus on preventing accidents involving cyclists as the primary goal for legislation, infrastructure, and driver education.
We have repeatedly identified these priorities to the Manitoba Government:
— Define a safe distance for motorists passing cyclists as at least 1 metre.
— Allow lower speed limits on streets that are cycling routes.
— Include cycling facilities in all road design.
— Educate drivers how to deal with cyclists on the road.
— Teach cyclists to ride safely on the streets.
BttF encourages the voluntary use of bicycle helmets. We recognize that opinions differ on the use of helmets, that there are both pros and cons to mandatory helmet legislation, and that some of our members support legislation while others oppose it, so we do not take a position for or against mandatory helmet legislation. We ask our members to examine both sides of the debate and come to their own conclusions.
Construction of buffered bike lanes on Pembina Highway will begin in July.
Background (Solution ideas began over two years ago.)
BttF’s letters to public health officers and provincial politicians urging actions for cyclist safety on public roads
May 17 update
Bike to the Future has written letters to the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Chief Medical Examiner of Manitoba, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority officials, and provincial poiticians. We urge them to promote safety for cyclists on public roads, and to enact public policy and legislative actions to increase safety for cyclists.
May 26 update
We are again looking for volunteers to help with bike counting on Bike to Work Day 2012 (Friday, June 22) either during the morning or afternoon rush hour. We have a few volunteers already, but are looking for about 24 volunteers in total to count at 12 locations in the AM and PM. If you are interested and able to help out, please let me know and we will figure out a location for you.
I will get back to you with forms and instructions and answer any questions you might have. If you know of others who might be interested please ask them to contact me.
April 27 update
We completed the first round of bike counts this year during the first week of April, and I am now looking for volunteers for our second round of counting on May 8 to 10 — that’s Tuesday to Thursday, the week after next.
Our first round of counting went well and the majority of the counts were higher than in previous years, often much higher, probably because of the good weather and early spring season this year. We were able to get about 15 counts during April, but it would be great to get more counts to have better trend data for more locations. If you or someone you know would like to help with the second round of counting, please let me know. We would like to count at the same locations as in the past, either morning or afternoon depending on the availability of the volunteers.
For the past five years, volunteers from Bike to the Future have been counting cyclists at key locations in Winnipeg during morning and afternoon rush hours. The counts take place during the first week of April, May, and June on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
Each year Jeremy Hull produces a report on the numbers of cyclists and we post it on our website. (BttF Publications — see Forums and Surveys). Last year’s report was titled Commuter Cycling in Winnipeg, 2007-2011, and we also produced a media release about it.
These counts have been used by the City for planning purposes, at public meetings, and by BttF during various advocacy initiatives. The counts show that cycling in Winnipeg has increased since 2007; we expect that trend to continue, especially given that $20M of cycling infrastructure was built in late 2010.
In recent months, Jeremy has been working with a committee that is trying to get City and Provincial funding for more extensive bicycle and pedestrians counts to be done by paid staff this summer. He has drafted a proposal, but it is still under discussion, and at this point nothing has been funded. So Jeremy is again calling for volunteer bike counters.
If you are able to help out by volunteering to do a two hour shift, or would like more information, please contact Jeremy Hull.
Jeremy is looking for volunteers at the following locations and times. “AM” means during morning rush hour and “PM” means during afternoon rush hour. The times and locations have been chosen to provide good comparisons with previous years.
- Louise Bridge (AM)
- Osborne Bridge (PM)
- University Crescent (AM or PM)
- Sherbrook/Maryland Bridges (PM)
- Norwood Bridge (AM or PM)
- Osborne Underpass (AM or PM)
- Omand Creek – train bridge (AM or PM)
- Grosvenor @ Harrow (PM)
- Fort Garry (Bishop Grandin) Bridge (PM)
- Assiniboine Park Foot Bridge (PM)
- Assiniboine Ave @ hargrave (AM or PM)
- Jubilee @ Lilac (AM or PM)
- Pembina Highway @ Jubilee Underpass (AM or PM)
- Pembina Highway @ St Maurice School (AM)
- Nassau @ Stradbrook (PM)
- Dakota @ Bishop Grandin (PM)
- Slaw Rebchuk (Salter) Bridge (PM)
- Provencher Bridge/Esplanade Riel (AM)
- Main St. @ Higgins (AM)
One counting shift lasts 2 hours and takes place during either morning or afternoon rush hour. Morning rush hour is any time between 6:30 and 9:00 AM, and afternoon rush hour is any time between 3:30 and 6:00 PM. If a volunteer is not able to do a complete 2 hours, a shorter time is okay, but a time of at least 90 minutes is preferred. You can do a “one off” count, or you can do counts more than once at the same location, based on your time availability.
It’s not fun doing counts in miserable weather, in cold temperatures or in the rain, but these counts are as useful as counts done in good weather. They give a realistic picture of the range of cycling traffic in different conditions. Understandably some people will avoid counting during bad weather, but if you’re up for it, your help will be appreciated.
If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with Jeremy and let him know which times and locations are good for you. He will send you the forms and instructions by email, and answer any questions you may have.
When you visit a Bike to Work Day Pit Stop, you will be hosted by a community group who will offer free snacks and refreshments (while supplies last), which you can enjoy while they pump your tires or lube your chain. Each Pit Stop is unique, and some feature prize giveaways or live entertainment. Plan your route on Bike to Work Day to stop by a few Pit Stops and make the most of your day.
This year there is also a Pit Stop at The Forks that is open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (the time between the close of all other Pit Stops and the start of the BBQ at The Forks).
We strive to promote the bicycle as every day transportation. We advocate for improved cycling infrastructure, safe cycling conditions when sharing the road, active transportation, our health, our environment, and our pocket books. If you want to add your voice to ours and increase the volume of our message, please register for Bike to Work Day, even if you bike to work everyday, or can’t take advantage of all of the day’s activities. If you support cycling, we need your support.
Your last chance to register for Bike to Work Day is at one of the Pit Stops.
Join us in Assiniboine Park at the foot bridge at 7:00 AM for our Group Ride to Downtown, led by experienced riders. The route:
- Along Wellington Crescent. Cross the Assiniboine River at Omand’s Creek Park. Stop at the Pit Stop in Omand’s Creek Park (hosted by the Wolseley Resident’s Association and Olympia Cycle & Ski Portage).
- Along Wolseley Ave and Balmoral St, through Mostyn Park, under the Osborne Bridge to the Legislative grounds. Stop at CAA Manitoba’s Pit Stop.
- Along the cycle track on Assiniboine Ave to the Pit Stop at Bonnycastle Park (hosted by Northwest Company / Giant Tiger).
- Along Fort St, York Ave, and Waterfront Drive to The Forks (City TV’s Pit Stop) at ~8:15 AM.
MPI’s Bike to Work Day pledge to The WRENCH
Manitoba Public Insurance has pledged $.50 to the Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub (The WRENCH) per registered Bike to Work Day participant to support The WRENCH’s vital work in the Winnipeg cycling community. MPI has pledged to donate up to $2000 (4000 riders)! Now it is more important than ever to register for Bike to Work Day.
Count yourself in! Make cycling count!
Please register for Bike to Work Day today, or register at a Pit Stop on your way to work on Friday June 22.
Like us on Facebook. Spread the word!
On Wednesday May 9, the City of Winnipeg will be hosting an Open House for people to review and comment on three options being proposed for improvements to the Pembina Underpass (at Jubilee).
Only one of the proposed options meets the minimum requirements for active transportation. Only “option 3” includes the long-promised pathway to safely carry cyclists and pedestrians over Pembina Highway.
This crossing has consistently been included in public plans for the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor, but the City has chosen to present two other options for the Pembina Underpass that exclude pedestrians and cyclists from having a safe and convenient way to cross one of the busiest roadways in the city.
What difference would the exclusion of this pathway make? For “interested but concerned” cyclists, it means a lot. To cross Pembina, these potential cyclists will not choose a high traffic roadway like the Jubilee Overpass, nor will they suffer constant stopping and dismounting to get to their destination along lower traffic routes that avoid the Jubilee Overpass (and incidentally cause them to stop all traffic on Pembina when they use the crosswalk just south of Jubilee). For these cyclists, the lack of a safe, convenient, and separated pathway across Pembina will mean choosing their car over their bike for trips that they would otherwise gladly make by bike.
We are asking you to make an effort to get out to the Open House on Wednesday, fill out the online survey, and contact your City Councillor and Provincial MLA to make it known that the only acceptable option for the Pembina Underpass is one that includes room for a separated AT Pathway over Pembina near Jubilee when Rapid Transit is extended over Pembina.
A number of Bike to the Future volunteers will be at the Open House, if you’d like to discuss this or learn more.
BttF’s letter to the Province about reduced speed limits (their proposed changes to the Highway Traffic Act)
BttF has written a letter to the province in response to their announcement of introducing amendments to the Highway Traffic Act that would provide municipalities control over speed limits in school zones. This would allow the City of Winnipeg to the reduce speed limits in school zones to 30KPH.
Bike to the Future urges the government to phrase the proposed amendment broadly enough to allow municipalities to reduce speed limits generally — not just limited to school zones. This would allow municipalities to designate bicycle routes with lower speed limits, if the municipalities chose to do so.
- BttF’s letter to Minister Responsible for Active Transportation Ron Lemieux and Infrastructure & Transportation Minister Steve Ashton
Many jurisdictions have reduced residential speed limits to 30KPH to encourage cycling and increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
- 20’s Plenty Where People Live (20MPH = 30KPH)
- Zone 30
- Road to Health: Improving Walking & Cycling in Toronto (April 2012) — A Healthy Toronto by Design Report
— The report (PDF)
— Summary / Toronto Board of Health Consideration
Our meeting with federal MP Olivia Chow, NDP transportation critic (mandate side-guards on heavy trucks)
Four BttF Board members, and representatives from the Manitoba Cycling Association and Green Action Centre, met today with federal MP Olivia Chow (NDP transportation critic) and provincial NDP MLA Sharon Blady. Ms Chow has been meeting with cycling advocates across Canada to discuss her private member’s Bill (C-344) that would mandate side-guards on heavy trucks to reduce cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
It was a very good and interesting meeting. We promised to support Bill C-344 by writing letters and circulating petitions, as cycling advocacy groups in other cities have done. We need volunteers to help with this. If you are interested, please contact us.
During the meeting we also discussed a number of other potential federal and provincial initiatives that could make cycling safer, more enjoyable, more accessible, more convenient, and encourage more people to cycle more often. We look forward to working with Ms Chow and Ms Blady to achieve this.
2012 April 4 update:
The Province is currently reviewing the Highway Traffic Act, which is why mandatory helmet legislation for cyclists was in the media two weeks ago, and why BttF has received an invitation to attend a meeting about legislation to ban the use of electronic devices (cell phones) while cycling.
Bike to the Future has written a comprehensive letter to many provincial Ministers about cycling safety & promotion and the current review of the Highway Traffic Act. One item in the letter is about a one metre safe passing distance. (We also sent a shorter version of letter to the Winnipeg Free Press, but it was not published.)
2011 June 24 update:
Bike to the Future pinned bright green 1 Metre Please signs on the backs of hundreds of commuting cyclists on Bike to Work Day to remind drivers to pass bicycles at a safe distance.
Media Release (PDF)
2011 February 11:
Bike to the Future has written to Provincial Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton about the One Metre Law. See the letter (dated February 4, 2011) on our Advocacy Resources -> Bike to the Future’s publications page.
A number Winnipeg-based rides happen every summer. Some are “charity rides”. Many occur outside of Manitoba, and some occur outside of Winnipeg. We’ve listed the ones we know about on our Rides page.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is launching the Ride2Win helmet promotion campaign and contest on April 10, 2012. Teachers, students, and parents can find information by visiting ride2win.ca. Students can enter to win prizes by learning the 2-V-1 helmet fit rule for properly fitting a bike helmet.
What are the campaign messages?
- Bike together! Younger children should always cycle with a parent.
- Everyone wear a helmet. Parents too! This increases helmet use in kids.
- Wear your helmet correctly: always use the 2-V-1 rule.
How can a school participate?
- Have a 2-V-1 (helmet fit rule) contest: have students create an eye-catching poster or write a rap song to teach other kids about helmet fit.
- Start a “Caught You Using Your Helmet” campaign at your school: reward helmet users seen wearing their helmet with prizes or coupons.
- Record helmet use in students riding to school, graph the results, write a newspaper story.
- Have a parent or community partner (police, EMS, nurse) talk about preventing brain injuries.
What resources are available?
- WRHA’s helmet campaign website — ride2win.ca — is an interactive website that provides information and resources on bike and helmet safety.
- 2V1 Helmet fitting cards – provides information on the correct way to wear a bike helmet as well as bike safety information.
To order resources:
email email@example.com (preferred) or phone 787-1873.
The end of winter means it’s time for Winnipeg’s other season — road construction, which begins in earnest Friday with the resumption of the Osborne Bridge rehabilitation.
The $17.2-million project, which involves the resurfacing and widening of Osborne Street from Broadway Ave to River Ave, began last year with work on the east side of the bridge over the Assiniboine River.
Work on the west side of the bridge will begin on Friday March 30, reducing traffic to three lanes, the City’s Public Works department announced in a statement. One lane will be for northbound traffic, a second for southbound traffic, and a third lane will alternate, depending on the time. The City employed this system last year.
Walk your bike on the bridge sidewalk:
Last year, many north bound cyclists were ticketed for riding over the bridge’s west sidewalk. Instead of warning cyclists to dismount before crossing the bridge, traffic officers ticketed cyclists as soon as they crested the bridge. Cyclists can expect a similar situation this year.
The pedestrian/cyclist underpass on the north side of the Assiniboine River (which connects Assiniboine Ave with Mostyn Place) will remain open as long as river levels are low enough. If river levels rise, the City urges pedestrians and dismounted cyclists to exercise caution when they cross Osborne .
Be careful when crossing Osborne Street:
It is unlikely that a temporary cross walk, police presence, or other crossing assistance will be provided. As well, cyclists and pedestrians should be warned that, although there were no reports of jaywalking tickets last year, that possibility remains. It is unknown whether or not car-bike/ped accidents occurred at this location last year.
The city hopes to complete construction by September and reopen two lanes of traffic in each direction while crews erect a barrier in the middle of the bridge to separate traffic. The entire project is expected to be finished in October, with three southbound lanes, two northbound lanes, and both a bike lane and sidewalk in each direction.
The Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub (WRENCH) is a non-profit organization that strives to make bikes and knowledge of bicycle repair and maintenance accessible to the public.
Part of The WRENCH’s mandate is to facilitate community events. They would like to host a “family friendly” bike ride in June, with BttF as a partner.
Volunteers are needed for a Planning Committee to decide the date/time and whether the ride should be on-road or on-path, and to create a detailed plan.
If you are interested in helping, please contact Cara Fisher, the WRENCH’s Programs Director.
About Bicycle Valet Winnipeg
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg is a project of Bike to the Future that offers a bicycle valet at events around Winnipeg. Bicycle Valet reduces traffic and parking congestion while encouraging Active Transportation in Winnipeg. Having a safe and free place to park their “wheels” will encourage people to choose an active lifestyle and increase the use of Winnipeg’s growing Active Transportation infrastructure.
About the position
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg is looking for someone with an interest in business, a passion for active transportation, and a commitment to making Winnipeg a bike-friendly city.
The Program Coordinator is the leader of Bicycle Valet Winnipeg and the primary point of contact for sponsors, event promoters, media volunteers, and the public. This position is responsible for all aspects of the business, including entering into sponsorship agreements, drafting grant applications, recruiting and coordinating volunteers for events, and ensuring materials are delivered, set-up, torn-down, and returned safely to storage.
Compensation includes a base amount of $416.67 for 30 hours work per month, an office allowance of $125 per month, and incentives equal to 10% of successful sponsorships and grant applications. A flexible work schedule is required.
Resumes and cover letters can be sent to Loren Braul, Bike to the Future Co-Chair.
Application Deadline: March 30, 2012
Bike to Work Day Winnipeg is looking for an enthusiastic and organized individual to join our steering committee as Pit Stop Assistant. This is a volunteer position that requires the candidate to be available for monthly planning meetings, as well as put in a few extra hours as needed to make the event a success (~4 to 10 hours per month). This person must also be available on Bike to Work Day (June 22) to assist the Pit Stop Coordinator in servicing pit stops around the city
In particular, we are looking for someone who would be able to take on coordinating food and beverages, which may include contacting food sponsors, and possibly mapping out where pit stops are in the city.
For more information please contact Andraea Sartison at firstname.lastname@example.org 204-333-2666.
The City of Winnipeg has contracted a conceptual design study to identify options and a location for a pedestrian and bicycle crossing over the Red River to connect St Vital with Fort Garry in the vicinity of the University of Manitoba.
The consultant and the City of Winnipeg held two Public Interactive Display Sessions in February to collect feedback.
Bike to the Future has published an analysis of the 5 possible locations in terms of bicycle connectivity and active transportation network opportunities.
Please provide your opinions on the City’s online survey.
Also see these media items:
Bike to the Future is looking for people who are interested in obtaining their Can-Bike 1 Instructor certification.
The Can-Bike program is a series of cycling courses on all aspects of cycling safety and skills, oriented toward recreational and transportation cycling.
The Can-Bike training is 16 to 18 hours, roughly split evenly between the classroom and the road.
Once completed, individuals will be certified as a Can-Bike 1 Instructor. More importantly, they would have the knowledge and skills to deliver a variety of workshops and courses using Can-Bike basics.
Bike the Future is currently looking for anyone interested in taking this training. The course dates have not yet been set, but they will likely begin in March or April, depending on weather. The goal at this point is to access interest so that Bike to the Future can plan accordingly.
For more information about the Can-Bike course, please contact Dave Elmore, Safety & Education Director, Bike to the Future.
Peg, Winnipeg’s community indicator system, is looking for stories that speak to our relationship with the environment (PDF).
Provincial AT responsibility — BttF letters to Premier Selinger and Infrastructure & Transportation Minister Ashton
Earlier this year (in June), the province’s Active Transportation Advisory Group released its report: Greater Strides: Taking Action on Active Transportation. The report was put aside by the provincial government until after October’s provincial election.
During the election campaign, active transportation promises were made by all political parties.
Post-election, Bike to the Future wrote to Premier Greg Selinger about provincial commitment to active transportation during the next four years. We asked him to name a minister responsible for active transportation and to follow up on the recommendations of the Greater Strides: Taking Action on Active Transportation report. He asked Infrastructure & Transportation Minister Steve Ashton to meet with us.
On December 14, BttF’s Provincial Committee Chairperson Charles Feaver, along with committee members Dave Elmore, Jeremy Hull, and Mark Cohoe, met with Minister Ashton, Cliff Evans (the Minister’s Special Adviser), and Dave Duncan (Senior Transportation Planning Consultant).
BttF has written follow-up letters to Minister Ashton and Premier Selinger:
See our BttF Publications page under 2011 – Province of Manitoba, dated December 14, 2011.
City of Winnipeg
Capital Budget 2012
The preliminary 2012 capital budget is currently in the approval process. You may recall in the 2011 budget, the ‘recreational walkways and pathways’ item was cut in half from $1M to $500K per year for the next 5 years. This year the budget remains the same: $500K per year for the next 5 years for ‘recreational walkways and pathways’. (FYI: 1km of asphalt = $400,000) AT Corridors (on road cycling infrastructure) also stays the same at $500K.
Last year when questioned on the cuts to the ‘recreational walkways and pathways’ budget, Mayor Sam responded by saying while it appeared the budget was reduced – it really wasn’t – it was merely the way finance was accounting for AT, and he promised to better reflect AT expenditures in the 2012 budget.
This year there is a page (page 3-2) showing projected AT projects for the next 3 years related to roadway projects. This is great for a lot of reasons: transparency, planning, consultation, budgeting, etc.
Also, in 2007, the Province provided the City of Winnipeg with $6M over 5 years to put towards trail projects. That money has now been spent. Personally, I am still challenged on the amount being spent on AT, but that is another discussion.
The Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) recommended projects in February / March 2010 to occur in the 2011 construction season. The list is reviewed by the Director of Public Works, and it then goes to the Standing Policy Committee of Public Works for approval. We are still waiting to hear from the Standing Policy Committee of Public Works for approval for the 2011 AT list of projects. (Yes, this is no typo – 2011.)
In theory, once the 2012 budget passes this month, ATAC recommends 2012 construction projects to the Director of Public Works, which then goes to the Standing Policy Committee of Public Works for approval, and work starts for the 2012 construction season. With only one AT Coordinator working in the City in the Active Transportation arena, combined with great demand,huge challenges exist in moving AT forward.
On a good note: A brand new ped / cycle bridge is under construction — located on the Northeast Pioneers Greenway and over the Chief Peguis expansion!
AT Advisory Committees
I am volunteering my time to sit as an AT advisor on the following committees(and working with trail groups directly impacted). If anyone would like information / updates, please contact me.
- U of Manitoba Event Day Stadium Advisory Committee
- Pembina Hwy AT Advisory Group
- Red River Crossing from U of Manitoba to St Vital Public Advisory Committee
- CentrePort and Active Transportation
Province of Manitoba
Many others along with myself clearly identified and ensured provincial election candidates were made aware of active transportation challenges and opportunities throughout Manitoba.
Prior to the election, the Provincial Government requested recommendations on how to move AT forward. A report was put forward and Premier Selinger, once elected, yet again personally committed to me to continue moving forward on an Active Transportation Strategy. To date, I have heard nothing more on that commitment. Maybe others have.
AT can tremendously improve our quality of life and health in Manitoba. We’ve all seen great strides forward. I am concerned we have heard nothing from our Provincial leaders on active transportation in since being re-elected, but, ever the optimist, I hold great hope for 2012!
Update on November 21
Our research has determined that at least 12 Canadian cities have a cycling plan, and apparently cycling plans are an idea whose time has come:
- Ottawa Cycling Plan
- Vancouver Bicycle Plan
- Victoria Bicycle Plan
- Montreal Bicycle Plan
- Toronto Bike Plan
- Saskatoon Cycling Plan
- Edmonton Bicycle Plan
- Calgary Cycle Plan
- Halifax Active Transportation Plan
- Fredericton Trails/Bikeways Plan
- Charlottetown Active Transportation Plan
- St John’s Cycling Master Plan
Bike to the Future has published and submitted a response to the City’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP): here.
In May/June 2010, Bike to the Future presented a proposed Winter Cycling Network (parts of the City’s Active Transportation Network) to the City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee and City’s Public Works department. Public Works was asked to include parts of the Winter Cycling Network in its priority #1 snow clearing routes, and other parts in its priority #2 routes.
This past September, City Council approved a new report that recommended Winnipeg spend an additional $250,000 in its 2012 operating budget and subsequent winters to clear snow from active transportation corridors.
Bike to the Future’s City Committee would like to hear your comments about the proposed Winter Cycling Network and proposed Winter Cycling Network Snow Clearing Policy. Please contact the City Committee at email@example.com.
The City is holding an Open House to show the public the Transportation Master Plan that is going to Council this month.
While the report creates a positive impression with lots of mention of active transportation, when we compared the AT section to the other sections, the AT section does not follow through with specifics for building AT routes in the same way that the other sections follow up with plans and capital estimates for routes to be built.
Therefore, Bike to the Future is sending a letter to City councilors, who will be discussing this report in the coming weeks, asking for them to immediately launch a process to complete that aspect of the report.
It would be very helpful if many cyclists could attend the Open House and comment on the lack of specific plans for building out the AT network. At the Open House, compare the maps and budgets for the road network to the “concepts” for the AT network, and ask why the AT plan is much less developed.
You may also want to comment on the AT maps which will be presented.
- The proposed network of AT corridors should be more of a contiguous network, like the “goods movement” network, allowing links from one corridor to the next, rather than assuming all riders are going in or out of Downtown.
- The “proposed crossing improvements” on the AT map shows a very limited number of choke points in the AT network, whereas in reality there are many choke points & crossing issues that need to be recognized and addressed, including:
— Gateway Road @ Perimeter Hwy
— Main St @ Higgins Ave
— Archibald St under CN rail line
— McPhillips St under CP rail line
— Keewatin St under CP rail line
— Slaw Rebchuk Bridge
— Wellington Cres over the Assiniboine River at Omands Creek Park
— Osborne St under CN Rail line @ Confusion Corner
— Pembina Hwy @ Jubilee St under CN rail line
— Harte Trail connection to Grand Trunk Trail over the west Perimeter Hwy
— St Matthews Ave to UofWinnipeg
— UofManitoba over the Red River to Warde Ave
- The new “goods transportation” routes will be big higher speed roads that will create additional barriers to cycling.
We are asking City councilors to immediately launch a process to finish the planning job, so we need to make the planners understand the pressure to finish the job on AT as thoroughly as they have on roads and trucking.
BttF letter to Premier Selinger about provincial commitment to active transportation during the next four years
Bike to the Future’s Provincial Committee has written a letter to Premier Greg Selinger about provincial commitment to active transportation during the next four years.
See our BttF Publications page under 2011 – Province of Manitoba, dated October 18, 2011.
At Bike to the Future’s September Monthly Meeting we decided to change our memberships from annual to lifetime. This change is retroactive to our inception in May 2007, so anybody who has ever been a BttF member is now a current member. Anybody who no longer wants to be a BttF member should contact us, and we will remove them from our list.
This decision was reached after we discussed various membership models and the purposes of membership. We concluded that the amount of work required to administer annual memberships and track/solicit membership renewals is significant, and it is an unsustainable use of our volunteer resources.
We will continue to try and attract new members, and we will solicit donations to generate additional operating revenue.
Manitoba’s political parties have made some important commitments to active transportation (AT) during this election campaign, but Bike to the Future is concerned that there was not enough talk about active transportation as an important policy issue in the campaign, and some of the senior candidates did not seem to be familiar with the key active transportation issues.
We therefore launched a non-partisan campaign to ask our supporters to send form letter e-mail messages to all candidates in the Winnipeg region expressing a consistent message about the need for commitments to implement key recommendations of the Provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group report, and to act immediately to include AT in construction projects such as those related to CentrePort.
As voting started on the morning of October 4, Bike to the Future closed the email campaign.
Thanks to the 200 Manitobans who took the time to send the Bike to the Future message to over 100 candidates running for office in the Winnipeg region, and the major political parties.
Thanks also to the candidates who took the time to tell us how they felt about improving cycling and walking conditions, which are published below. Five candidates sent us very positive statements about promoting active transportation. Only one was negative.
We look forward to working with all those who are elected to the Legislature to improve AT in Manitoba.
(updated on September 28)
The Winnipeg Trails Association has detailed the political parties’ active transportation promises during the 2011 provincial election campaign on their website (updated on September 28).
- The Progressive Conservatives put their promise directly into their healthcare platform — on paper and on their website (PDF) — page 11. This promise has a provincial focus.
- The New Democratic Party did a press release on an infrastructure promise for one specific area — on paper and on their website. (September 28 update)
- All parties have given verbal promises with a provincial focus.
- A promise on paper / on the web is far more desirable than a verbal promise from a politician.
- Area-specific infrastructure promises are fantastic, but these are ‘one offs’ and almost always require extensive months / years of advocacy from volunteers.
- Currently, the Province of Manitoba has no active transportation plan, no policy, no point people, and no developed expertise.
If you are speaking to any NDP candidates, tell them you want to see — in writing — a provincially-focused promise. Tell them you would like to see a promise in writing for
- a provincial active transportation policy, and
- a director of active transportation, and
- an active transportation advisory board.
Perhaps hand them the ‘black and white’ promise the Progressive Conservatives have made here (PDF) on page 11.
Last night in Rossmere MLA Erna Braun’s campaign office, Premier Selinger, flanked by NDP candidates from Concordia, Elmwood, Radisson, and River East, announced to area residents that, if re-elected, they would build a safe pedestrian / cyclist crossing over the Perimeter Hwy from the Northeast Pioneers Greenway into the RM of East St Paul. It will be one of the first things they do.
The vision of connecting The Forks to Birds Hill Provincial Park is one step closer to reality.
Background info (PDF)
On Wednesday September 21, the City’s Executive Policy Committee will be considering a report for City administration to increase the budget for snow removal on active transportation routes.
Here’s part of a Free Press story:
The City of Winnipeg wants to beef up plowing this winter by clearing snow from active transportation routes …
A new report recommends Winnipeg spend an additional $250,000 in its 2012 operating budget and subsequent winters to clear snow from active transportation corridors. …
If adequate money is available, the report suggests clearing community and neighbourhood park paths. The report said the move is in response to the “dramatic increase” in active transportation trails that have been constructed in the past few years.
And part of another Free Press story:
Sacher said the idea is to encourage more people to use the trails for recreation and to commute during the winter. Last year, the city spent about $125,000 to plow active transportation trails, and Sacher said the new routes that could be targeted would be determined with input from commuter cyclists and recreational users.
The city does not track how many people cycle during the winter, but Sacher said the department suspects it is on the rise.
“It’s a significant increase in the number of trails we’re going to be able to address,” he said.
Fort Rouge Coun. Jenny Gerbasi said more people are using active transportation corridors than ever before and the move is a positive step for the city.
“There are more hardy winter riders,” Gerbasi said.
Bike to the Future has written a letter of support for this budget increase to the City (Jo-Ann Park, Manager of the Decision-Making Process, City Clerk’s Department, 986-3732, firstname.lastname@example.org), and we encourage all our members/supporters to also write or phone.
Jeremy Hull (BttF’s research guru) has been discussing the results of our bike counts with other people, and although we think it’s valuable, we also think it only captures part of the picture. We are now planning to do a bicycle parking survey to supplement the bike counts we have been doing.
The survey itself would be simple — just count the number of bikes parked at a given location at a consistent time of day on a consistent day or days of the week, but it would only be useful if we do the counts at the same location throughout the year. The best locations would be workplaces with substantial numbers of employees, larger businesses that have substantial
numbers of customers, government offices that have a lot of visitors, and parkades or other locations used frequently by cyclists. This would help us determine the seasonal patterns of bicycle use, and how weather affects the numbers of cyclists. It might also help various employers and businesses figure out what the need is for bicycle parking, and how cyclists are responding to any improvements they may be making.
If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in this kind of survey, please contact Jeremy.
Since 2007, volunteers from Bike to the Future have been counting cyclists at key locations in Winnipeg during morning and afternoon rush hours. The counts take place during the first week of April, May, and June.
Jeremy Hull (BttF’s research guru) has used this data to produce a report entitled Commuter Cycling Trends in Winnipeg, 2007-2011. The report, and a media release announcing it, is on our website’s Publications page under 2011, Forums and Surveys.
Bike to the Future thanks Jeremy and all the volunteers who have counted cyclists.
The City of Winnipeg has re-launched the Active Transportation section of its website with lots of new AT info.
If you’ve travelled along Hwy 59 near Birds Hill Park, you are probably aware that an active transportation (AT) bridge is being built to cross Hwy 59. This $3 million bridge is part of the Red River Floodway trails initiative. The bridge connects a 5K paved multi-use pathway build along the Birds Hill town side of the floodway to the trail system in Birds Hill Provincial Park … and the soon to be developed trail system on the Red River Floodway.
There is an increasing desire / need to connect Winnipeg (via the Northeast Pioneers Greenway) safely over the Perimeter Hwy to the town of Birds Hill trail system, Birds Hill Provincial Park, and the Red River Floodway trails system. With multi million dollar trail investments to the north and south of the Perimeter, it is logical to make a safe connection over the Perimeter Hwy linking these significant trail investments. There is an opportunity to make this connection as part of the scope of the $80 to $100 million Hwy 59 & Perimeter Hwy interchange project.
Bike to the Future, the Winnipeg Trails Association, One Green City, and Prairie Pathfinders have initiated a public awareness campaign to this opportunity for a safe connection. We’ve produced a flyer that we’ll be handing out at the Folk Festival:
(Shona Kusyk and Janice Lukes handed out 200 flyers on Wednesday morning to the Folk Festival cyclists who rode from Elmwood High School to Birds Hill Park.)
Please contact all the provincial representatives listed in the leaflet.
If you’d like to help with this campaign, please contact us.
The province’s Active Transportation Advisory Group released its report Greater Strides: Taking Action on Active Transportation (PDF) on Thursday June 30, 2011. Janice Lukes, Chair of the Provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group handed the report off to Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux and Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby just north of the intersection of Shorehill Drive and Bishop Grandin, where a new bike and walking path will be built to provide safe access from the Bishop Grandin Greenway through to Beaverhill Boulevard. The report provides recommendations on expanding active transportation options for all Manitobans.
Janice Luke’s remarks (PDF) on handing off the ATAG report.
A message from Bike to Work Day 2011’s Event Coordinator Andraea Sartison:
Friday June 24th was Bike to Work Day 2011. The event boasted 2700 registered cyclists (that’s way more than 2122 last year!), 325 of which enjoyed a party at the Forks after work. There were 22 Pit Stops around town, and we gave out 400 shirts, 625 morning snacks, and 300 burgers or hot dogs. With 24 degrees and sunny weather, the streets were busy with cyclists. In fact, in addition to our registered cyclists, each Pit Stop reported dozens of cyclists who passed by without stopping on their way to work. Knowing that there were even more people on bikes than we registered helps us to emphasize the importance of our event and cycling advocacy, and gives us hope that participation will continue to grow annually. Our goal for next year is to increase registration, promotion, and the quality of the event yet again. So stay tuned.
The success of this year’s event is attributed to our wide network of sponsors, volunteers, partners, and riders. We couldn’t have done it without you! See you out on the bike paths and for the 5th annual Bike to Work Day Winnipeg in 2012!
Please feel free to forward your comments or questions (or suggestions) about Bike to Work Day to me.
June 20 update:
A Google-based interactive version of Winnipeg Cycling Map 2011 is now available in BETA mode. It is still being refined, but even in its current stage it will help you locate active transportation infrastructure in Winnipeg.
Click on this image to access the interactive map:
The current (default) view shows all the existing multi-use trails and on-road cycling infrastructure.
Click on the map’s trailhead icons to link you to detailed maps of multi-use trails, which highlight trail routes and connecting trails, points of interest, trail surfacing, photos, and other features unique to that trail.
Click the tools icons (top right) for many different views and functions.
Take the map with you by linking to your smart phone.
Check back over the summer and watch as the map improves, the tool tools are refined, more trails pop up, and additional detailed maps are uploaded. In the meantime, have fun exploring.
This Google-based interactive map is a joint project of the Winnipeg Trails Association, the Physical Activity Coalition of Manitoba, with technical development from Online Business Systems, and mapping expertise from Anders Swanson.
May 26 update:
Distribution of Winnipeg Cycling Map 2011 began on Thursday May 26.
The project team that is working on Winnipeg Cycling Map 2011 (a major update of Winnipeg Cycling Map 2009) will begin distributing the map to bike shops sometime in May. The new version will have a street index, rather than sidebars with safety tips and skill info. The safety information will be released in a separate publication, and an online version is coming soon.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival is working hard to reduce our environmental impact. This year marks our second annual organized bike rides out to the festival.
Together, the approximately two-hour bike ride will be a great chance to enjoy the outdoors and get to the festival without driving numerous vehicles.
May 21 update:
Some of these suggestions are simply suggestions to cyclists. Other suggestions require a volunteer to work with the City and Legislature grounds Manager to implement. Please contact us if you’re interested in helping.
May 10 update:
This morning they started ticketing cyclists on the Osborne Bridge sidewalk. $111 a ticket.
A cyclist reports:
“This morning there was a police cruiser parked at the north end of Osborne bridge, waiting for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk and ticket them. The woman I talked with was in tears. She had little option in rush hour traffic but to go on the sidewalk, which was relatively clear at the time. She was tagged $111. The officer tried to explain the narrow situation created by a cyclist; however, my explanation that a person walking with a bicycle takes up nearly the whole sidewalk was met with a blank stare. Similarly, my later suggestion to the police officer prevent the infraction by going to the gas station on the south side and asking cyclists to dismount was met with a blank stare. As the ticket was being written up, numerous cyclists also rode on the sidewalk, and about a dozen peds J-walked across Osborne, stopping rush hour traffic in a confusing and dangerous mess. The second officer did nothing to rationalize this situation. It is likely that a similar trap program will be conducted on the commute home this week, and on other bridges.”
You may be aware that there have been many conflicts during the past few weeks as rehabilitation of the Osborne Bridge has begun. There are two areas that concern cyclists:
- Crossing the bridge, and
- Crossing Osborne St North just north of the bridge (connecting from Assiniboine Ave to Mostyn Ave … and vice-versa)
Bike to the Future has heard that the Winnipeg Police Service is considering a round of ticketing of cyclists who cycle on the Osborne Bridge sidewalk. We suggest that you find a alternative route, but if you can’t, please walk your bike over the bridge on the sidewalk. If you choose to ride over the bridge on the road, you’ll have to “take the lane” because the lanes are now very narrow, but we cannot be sure that the Winnipeg Police Service’s interpretation of the Highway Traffic Act won’t result in a ticket.
Stay tuned for more info here. We’re working on it. If you’d like to help, please contact us.
Manitoba Public Insurance has begun public consultations on the role it should play as a public auto insurer in promoting and ensuring road safety. BttF thinks MPI has an important role to play in improving road safety for cyclists.
The City’s Operating Budget has an item for maintenance of existing multi-use pathways, some of which are 20+ years old and in terrible condition. Specific repairs and spot improvements are prioritized by the City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC). Bike to the Future has a representative on ATAC.
Spot improvements include things like repaving sections of a pathway, widening of a pathway, very short extensions of a pathway to link to a quiet street or another pathway, curb cuts at the end of a pathway … anything that would improve the existing pathway’s use for AT.
If you would like to have some input into the prioritization of the pathway maintenance budget, please contact us with a photo of the the existing pathway section and a description of the suggested improvement/repair.
Also see BttF’s Hall of Shame.
Bike to the Future arose out of the original vision of wanting to advocate for safer and better biking in Winnipeg. BttF has grown significantly and is seeking feedback from the membership on what it is doing well and what needs to be improved upon to ensure that it continues to work toward safer and better biking.
A questionnaire will be posted on our website shortly. Your participation is welcomed and encouraged.
Red River Ex
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg has been contracted to provide services at Red River Exhibition Park on both Saturdays of the Ex (June 18 and 25), and is looking for volunteers to staff the bicycle valet at two locations: Kapyong Barracks (Park & Ride location) and Red River Exhibition Park. There will be a shuttle back and forth, so if you are volunteering at Red River Exhibition Park, you may park your bicycle at the Park & Ride location.
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg has been contracted to provide services for Kidsfest at The Forks from Thursday June 9 to Sunday June 12, including Kidstock on Saturday night from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, and is looking for volunteers to staff the bicycle valet.
If you can help with either event or are interested in helping with other Bicycle Valet Winnipeg events, please contact us.
The City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide is offering two one-day City Cycling: Commuter Cycling Skills courses in May. Bike to the Future will pay for 50% of the course registration fee for its members to attend a course. A reimbursement cheque will be presented at the course to members who have contacted us prior to the course date and indicated that they have registered for the course.
Employment opportunity: Bike to the Future Office Administrator / Bicycle Valet Winnipeg Project Coordinator
May 13 update
This position has been filled. An announcement will be made in a few days.
The Bike to the Future Office Administrator / Bicycle Valet Winnipeg Project Coordinator will report to Bike to the Future’s Board of Directors and provide administrative support to the organization. This person will also be the primary leader and executive director of Bicycle Valet Winnipeg, a project of Bike to the Future.
Job posting (PDF)
For more info, or to submit a resume, please email email@example.com. You’ll receive a prompt reply.
Governments across Canada have started a dialog on childhood obesity: Our Health Our Future, a National Dialog on Healthy Weight. They are encouraging all Canadians to participate.
There is an online forum where people and groups can submit ideas and/or vote on ideas submitted by others. Please vote for the idea: Develop a National Cycling Strategy.
For the past four years, volunteers from Bike to the Future have been counting cyclists at key locations in Winnipeg during morning and afternoon rush hours. The counts take place during the first week of April, May, and June. If you are able to help out by volunteering to do a two hour shift, or would like more information, please contact Jeremy Hull.
Each year we produce a report on the numbers of cyclists and post it on our website. (BttF Publications — see Forums and Surveys). Last year’s report was titled Commuter Cycling Trends in Winnipeg, 2007-2010, and we produced a media release about it.
These counts have been used by the City for planning purposes, at public meetings, and by BttF during various advocacy initiatives. The counts show that cycling in Winnipeg has increased since 2007; we expect that trend to continue, especially given that $20M of cycling infrastructure was built in 2010.
Bike to the Future has accomplished significant milestones since its inception in 2007.
Achievements in 2010 (PDF)
These successes and achievements would not have occurred had we not received your input, recommendations, and extensive volunteer support. Thank you!
Today, we are at a new phase in the organization’s development and focus.
The volunteer Board of Directors is again asking for your guidance, recommendations, and direction as we move forward. We’d like to hear your input on topics such as:
- infrastructure priorities
- membership and revenue models
- strengthened partnerships with bike stores, travel/tourism orgs
- neighbourhood leaders with local neighbourhood focus
- increased public outreach through forums or other avenues
- refreshing the web site
- rebranding the organization by looking at domain name, logo, etc
- other topics important to you
The cycling network in Winnipeg and Manitoba is still in the early stages of development. There are still many uncertainties and many opportunities to continue developing and promoting cycling.
Your input / support is critical to moving cycling forward in Winnipeg / Manitoba.
The volunteer board members can only do so much, and although we are seeking funding to hire a coordinator to assist in the growth of Bike to the Future — which is not yet in place, we need your input ASAP to help set the direction for the next phase of development.
Over 1500 people receive BttF’s email announcements; we are looking to you to help strengthen our core and set future direction.
Please — if you have any feedback on the above listed topics or others, contact BttF Director Tom McMahon.
BttF would like to convene an open meeting to discuss any topics identified. We will need help in organizing that meeting. Are you willing to help us organize such a meeting?
(February 10th update)
Janice Lukes of the Winnipeg Trails Association spoke about the City’s 2011 Capital Budget at the City’s Exective Policy Committee Meeting on Wednesday February 9th.
Janice’s presentation (3.5MB PDF)
At the City’s Public Works Committee meeting on Tuesday February 1st, Bike to the Future’s Mark Cohoe spoke about the City’s 2011 Capital Budget.
The City is proposing to cut the recreational walkways and bike paths budget in their 5 year forecast (it’s dropping from $1,000,000 per year to $500,000 per year in 2012). BttF also has growing frustration/uneasiness with the City’s plans for the Pembina/Jubilee Underpass.
The next step in the 2011 Capital Budget process will be the Executive Policy Committee meeting, which will take place on February 9th.
If you are concerned about this cut in funding to Active Transportation (especially compared to the amount of money the City spends on roadways for motor vehicles):
If you are interested in helping us out on this, please contact us.
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg is seeking three or four volunteers to provide a bicycle valet service within a 5 km radius of the Daniel McIntrye St Matthews Community Association (DMSMCA) boundary. This service will be provided primarily in the West Central neighbourhood. You will be using your personal bicycle to transport the required materials to the event sites. A trailer along with the required hitch will be provided.
Working with the Bicycle Valet Winnipeg Management Team, you will determine locations that a bicycle valet could be set up. As an active community member, you shall be aware of various events happening throughout the community and have the ability to arrange our attendance at these events.
A minimum of two people are required to provide service for small (up to 40 bicycles) events. Bicycle Valet Winnipeg has a pool of additional volunteers available to assist when more than two attendants are required.
Ideally, at least one bicycle valet will be set up at neighbourhood events on a weekly or bi-weekly basis from May through September. This would involve an average of one to two volunteer shifts per month per volunteer. On several occasions throughout the year, such as Bike to Work Day in June and Ciclovia in September, one person on the Trailer Team will be required to bring the trailer to the event site and return it at the completion of the event.
As funding allows, we will be expanding this level of service into other communities throughout Winnipeg. For more information about Bicycle Valet Winnipeg, please visit us at BicycleValetWinnipeg.ca. If you have any questions, please contact David Wieser, Project Manager, Bicycle Valet Winnipeg.
There is a possibility that the Supervisor Position will become a paid part-time position, dependent on grants pending approval.
Please forward a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org about how you, along with your co-applicant, can fulfill the intent of this volunteer position.
This is a not-for-profit project of Bike to the Future, funded by Bike to the Future, Assiniboine Credit Union, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Daniel McIntyre St Matthews Community Association, and Manitoba Public Insurance.
- Access to a bicycle and the ability to pull a 300 pound trailer.
- Have a partner willing to assist you during the Bicycle Valet events.
- Active community member .
- Have access to a secure storage space (require 12 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet).
- Live in or near the DMSMCA boundary (Portage to Notre Dame and Victor to Ingersoll).
In April 2009, a new Winnipeg cycling map was unveiled. It was the result of an 8 month project partnership between Bike to the Future (BttF), the Manitoba Cycling Association (MCA), the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Trails Association (WTA), Climate Change Connection, One Green City, and Green Action Centre (formerly Resource Conservation Manitoba).
Two years later, after significant improvements to Winnipeg’s active transportation network, a project has been implemented to update the 2009 map to reflect major AT changes since 2009.
- BttF is working with the Manitoba Cycling Association and the City of Winnipeg on this.
- Electronic data needs to be updated in the City’s GIS database in order to produce the paper map, provide info to Google Maps, and power possible iPhone and Blackberry apps.
- The paper map will be ready for May 2011.
- A new feature will be regional routes. For example: to Birds Hill Park, to Headingley.
- Ted Mann is again responsible for route content on the 2011 map. He is compiling a list of content errors from the 2009 map, so cyclists can send him their observations.
Winnipeg is included in Google Maps’ Bike Directions feature. If you notice a mistake or problem when using it, please contact Google by clicking Report a problem (the link at the bottom of the directions).
Want to coordinate an exciting city wide event that celebrates cycling culture?
The Bike to Work Day Winnipeg planning team is looking for an Event Coordinator to assist with Bike to Work Day Winnipeg 2011 (Friday, June 24, 2011). New ideas and approaches will be welcomed. In general, the individual will be responsible for:
- Attending meetings of and reporting to the planning committee
- Updating a sponsorship package and soliciting donations from previous and new sponsors.
- Assisting with the development and coordination of promotional materials, and liaising with the planning team, graphic designer, and web developer.
- Assisting with overall coordination of pancake breakfast and coordinating rides from established Oases in the city, including the coordination of volunteers.
- Communicating with media and developing partnerships with other related community organizations.
- Preparing a report of the event and recommendations for events in future years.
- Performing other coordination duties as needed
Required skills and experience:
- Creativity in event planning and promotion.
- Exceptional organizational and communication skills.
- Able to deliver commitments under pressure.
- Comfortable working with a volunteer-run planning team.
- Development of sponsorship packages and soliciting sponsors.
- Event coordination and promotion.
- Community engagement.
- Media relations.
- Volunteer coordination.
- Report writing.
This is approximately a 3-month contract, beginning April 4th until submission of a final report, for $7,500 – $10,000, depending on experience and details of the final contract. The independent contractor will be responsible to provide their own office, office supplies, and equipment.
The successful applicant will be accountable to the volunteer planning team.
Interested candidates should forward a résumé, covering letter, and references to relevant experience to email@example.com by March 28, 2011.
The 4th annual Bike to Work Day is scheduled for Friday June 24th. Volunteers are needed to serve on the planning committees. Meetings will commence in the new year at a to-be-determined date/time/location. Please contact the volunteer Project Manager, Mike Tutthill, if you have questions or are interested.
January 6th update:
We have yet to meet to begin planning.
Unfortunately I will be away the week of Bike to Work Day and would like to hand off the Volunteer Project Manager position, so let me know if you are interested
The City’s funding of $20,000 has been approved.
Bike to Work Day will be a great opportunity to showcase some of the great new infrastructure that we’ve got now in Winnipeg.
So we should meet and begin making some decisions. I know that would make our sponsors happy!
The link below is a doodle where you can indicate your availability to meet: http://doodle.com/z5439m4iy9wcqup3. I have tried to offer various times of the day (more than just lunch time, when we’ve met in the past) to see if we can make the meeting time more accessible.
Please indicate your availability by Monday, January 10th.
Thanks all. I look forward to working on Bike to Work Day with you!
2010 Bike to Work Day Winnipeg
Volunteer Project Manager
The Ice Riders are a student group at the University of Winnipeg. They are a non-profit organization that helps people have better access to the resources they need to bike all year round.
The Ice Riders are in the process of building a bike lab on the UofWinnipeg campus. It should be completed this spring, and it will be a base for anyone with a bike to come by for repairs, advice, or even to build a bike. Close to fifty students and non students are committed to volunteering their time to make this a success, but a real issue is funding.
The link below takes you to a video which was created by a few members and friends, and submitted to the TD Go Green Challenge, where the successful candidates will receive $100,000 of funding to implement their project. TD is also doing a People’s Choice award of $2,500. This is where you can help. Please view the video, and if you are so inclined, please vote for it. Any vote helps, and so far the Ice Riders are ahead of the pack!
PS: Please tell your friends!
The City of Winnipeg is in the process of developing a Transportation Master Plan. You can find information presented at a recent Open House along with a link to a survey on the future of transportation in Winnipeg here: transportation.speakupwinnipeg.com.
If you want to go straight to the survey, see surveymonkey.com/s/winnipegtmp.
The feedback received from the survey will help in developing the plan, so it’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to complete it.
Construction to begin on UWinnipeg’s Bike Station & UWSA Bike Lab
In partnership with the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA), The University of Winnipeg is set to begin construction on an innovative and progressive cycling hub on Spence Street, as part of a commitment to promote active and sustainable transit options for students, staff and the surrounding community. The project has been realized by a private donation from an alumnus and a $50,000 capital donation from UWSA, as well as through the visionary presence of Peter Sampson Architectural Studio (PSA Studio) and the resourceful partnered efforts of students and staff.
The “Bike Station & UWSA Bike Lab,” will be operational in spring 2011.
The University commissioned PSA Studio to develop a unique bike hub that uses recycled steel shipping containers as the main framework for the lab. The recycled shipping containers were donated by Ken Cranwill of Connexion Industries. Funded by an annual student levy of $2.00, the UWSA Bike Lab will be a cycling education and advocacy facility that will offer free year-round programming to students, staff, faculty and community members such as bike maintenance, safety workshops, advocacy and networking workshops, a registry and individualized support plan for all bikes on and around campus. As well, specific community outreach programming will include “build a bike” programs where participants will assemble good- as-new bikes from recycled or discarded parts. The facility will also be home to the UWSA Ice Riders winter cycling team, already a very popular program on campus. The Bike Station & UWSA Bike Lab also will also feature covered bike parking and a cyclist friendly courtyard and meeting place. Supporting Active Transportation
In addition, UWinnipeg is now providing cyclists with a new option: indoor secure bicycle parking underground the Duckworth Centre, for $10 a month.
“We continue to look for tangible ways to make active transportation an easy and affordable option on campus,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg. “This also takes us a step closer to our long-term objective of achieving zero net green house gas emissions.”
Future bike stations may also be developed on campus.
“We are very proud of this student led initiative. The UWSA Bike Lab will engage, further energize, support, and be shaped by, the vibrant cycling culture on our campus and in our community,” said Jason Syvixay, President of the UWSA. “Students who commute to and from school on their bicycles know very well that Winnipeg’s existing bicycle infrastructure still presents many barriers. The UWSA Bike Lab will contribute to an active form of sustainable transportation and will celebrate and highlight the unique cycling culture already present at the University of Winnipeg.”
In 2005, President Lloyd Axworthy committed to a comprehensive Sustainability Management System for UWinnipeg, which means potential environmental impact is factored into all decisions. UWinnipeg recently became the first university in Canada to place sustainability at the executive table by adding this responsibility to one of its Vice-President positions.
Visit the campus sustainability website.
- 30 –
Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg P: 204.988.7135, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
On October 14th, Bike to the Future contacted all 55 candidates in the October 27th City of Winnipeg Mayoral and Council races and asked them to answer a written questionnaire about active transportation.
Many candidates obliged us with responses, which we are pleased to publish as an aid to our membership. Here is the questionnaire:
Since our last Civic Elections in 2006, Winnipeg has experienced a number of developments related to cycling and active transportation, and we have also seen a 23% increase in commuter cycling since 2007. Still, there continue to be many gaps in Winnipeg’s active transportation network and current cycling levels are still well below those in leading cities in North America, let alone Europe.
As part of our continuing advocacy of cycling issues in Winnipeg, we have developed the following set of questions for candidates seeking office in the October 27th, 2010 civic election. We would appreciate your responses to these questions and will publish them as written, without editing or comment, on our website. You may respond to us by email or by fax at 944-1900. We would appreciate receiving your responses by Tuesday October 19th so that we can publish the results next week, about a week before election day. Thanks very much for your participation in this candidates survey!
- Do you believe that the current cycling network provides the citizens of our city with adequate options for traveling safely by bicycle?
- Currently, the City of Winnipeg 2011 Capital Budget forecasts $250,000 for New Regional Sidewalks, $1 million for Recreational Walkways and Bike Paths, and $500,000 for Active Transportation Corridors. Do you think these amounts need to be increased, and if so, by how much?
- The province provides funding to the city for recreational walkways and bike paths. Would you like to see the city match provincial funding for these walkways and paths dollar for dollar?
- In past years, the city has allowed only one year for public consultations, design and construction of new active transportation projects. Would you support changing this to a two-year process with public consultation, conceptual design and budgeting taking place in the first year, and construction taking place in the following year?
- Given the car-oriented design and history of Winnipeg, do you agree that the city needs programs to encourage and educate citizens concerning how to safely travel by bicycle within the city? Would you include funding for cyclist safety education in the city’s operating budget?
- Within your 4 year term, will you support the completion of Phase II of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor, including an AT pathway that crosses Pembina, and then follows the busway south to Bison Drive?
- Are there specific active transportation projects or needs that you consider a priority within your ward (for council candidates) or within the city (for mayoral candidates)?
- Do you have any other comments regarding cycling or active transportation in Winnipeg?
Candidate responses can be viewed here.
For voting information, please see the City of Winnipeg election information page.
BttF Co-Chair Kevin Miller and BttF Directors Mark Cohoe and Rob Cosco met with Mayor Sam Katz today for half an hour at his campaign headquarters. We opened the meeting by acknowledging that more progress had been made on active transportation in Winnipeg during the past four years than in prior years, and we thanked Mayor Katz for his leadership on AT.
Mayor Katz is proud of what has been achieved so far, and he supports the continued building of Winnipeg’s AT network.
There are a number of potential future opportunities for BttF because we were asked for input:
- Mayor Katz would like to hear some ideas about how to bridge the negative gap between cyclists and motorists. (For example, can we provide him with some ideas that are being used in other jurisdictions?)
- He’s interested in hearing some potential ideas about education for cyclists. He told us about being impressed with Dave Elmore’s knowledge during his ride on Bike to Work Day, and he asked how that knowledge can be shared.
- He also indicated an interest in theft prevention and how to deal with it.
We were surprised to learn (and happy to hear) a few things about the $20M AT infrastructure projects:
- The March 31, 2011 deadline for the federal stimulus funding is not “carved in stone”. Project work that doesn’t finish this fall before snow arrives will be completed in the spring (i.e. after March 31, 2011).
- Although construction of the McDermot-Bannatyne Bikeway was put on hold, the City is moving forward by consulting with area stakeholders, which may result in a few changes, and construction of the project will be done in the spring.
- Although painting of the Sherbrook bike lanes was put on hold, consultation with Sherbrook-Ellice area businesses continues in order to minimize the loss of parking, and a seasonal bike lane (April to October) will be painted on Sherbrook.
It was a good discussion.
Bike to the Future met with Mayoral Candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis for just under 2 hours on Friday October 8th at the Sport For Life Centre. This discussion of Active Transportation in the City of Winnipeg had been promoted on our website and Announcement list. Anyone could attend; 17 BttF members and supporters did.
BttF believes it was a very successful meeting because we established a dialogue with Judy.
In her opening remarks Judy stated her well-known position on rapid transit, mentioned that she was concerned about the widely reported tensions over a number of the new AT infrastructure projects, and told us that she wanted to learn a lot more about AT from us.
The bulk of time during the evening consisted of a dialogue between Judy and the audience: facts about the $20M AT infrastructure project, Q&A, personal viewpoints and stories, and ideas for moving forward. Judy wrote many notes during the evening as various people were expressing their opinions and ideas.
Most attendees were very pleased with how the evening went.
Mayor Sam Katz was approached for a similar meeting, but it hasn’t yet been scheduled.
Earlier this week, Bike to the Future asked our members/supporters to consider writing a letter of support for the new AT infrastructure projects. Thanks to everyone who has done so. It’s certainly not too late to write.
Here are the 24 letters of support we’ve received:
I have to say that I feel safer, faster, more confident and I enjoy cycling more on all of the lanes/paths that I have been on compared to what was there before. So far I have ridden on Assiniboine, Grosvenor, Eugenie, Bannatyne, McDermot, Carlton, and Hargrave (some of which were painted last year) and they all seem to me to be well built and well thought out facilities.
I consider myself a confident and capable rider and I typically don’t mind riding with traffic. But as I get older (i.e. not in my early, fearless 20s anymore) I find myself getting more cautions and gettin really upset when cars wizz by, five centimeters from my elbow. And now that I often have a child trailing behind me I am more aware than ever about the risks of cycling in and amongst car traffic. As such, I am more appreciative than ever of the bike lanes/paths that have been built in Winnipeg in that last two years. Even a painted line makes a world of difference, both for me and for the motorists around me. More advanced facilities, like the one along Assiniboine, are a dream to ride on, and I can only hope that the public will eventually appreciate the improvement that that level of design makes for higher-density neighbourhoods like Broadway-Assiniboine.
Keep up the good work!
I am in full support of the 2010 $20M active transportation infrastructure! I am a recent Gordon Bell graduate and avid cyclist. Like many, I depend upon my bike as my only source of transport, and having the use of clearly marked lanes devoted to cyclists makes getting around the city safer and more enjoyable. I know many people, including myself, are overjoyed to see that the city is taking our safety to heart, please continue to make Winnipeg a bike friendly city.
The lane on Maryland has been a pleasant surprise! Cars are staying away from the curb and it makes the commute so much better. Nothing yet on Sherbrook!
The Yellow Ribbon Greenway in St James is just awesome.
As a community we were consulted – there were open houses.
The trail has brought people together – we are active, walking, talking and enjoying the trail.
A special thank you to City staff for all their efforts on our behalf.
I have been a cyclist commuter for over 10 years now with rides varying from 10 km to 20 mi daily. I am also a resident of River Heights where the new bikeway infrastructure has been put in place.
I recognize the inherent flaws in having to fast track a project in order to be guaranteed time stamped federal funding, and that more public consultation and implementation time would be preferable. However, the new traffic circles that run along Grosvenor are a good idea and, I suspect once all adapt and learn how they function, will be a fixture city wide. I believe they are safer and more efficient. Further, I think it adds character to the neighbourhood and makes it a more interesting place to live. I encourage all to be patient both with the changes and with the vocal critics of these changes.
I have been cycling to work Apr-Nov for the past 7 years, and cycling as my only mode of transport since I sold my car 5 years ago. This past week or so I have been trying to figure out what was going on out on the roads! I have never been honked, yelled at or had so many people take close calls in passing me before. I could also say there has been things yelled out at me, but for the most part I couldn’t understand what the driver said exactly
In reading your message about extra anger out on the roads, I fully agree. I was wondering if it was just me, which didn’t make much sense as I have not changed my cycling habits.
It will take time for some drivers to get over the fact that it’s not all about them, let’s just hope they keep in mind they are operating 2000 lbs+ machines and it’s not a game out there.
I am an only parent and wish to travel to and from my job, and anywhere else I need to go safely and arrive alive. I don’t feel that is too much to ask.
I just wanted to add my support for the active transport initiatives in this city. I’ve been cycling, walking, bussing, and driving in Winnipeg for the last 23 years. I am thrilled with the new active transport trails in my part of the city, which is south St. Vital. I back onto one of the long-standing bike/walking trails that, until recently, was connected to nothing other than busy streets. Finally, I will have a way to easily access other bike/walking trails and can hardly wait until the Bishop Grandin/Kenaston trail is completed so that I can go from my home to Fort White or Assiniboine Park without having to navigate treacherous streets and traffic. The other proof of the value of these trails is extensive use they are already getting. I have never seen so many people out using these trails and enjoying some outdoor activities in a much more relaxed environment. Congratulations to the city planners and activists who have made this happen!
For those that complain that consultations were not conducted, that is not true. I attended such a consultation because I took the time to go and find out what was happening. Those that did not take the time should have no right to complain. I also encourage the city to continue to consider alternative forms of transportation in their future planning. Not all situations require the extensive construction of dedicated bikeways. Sometimes a simple modification such as a painted bike lane on a street can make a huge difference in safety. Keep up the good work!
I have written through 311 and I look forward to hearing Judy this Friday.
Hi Councillor Vandal,
Bike to the Future is probably one of those thorns in your side currently, advocating for the further progress of the proposed active transportation routes. They do an excellent job though, in educating those with open minds, about the positive aspects relating to the new routes we have in place.
My hope, is that you further endorse the Eugenie pathway, even though you may be hearing some complaints from motorists that use Eugenie as their through route to get to St.Mary’s (and vice versa). I’m not sure if you’ve sat on Eugenie, either from 7:30-8:30am or 4:00-5:00pm, but there are SO many cyclists that use this route. There are so many cyclists, that if you’re a cyclist yourself, you actually have to merge in with the existing bicycle traffic to start your day.
The motorists, on the other hand, I’m not sure what they’re doing…
Are they racing the traffic on Marion/Goulet, from stop sign to stop sign? I’m not sure why they use a city block of Eugenie to test how fast their car can go from 0-60. The roundabouts will drastically reduce the stopping and squealing starts my wife tells me about every morning.
I haven’t seen the beginning of any construction on my street, so I’m suspecting this particular active transportation project has either been cancelled altogether, or put on hold until the next construction season, when the city will no longer have the funding for any new active transportation routes.
Any feedback you might have relating to this little note would be greatly appreciated. Look fwd to hearing from you.
Maybe I am imagining things but during this morning’s commute along Pembina it really felt like more motorists were passing leaving very little room for error. It was just after 7 AM and I was wearing a reflective jacket as well as a blinking red light so I think I was quite visible. Many passed me closely without slowing down at all and then looked in their rear view mirror to see if I was still upright. Maybe I was paranoid but I felt more vulnerable than usual.
I also bike along Sherbrook and Maryland and love “the line” on Maryland and now also Harrow. What a difference that makes. I have contacted the Free Press about that wonderful development.
I caught a piece of your CBC radio interview regarding bicycle paths. Just wanted to let you know you did a good job and I think you’re right. I was in Grant Park mall last winter and there were lots of folks going to the Active Transportation kiosk asking questions and taking away pamphlets. I think, yes, some folks will be be inconvenienced and, yes drivers, and likely cyclists, are on a bit of a learning curve, some business will take time to adapt but the long range benefits of having a more bicycle friendly city clearly outweigh the disadvantages. A few folks are upset because they did not understand what was going to happen until construction started but I suspect they are in the minority.
As I was riding today, I have already been told to ‘get off the road’ by a huge truck who turned left beside me and almost hit me. It is therefore appropriate that I had submitted this letter to the Free Press, Judy, and Sam this morning:
Over the past couple weeks, I have read with great interest the debate raging over the bike lanes and traffic circles being erected in our city. In the fairness of full disclosure, I feel it necessary to state that my primary source of transportation is my bicycle with walking being a distant second.
What worries me most when pouring over the comments written by some readers is their disregard for the main reasoning behind these traffic changes. At the heart of the infrastructure improvements is safety. Safety for cyclists and safety for cars. It is so very disheartening to read that ‘we should not be pandering to a minority of citizens when REAL problems can be fixed for REAL vehicles’ (loose citation…). Because, in reality, whether or not cyclists represent less of the population is a moot point.
As a good friend of mine told me last week: ‘the main role of government is to ensure the safety of all of its citizens’. When we propose to only make traffic improvements for the majority of road users, we are only reinforcing the unsafe conditions I encounter daily across this city. The proposed changes to our roads will help to alleviate the hazards associated to cycling, and will mitigate some of the irritations drivers seem to feel when encountering cyclists on the road. This is turn makes our streets better for all users.
And while I believe that active transportation needs to be given priority status by all levels of our government for many reasons I have not stated here, what I really wish to underline is that the palpable division between drivers and cyclists in this city does nothing but support a toxic environment on our roads. Winnipeg’s road system has fallen behind the times. Let’s work together by inviting change and aiming to make our streets safer. Bike lanes and traffic circles are a great step in that direction.
Keep fighting the good fight!
I’m one of the Winnipegers who is very happy with the new active transportation initiatives currently being developed. Our city has lagged behind other Canadian cities in this regard and it’s about time we caught up.
Unfortunately many of the nay sayers in Winnipeg will not be converted till gas is at least $3 a litre.
Just a quick note to let you know that I have found the motorists on Broadway during rush hour to be particularly unfriendly lately. Likely due to the closure and changes being made to Assiniboine. Nothing serious, but a noticeable difference nonetheless.
I just got back from a trip to Barcelona and Catalonia. It was my first time driving in Europe, and especially with roundabouts. I found they were very easy to learn and very safe. I was very pleased with the way they allowed traffic to proceed with almost no stop signs. The traffic was calm and there was no horn-honking or excessive speeds (almost of my driving was outside Barcelona). I say this from the perspective of a car driver. The roundabouts work.
Also, I have decided to ride bikes in every city I visit. I have been lucky in the past 15 years or so to have ridden in Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Davis (California) and Barcelona. EVERY one of those cities has significantly superior bike infrastructure to Winnipeg’s. Every one of those cities has very long, waterfront separate bike lanes (maybe not Quebec City or Davis so much). Every one of those cities has far more bike trails than Winnipeg. (See article on top bike friendly cities in the world: www.virgin-vacations.com/11-most-bike-friendly-cities.aspx)
I ride my bike to work all year long in Winnipeg. I am very appreciative for the improvements that I see happening with Winnipeg’s bike trails. (I especially enjoyed riding on the river last winter – thanks to the The Forks!) Of course more can always be done, and I expect to see bike trail additions in EVERY year’s capital budget. In Riverview, we have seen some new roundabouts installed. My wife and I and our neighbours are very pleased, both from a car driving and bike riding perspective.
Winnipeg is on to a good thing, even if we are a bit late to the party – biking has everything going for it – active living, good for the environment, reduction of noise and traffic, lower infrastructure costs, lower vehicle costs and increased safety.
Keep up the good work Bike to the Future, Winnipeg Trails Association and the City of Winnipeg!
I have been a spring-summer-fall cyclist for 10+ years and have strategically avoided busy thoroughfares like Portage Avenue whenever possible. When the diamond lanes first opened, I cycled down Osborne Street and was run out the lane by a UPS truck. I had been skittish about using them ever since. Recently I had errands which took me along Portage Avenue. Watching the traffic flows, I decided that I would take a chance again on the diamond lane as drivers appeared to be respecting the lanes. What a treat to move with the traffic flow on Portage without worrying about being mowed down by cars (and especially trucks) weaving in and out of the parking lane. Thanks for moving cyclists from third class citizen to legitimate users of city streets!
To: LThomas@winnipeg.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am writing to show my support for the active transportation projects currently scheduled/underway in Winnipeg. I am, at varying times, a cyclist, motorist, and pedestrian and believe that everything possible needs to be done to encourage active transportation in Winnipeg, as cycling and walking are often dangerous in this city.
As a frequent pedestrian on Pembina Hwy, I have been at risk numerous times of being hit by motorists turning in/out of businesses along that street, who feel they have the right-of-way simply because they are motorists. The only reason I have not been hit is because I was able to get out of the way fast enough. I have been disgusted to see things like motorists sounding their horns as an elderly woman with a walker attempted to cross Pembina Hwy at a light, and was unable to complete her crossing before the light changed. Walking along such streets is unpleasant with the scream of traffic in your ears and I have been soaked numerous times by motorists speeding through puddles in the curb lane. Laws about such things are ineffective if they are not enforced. This is not exclusive to Pembina Hwy, as major streets such as Regent Ave, and Henderson Hwy have similar issues.
I am pleased to see work underway on various bike paths throughout the city towards the goal of a linked network. As a relatively “new” cyclist I have found it frustrating to bike along bike paths which mysteriously end, dumping cyclists onto the sidewalk where it is officially illegal to cycle (The bikepath along Dunkirk/Fermor for example).
In choosing to cycle in Winnipeg, I put my physical well-being at risk due to both the potential for accidental and purposeful collisions with motorists–and I fully believe that many collisions are purposeful on the part of motorists. While I have found the majority of motorists to be respectful, I have been in situations where I feared for my life, such as the time where a large semi-trailer attempted to force me off the road in full daylight as I cycled to buy groceries on Bison Drive, his trailer not more than 18 inches from my shoulder. I am aware of a number of individuals who have found themselves in similar situations where they have been forced off the road and even knocked off their bikes in collisions with motorists (who have then proceeded to get out of the car to scream at the “offending” cyclist who was then biking predictably in the curb-lane on Pembina Hwy and hit by the vehicle which passed too closely).
Cyclists dangerously disobeying traffic laws (biking the wrong way along streets, driving unpredictably between sidewalks and roadways) need to be ticketed for their disregard of the law, but motorists endangering cyclists are the ones that need to be penalized most severely for their disregard of both laws and people’s lives.
Cycling in Winnipeg, a viable alternative for most individuals for 6-8 months out of the year even in our Winter city (and year-round for the hardy), should be encouraged in our city for it’s ability to alleviate traffic gridlock, and improve the environment and the health of our citizens. Active transportation also has the potential to make our city a friendlier and safer place–on a bicycle (or out walking) you’re likely to smile at and acknowledge those around you–and I know that the people out walking in my Glenelm neighbourhood on a daily basis make me feel far more secure, as well as providing me with a way to get to know my neighbours in an increasingly anonymous society.
Please help make Winnipeg a safe place for the cyclists and pedestrians who put themselves at risk to improve our environment and our city and continue the support of our Active Transportation network.
I just want to help support the bike paths. I love the bike paths and believe that they’re great for encouraging physical activity among multiple ages. They allow a safe and peaceful place to relax and learn more about the local neighborhood. With the use of the 2009 bike map, I have learned a lot about Winnipeg, that born ‘Winnipegers’ may have never heard of. I have been able to explore more of the city with the bike paths. The routes take you away from the busy streets and immerse you in a beautiful scenery to take you to you’re destination. Everyone encountered on the trails looks so happy and it makes my day.
Today I enjoyed my most pleasant bike commute in 22 years. Since 1988, I have been riding my bike back and forth to Health Sciences Centre, north on Sherbrook in the morning and south on Maryland in the evening. It is a busy route and is frequently fraught with unexpected and sometimes dangerous situations for both cyclists and drivers alike.
Today, as I turned south onto Maryland, I was pleasantly surprised to find a newly painted white line designating a bike lane that parallelled the west curb lane and ran south from Notre Dame to the Maryland Bridge. What a difference a painted line can make! The cars and trucks respectfully stayed on their side; I kept to my side, and all moved smoothly together in a safe and organized homeward commute.
That thin white line created a win-win situation. The vehicles still had three lanes, but now I also had my own space. Both drivers and cyclists seemed more relaxed since both now knew how they were expected to share the road. It was remarkable. And all thanks to the hard work of all those involved in making Winnipeg’s active transportation initiative a reality — and a thin white line.
I sent this to the Free Press:
Do not look a gift horse in the mouth!
This used to be a popular expression when we rode around on horses in the city. Now that we have advanced to a new age we need to invent an expression for those that oppose the bike paths. I have never heard more whining and complaining then from what should be the most environmentally friendly part of Winnipeg. The city had their public forums and info sessions and they were well advertised and surprise – nobody showed up. I travel on an electric bike so that I can avoid dangerous paved shoulder and I dreamed of the day that the city would add bike paths to lower the probability of being hit by some irate driver. When the info sessions for the Bishop Grandin to Kenaston bike path was planned only two people showed up – me and another gal who was complaining about – I think mosquitoes. I had inquired at a local bike shop in the area – because I thought that they would want it going by their shop – they were aware of the meeting but indicated that any path anywhere would be a plus. This appeared to be the general consensus of most people that I spoke with in the area. At least when the city builds something – they are making it safe for those that chose to be environmentally friendly – and I hope they make it safe for those building the environmentally friendly infrastructure – hats off to the city workers – and watch out for those irate drivers (and lawyers!).
Thanks for letting me know……
Maybe I am imagining things but during this morning’s commute along Pembina it really felt like more motorists were passing leaving very little room for error. It was just after 7:00 AM and I was wearing a reflective jacket as well as a blinking red light so I think I was quite visible. Many passed me closely without slowing down at all and then looked in their rear view mirror to see if I was still upright. Maybe I was paranoid but I felt more vulnerable than usual.
I also bike along Sherbrook and Maryland and love “the line” on Maryland and now also Harrow. What a difference that makes. I have contacted the Free Press about that wonderful development.
Before we complain too much about traffic circles, it is important that we realize the considerable benefits they offer.
- They are good for the environment. Four-way stops, on the other hand, are not. Instead of forcing traffic to stop, traffic circles generally allow traffic to keep rolling through if there is no vehicle in sight.
- They involve the driver in problem solving. Having spent many hours in the nightmare that was Winnipeg traffic this summer, I realize that my main frustration comes from the plague of four-way stop signs and traffic signals that infest this city. At least a traffic circle credits me with some intelligence. I can move through an intersection without stopping if conditions warrant.
- Traffic circles slow down vehicles by their very nature, but they also keep traffic moving in a slow, orderly fashion without the need for a complicated traffic-light system — thus earning another environmental stamp of approval.
- They have the potential to be pretty. Planting flowers or plants in the middle of a traffic circle (Europeans go so far as to have fountains) can make them quite attractive. When is the last time you could say that about a stop sign or a traffic light?
- They are safe: I have driven a lot in the Netherlands, and it has many, many traffic circles installed. The Netherlands is 1/17th the size of Manitoba but has more than 13 times the number of vehicles packed into it. I frequently drove to Dutch addresses inside towns and encountered no stop signs the whole distance. Only traffic circles. And I should point out that the Netherlands has one traffic fatality per year for every 28,000 people. We have one traffic fatality per year for every 12,000 people.
I want to thank the city planners, engineers, and construction crews for trying to make our city more cycling friendly. As for the citizens that have been complaining about the projects, shame on you. If these construction projects were only for road improvements you would be complaining about them, too. If there was no construction at all then you would be complaining that our roads are falling apart. Maybe you complainers should ride your bike (if you own one) to work and see things from the other side. As for the candidates for mayor; I too am a voter and there are a lot of us cyclist who are in favor of active transportation infrastructure program.
Construction will always be a part of revitalizing our city and we, as Winnipeggers, should be used to it by now. Once these projects are completed it will be everyone, including your children, that will benefit from the new bike routes.
Stop criticizing the consultation process. Stop criticizing city staff and consultants. Get on with the job of putting federal infrastructure money to work building badly needed bike and pedestrian facilities.
Shame on Judy Wasylycia-Leis for suggesting that the Assiniboine Bikeway be halted. Double shame on Mayor Sam Katz for criticizing city staff. I found city staff involved in active transportation to be knowledgeable and helpful people who made a considerable effort with a complex consultation process.
The construction season is coming to a close. Federal infrastructure money is coming to an end next March. There has been planning, there has been press coverage, there has been consultation and there has been opportunity for feedback. Now is the time to take the plan and the money and finish the job. It is not the time to be indecisive and throw away federal money.
The benefits of having our cities and neighbourhoods accessible by active transportation are legion and well-documented. You don’t have to go to Paris for innovative, scenic and functional cycling trails, a public bike rental system, rapid transit where you can roll your bike on and hang it up, and vacation destinations where the cycling infrastructure is a major part of the attraction.
Go no further than Minnesota, in general, and Minneapolis in particular. Winnipeg has been making great progress in active transportation lately and if the municipal politicians will stay out of the way and let the planners, consultants and builders spend the federal money to finish the job, we can make Winnipeg a place where more people want to work, live and vacation.
You are probably aware that there has been a dramatic increase in media attention and criticism related to the 2010 active transportation infrastructure projects in the past two weeks.
Bike to the Future supports the 36 projects that comprise Winnipeg’s 2010 Active Transportation Infrastructure program. We recognize that some of the projects, or parts of some of the projects, may negatively impact some people, and we realize that people who are negatively impacted by any change will naturally criticize the change.
These projects are intended to improve conditions for the majority of cyclists. If you’re an experienced, confident cyclist, please try to look at the new infrastructure from the perspective of a cycling family with kids. And vice-versa if you’re a newbie cyclist or a cyclist who is non confident riding in traffic. We think you’ll find that, on balance, there have been improvements for everyone.
We need to show support to the City of Winnipeg staff, consultants, and engineers who have been criticized by politicians, media, motorists, and others. If you like the new infrastructure, or at least certain projects, please contact the Mayor, City Councilors, Civic Election candidates, and the media … and also contact us so we can post anonymous good news stories.
If you’re unfamiliar with the background and process behind all public infrastructure projects (particularly the new active transportation infrastructure), here’s our perspective.
Elected officials can both instigate and approve plans/goals suggested by the City administration and/or pursue projects that are asked for by the community. Extensive grassroots involvement can help lay the foundation and build momentum, administrative studies can be done, and a political consensus can be developed. In the case of the new active transportation infrastructure, all of the above happened. This set the stage for something fantastic: vulnerable road users and pedestrians, seeking safety and enhanced ability to be environmentally conscious and active, asked for much-deserved and long-awaited attention, and they got it.
Once priorities are determined, budget line items are identified well in advance and added to the capital budget. Some projects are added when opportunity arises (usually additional funding). Preliminary assessments of each project are done to get rough cost estimates depending on the type of project (bike lanes are cheaper than new bike paths, etc), and the priority projects are identified. Within the context of the overall budget, a list of projects is chosen. If/when projects are determined to require public feedback, a budget is added for consultation. If not, they simply proceed with construction.
Importantly, most road construction (resurfacings, twinings, overpasses) are built with no consultation, just straight construction. Some projects, like watermain replacements, are predetermined to be so necessary that they are never subject to input.
Other projects, like retrofitting bike infrastructure in a city designed mainly for cars for the last 50 years, are flagged as needing extensive consultation in order to inform residents. Makes sense. Besides, active transportation is so approachable, that individual citizen feedback really is very helpful and makes a meaningful impact on the final design. Each of us has a useful idea to share, a design modification that makes sense, a concern to address, and a part to play.
Before engaging the public, the engineers and city planners developed preliminary ideas to get an idea of what is possible. Local open houses were held, often twice for each project, so that the planners and engineers could gather input and feedback from the community, make modifications, etc. Because of all the related projects, each open house acted as an advertisement for the next. There were approximately 2 dozen of these events held until June. People had plenty of opportunity to get involved, and they did. It’s impressive to see the willingness of individuals to give up their free time to come out and have their say. Most never get involved, and I don’t blame them. It’s nice to simply live.
Openness and consensus was encouraged, but certain modifications were impossible within the context/goals of the project. Football stadiums don’t become badminton courts, and freeways don’t become bike paths (not usually, anyway). That means that not everyone’s ideas and concerns are included, even though the engineers/planners try their best. All final designs require the final approval of an engineer; they must be stamped by someone who is responsible for adhering to safety standards, traffic flow standards and other tenets of their profession, and who risks their career if they fail. Sometimes projects go back to the politicians for a final look see and approval (in this case, all of them did). Then, the engineers spent hours and hours on AutoCAD creating the construction drawings. These got tendered, the city evaluated the companies based on their price/ability to get the job done, and the winning company, or the city itself, builds it, we all enjoy it, etc.
With regards to timelines, each of these projects has been a 3 to 6 year project. Some date back to the first official Active Transportation Study which was submitted in 2004, and approved in 2006. Others date back to grassroots project development in 2006-2007. The big push came this year, when cycling, walking, wheeling and accessibility were recognized as a priority for a city burdened by traffic congestion, a province burdened by healthcare costs, and a country facing a need to wean itself off carbon.
We have proven that it is possible to transform a city, and that active transportation infrastructure simply needs willpower in order to happen. We have proven that promoting cycling and walking and wheeling is important. After all, we are all one of these at various times. For example, there are no “cyclists”. Being a “cyclist”, is no more an ideology than being a pedestrian, it is simply something one does.
For the record, the amount of effort (and money) spent on consultation was tremendous on these projects, despite what has been alluded in the paper. We have been honoured and humbled by the work ethic and dedication of the dozens of engineering companies, planners, city departments, volunteers, and designers working on this $20 Million project, and inspired by the thoughtful input from Winnipeggers. The amount of mail drops, open houses, stakeholder meetings, big federal billboards, planning sessions, newspaper ads, shopping mall displays, cycling maps, etc, that have been produced and distributed is staggering. We know for a fact that there were a lot of late nights, overtime hours, emergency meetings, head-scratching, phone calls, redesigns, etc. One project, for example, had more than 3000 letters mailed out, and has so far taken 3 years to plan and build. There are 37 of these projects happening this year. Do the math.
For projects of their size, the amount of consultation and opinion gathering on each one was unprecedented. The openness and helpfulness of the engineers was inspiring. No design ever pleases 100% of the people, including me and you. With patience, even folks with doubts will see that, at the end of the day, the planners and engineers were very considerate and skilled. Key connections will need to be made, but, in the meantime, we will see considerable improvement. The ability of the citizens and professionals of Winnipeg to bandy together to implement this stuff with the least disruption possible without sacrificing the safety of the target users (pedestrians and cyclists) and without going over budget is impressive. Spring of 2011, in particular, will be a special season in Winnipeg.
Unfortunately, one lawsuit makes the news, but one safely completed family trip to the grocery store by bicycle does not.
The Bannatyne/McDermot bikeway has been in the news lately.
For those of you trying to decipher what’s going on and/or who are concerned about the bike lanes, we’ll try and provide some helpful background info.
In terms of budget, this has very little to do with cycling. It’s more about walking and wheelchair access. The traffic volume and speed is so low between Rorie St and Waterfront Drive that most cyclists would be OK even without the bike lane.
This is a project that started in 2008. Most of the bike lanes were painted in 2009. It has all gone very smoothly. The project is 95% complete.
2010 plans are to convert the very last block of McDermot (between Rorie St and Waterfront Drive) from two-way to one-way so there will be room to put sidewalks in. To put in sidewalks and keep it two-way, you would probably have to cut down trees. This block is the only block on McDermot that is not already a one-way, so it is likely being done to also make things safer for drivers where the two sections meet at Rorie St. We don’t think any parking will be removed.
Note the footprints/trails in the grass where people have been walking without a sidewalk. Note the picture showing the two women walking on the road itself. This is also a real accessibility issue because wheelchair users (who can’t use dirt paths or “step” off curbs) are forced onto the road.
Imagine not having sidewalks in a downtown area of a major Canadian city that is quickly becoming a residential area.
There are few businesses here, mainly parking lots.
Downtown used to have all two-way streets, but many were converted to one-way and people are used to it. People will get used to this change on McDermot too, given the chance.
Background info from the city’s website
We really don’t know what’s actually going on or what concerns have been raised or why the very last block to be completed would be canceled, especially now.
The open houses on this project were started in 2009 and continued into 2010. We do know that compared to any other project, Public Works has spent a tremendous amount of effort and money on all of the cycling infrastructure projects to get and incorporate meaningful community consultation. BttF and some of its members have done everything they could to get the word out and try to predict any problems. Hopefully, a solution will be found ASAP to whatever problems there are.
Positive responses are always the last to get a public airing in the media. So, if you like the progress so far on the other projects, and/or are excited about the prospects of the new ones being built, the best thing you can do is to write to the Winnipeg Free Press, your councillor, the mayor, and City Council candidates.
(Thanks to Anders Swanson for most of this info.)
The Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub (WRENCH) is a newly established non‐profit organization that has developed out of a partnership between individuals, community groups, and the City of Winnipeg. We envision a city where people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds are empowered to build, maintain, and use bicycles. Our mission is to make bicycles and cycling accessible to the public by providing programming, education, and resources for community members and organizations, while supporting new and existing community bike shops.
Here are two WRENCH employment opportunities:
Application Deadline: Thursday, October 7th, 2010
by Janice Lukes, Winnipeg Trails Association Coordinator
The Winnipeg Trails Association (WTA) is a coalition of volunteer trail builders and trail users. For the past 6+ years, the WTA’s volunteer chair has been Paul Jordan, who is also COO of The Forks. Paul has been providing brilliant direction, guidance and advice in growing Winnipeg’s trails network. For the past 4 years, the WTA has been able to secure funding through multiple organizations and levels of government to hire a coordinator for various trail related projects.
This past spring the WTA received a verbal commitment from the Province of Manitoba that project based funding would be forthcoming. As of yet, this funding has not been secured, but we are optimistic it will come through to enable the continued development of trailheads, kilometre marker installations, website, the sharing of information between groups, and broadening the awareness of the benefits of trails through events and various initiatives.
As the WTA Coordinator, I have been volunteering my time since April and am focusing on the following initiatives:
Northest Pioneers Greenway — pedestrian / cyclist separated bridge or ‘flyover’
The city is spending $110M to extend the Chief Peguis freeway from Henderson to Lagimodiere, which passes directly through one of the busiest multi-use trails in the Province: the Northeast Pioneers Greenway.
I am ecstatic to say, through the very hard work of volunteers and the support of Mayor Katz, the city will be building a separate pedestrian / cyclists bridge over the freeway. Think of the bridge over the William B. Clement Parkway (formerly known as the Charleswood Parkway). From a larger perspective, and in a short few years, this flyover will be part of a stellar route enabling people to travel safely from south Winnipeg to Birds Hill Provincial Park.
Thank you to Sigrun Bailey, Louise Balaban, Anders Swanson, and Mayor Katz for helping to move this forward. You can catch a bit more info on this project on CJOB news and in today’s Free Press.
The trailhead sign designs for the trailheads for the Harte, Bishop Grandin Greenway, Cordite, and Northeast Pioneers Greenway trails are finalized. The city will include these in their Parkway trailhead sign tender for production this fall. Recall that the structures design was finalized and structure installations have occurred on the above trails. This was a complex process to determine the details / requirements for the components of trailheads, but it lays the standards for all future trailheads. We expect Transcona, Bois des Esprit, Yellow Ribbon Greenway, and more to be next on the list to complete.
Securing the balance of the provincial funding commitment
During the 2007 Provincial election, the NDP made a funding commitment of $1.8M to the Winnipeg Trails Association to construct trails in Winnipeg. Of that amount ~$1.3M has been used to construct the Bishop Grandin West, Harte, Transcona, and Seine River South trails. We are in the process of securing the remaining ~$500,000 of the WTA commitment to use along Pembina Hwy (between Plaza and Chevrier).
City of Winnipeg — Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC)
As a member of ATAC, I have been attending various meetings and providing input regarding development of the City’s AT network. I expect that during the winter, a broad outreach to trail groups and the public will occur to gather additional information for next construction season. Current visible trail and on road construction, news articles, issues, and pending deadlines have all combined to raise a broader public interest, which hopefully engage more people in when the next round of public input occurs.
Provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group (ATAG)
Last September, the Province of Manitoba formed a Provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group, with the focus aimed at providing active transportation recommendations to government. For the past year, the group has been consulting Manitobans, organizations, and reviewing best practices throughout the world. I sit on that group as Chair. We have completed our recommendations, which will be handed off for internal government review next week, and are finalizing report production details. We expect the report to be made public once the Legislature sits again in November.
There are many other projects that need attention, but from my volunteer capacity I am unable to attend to.
The role of WTA Coordinator in these current times is very demanding, but very rewarding. If anyone is interested in learning more about the WTA Coordinator position and would like to volunteer on some super interesting projects, please feel free to contact me.
Bike to the Future needs two volunteers … to each lead a special initiative.
1. Ride of Silence
It’s a one hour (~20km at ~20KPH) silent ride held worldwide on the 3rd Wednesday in May at 7:00 PM to honour cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways, followed by a memorial.
BttF would like to organize a Ride of Silence on May 18, 2011. A volunteer is needed to lead the organization of it.
In addition to honouring killed and injure cyclists, we think it would attract media attention to bicycling safety issues.
In consultation with the City of Winnipeg and Winnipeg Police Services, a route would have to be chosen and logistics determined.
BttF’s Board of Directors is available to mentor the volunteer.
If you are interested, please contact us.
2. Regional Cycling Improvement Coordinators
Earlier this year, Anders Swanson began facilitating regional representation that will allow more people to connect with Bike to the Future, and will allow for more regional cycling action. A lot of his volunteer work revolves around people who are interested in helping out, and who volunteer for bicycling advocacy in different areas of the city. He had a few meetings with different groups/committees prior to chairing a meeting on April 7th that was attended by key people from a number of different groups/committees who discussed how the regional reps and regional groups might work.
Anders is involved in so many bicycling advocacy initiatives as a volunteer that he doesn’t have time to devote to leading this initiative, so we need a volunteer to make it happen … to meet with Anders, hear about all his ideas, and begin implementing a network of Regional Cycling Improvement Coordinators.
Some of Anders’ ideas include:
- Create BttF email addresses for each of the regional coordinators.
- To connect with more areas, BttF’s Monthly Meeting would occasionally be held in a different area of Winnipeg, so that more people from that area would attend and we would be able to hear the specific concerns of the neighbourhood. An annual “summit” could be held where all regional coordinators could meet.
- Within BttF, their role could be to oversee a small budget, keep an eye on things, organize people and develop relationships with organizations, be a point person for inquiries, and report to the BttF Board as necessary.
- He has many more ideas.
If you are interested in this, please contact us.
A City Cycling course appears on page 87 of the City of Winnipeg Fall 2010 Leisure Guide — the 20th page of this document (PDF).
Sport – Active Adult Workshops — City Cycling
New! If you would like to start commuting or if you’re uncomfortable riding in traffic, this course is for you. Can-Bike trained instructors will teach you the rules of the road and help increase your confidence and skills whether you ride on multi-use pathways, residential streets or in heavier traffic. Each participant will receive a free copy of Winnipeg Cycling Map 2009.
Instructor: Can-Bike trained (Bike to the Future’s Safety & Education Committee)
Fee: $36, 1 day
- Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, 625 Osborne St
Sat Sep 25 Noon–4:00pm, course 382904
- St John’s Leisure Centre, 601 Aikins St
Sun Oct 3 Noon–4:00pm, course 382905
A researcher from Ottawa is looking for people who started cycling in the winter as a result of a program intervention by a community group or municipality.
I am writing two papers for Transport Canada that will explore how people’s travel behaviours have changed as a direct result of community or municipal sustainable transportation programs or active transportation resource programs. The papers will concentrate on two regions, Prairies/North and Atlantic, and will appear on Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program web site in both English and French. The audience for the paper consists primarily of municipal transportation planners, transit agencies, municipal staff and councillors, universities, and other organizations that have an interest in sustainable transportation.
The papers will include personal stories of individuals who have reduced or eliminated their driving in favour of active or sustainable modes, such as carpooling, transit, cycling, walking and teleworking, as a direct result of such programs as:
- Community-based travel marketing programs
- Employer-based programs, such as transportation management associations or annual campaigns such as the Clean Air Commute or Commuter Challenge
- Transit programs, such as express service, park & ride or discounted transit programs
- Car sharing organizations and/or carpooling programs
- Cycling infrastructure, e.g., cycling lanes and trails, showers and/or change rooms at work, secure bicycle parking, etc
- Active transportation resource programs
Generally speaking, the papers will focus on the daily commute to and from work, but other trips are also important (e.g., transporting children to school or other activities, shopping, recreational trips, etc.). If you live in any of the Prairie provinces, the territories, or the Atlantic provinces, and are interested in taking part in a 20-30 minute telephone interview, please email Sharon Boddy at Sharon.Boddy@teksavvy.com to arrange a date and time. Interviews can also be done via email; in that case, I would send you a list of questions that you could answer at your leisure. Thank you for considering this request!
Now in its second year, Ciclovia (Sunday September 12th from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM) is a free eco-friendly, healthy-lifestyles festival and active transportation event that will see the north side of Broadway closed from Osborne Street to Main Street, creating a network of car-free streets from Assiniboine Park all the way to The Forks. Cycle, walk, in-line skate, skateboard, scooter … whatever!
Throughout the day, jump into a fitness class, explore the farmers’ market, kids’ zone, bike demos, and craft market, or enjoy music, the RBC Blue Water Zone, and so much more.
Hosted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, with assistance from a variety of community organizations, Ciclovia attracted upwards of 10,000 people in 2009. This year we hope for even more.
Join in the fun!
Want to be part of making Ciclovia a success? Sign up as a volunteer! The Ciclovia Volunteer Form can be accessed at lightsonbroadway.ca (the green button).
We need huge numbers of volunteers to pull off Ciclovia, so please sign up ASAP and encourage your colleagues/friends/family to do so as well. Positions needed for Ciclovia:
- Signage Crew
- Block Captain
- Site Décor
- Info Tent
- Volunteer Tent
- Merch Tent
- Stage Hand
- Blue Water Crew
- Environment Crew
- Promo Crew
Volunteers who help out for a minimum of 4 hours will receive:
- Event badge
- Meal voucher
- Volunteer appreciation event
- Other — TBD
Be part of this action-packed day that emphasizes healthy ways of living and getting around!
Ciclovia, meaning “bike way”, is an event that supports the use of non-motorized transportation. It combines healthy living with arts and culture, and engages citizens in active alternatives to motorized transportation, bringing life back to otherwise car-choked streets. And it allows a city to dream of different ways of living well, of other community aspirations in an urban environment.
Bicycle Valet Winnipeg, a project of Bike to the Future, needs volunteers for 60 positions to help operate several bicycle valets during the Manitoba Homecoming weekend: Saturday & Sunday, September 11th & 12th. We currently have 20 positions filled.
We will be located at the Winnipeg Convention Centre for the Winnipeg Green Lifestyle & Organic Living show, and we will be having another bicycle valet in Memorial Park on Broadway for Ciclovia, Taste of Downtown, Lights on Broadway, Big Dance on Broadway, and the 10 + 10 running race.
On September 12th, we will also be operating a bicycle valet at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. Our previous events this year include Bike to Work Day, Orioles Community Centre Family Days, MEC Bikefest, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers game on July 24th.
For more information or to volunteer, please e-mail email@example.com.
Winnipeg roads are hard on cyclists. The Hall of Shame contains a photo and a short description of the worst examples of roads and other infrastructure from a cycling perspective.
Winnipeg’s first bicycle boulevard was created on Argue Street in 2008 as part of the WinSmart program. Public consultations were undertaken at that time, and a number active transportation and traffic calming facilities were implemented.
Since that time, area residents have voiced concerns about the changes on Argue Street ranging from the need for more or different kinds of traffic calming and issues with emergency vehicle access, to the need for better connections with other AT routes or improvements along the route itself. Still other residents have been fairly content with the current facilities.
In addition, new development plans are taking shape in the area, changing the context for which the Argue Street Bicycle Boulevard was originally conceived.
The City is currently surveying area residents and users of the Argue Street Bicycle Boulevard. For complete info, including a comment form, please click here.
Call to Artists: submissions requested for the Push Pedal Stride Art Show and the Bike Shorts Film Festival
Our annual Bike Shorts Film Festival and a new Push Pedal Stride Art Show show are coming this fall, and we want your film, art and poetry submissions.
Call to Artists — timelines, contact info, and other details about submitting active transportation related short films, art, and poetry.
The Push Pedal Stride Art Show will run from September 9th to November 4th at Graffiti Gallery (109 Higgins Ave at Gomez St). Admission is free, but food bank donations are welcome.
July 14th update
Yesterday morning, the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works approved the retention of the Sherbrook Street bike lane between Ellice Ave and Cumberland Ave in the city’s Active Transportation Network. Some minor compromises for area businesses will be made; BttF supports them.
One more hurtle …
The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works meeting on Tuesday July 13th at 10:30 AM will be reviewing the motion to remove the stretch of Sherbrook Street between Ellice Ave and Cumberland Ave from the city’s Active Transportation Network. (Agenda item #10). Although the City Centre Community Committee defeated this motion, it is important that the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works also shows support for the active transportation on Sherbrook.
The June 8th City Centre Community Committee meeting was very positive. The motion to eliminate the Sherbrook bike lane between Ellice and Cumberland was defeated. There was a real spirit of cooperation and hopefulness moving forward. All parties were encouraged to continue working together to find some solutions to parking and loading issues so that everyone wins.
Importantly, all of the delegations noted their support for the active transportation program as a whole. Some very compelling arguments were made for the importance of Sherbrook as a cycling route, and for the need to improve cycling conditions on Sherbrook to the benefit of everyone — cyclists, those who will bike because they feel safer, as well as drivers, the local businesses, and the community in general.
On June 8th, the City of Winnipeg’s City Centre Community Committee will be deciding on a motion to remove the stretch of Sherbrook between Ellice and Cumberland from the city’s Active Transportation Network. If this motion is successful, it would block the installation of a part-time bike lane (7:00 AM to 7:30 PM) on this critical stretch of roadway that serves as a vital connection to the Health Sciences Centre.
The Sherbrook/Maryland corridor is a key spoke in the city’s AT network, accounting for up to 2000 bicycle trips a day. The proposed bike lanes on Maryland/Sherbrook will be a significant benefit for cyclists, increasing cyclist safety and comfort.
But the benefits don’t stop there. By encouraging more people to choose their bike over their car, the Sherbrook bike lane will leave more money to be spent on housing, food and recreation within our community. And that benefits everyone!
Please contact your city councilor today and let them know that you support the proposed bike lanes on Sherbrook and Maryland.
Postcard – Harvey Smith (PDF)
Postcard – Jenny Gerbasi (PDF)
Postcard – John Orlikow (PDF)
Postcard – Blank (PDF)
Councillor Harvey Smith
Ward: Daniel McIntyre
Phone: 204-986-5951 Fax: 204-986-7000
Councillor Jenny Gerbasi
Ward: Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry
Phone: 204-986-5878 Fax: 204-986-5636
Councillor John Orlikow
Ward: River Heights – Fort Garry
Phone: 204-986-5236 Fax: 204-986-3725
510 Main Street
Bike Lanes Encourage More People to Bike
A 1999 survey of Toronto cyclists found that only 18% of cyclists reported feeling comfortable biking on major roads without bike lanes, whereas 53% reported feeling comfortable cycling on major roads with bike lanes (Decima Research, 2000).
Source: Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business — A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood (February 2009)
In Toronto, the average increase in cycling two years after installation of a bike lane was found to be 23%.
Source: Shifting Gears: City of Toronto Bike Plan (June 2001), City of Toronto
Active Transportation is Good for Business
Encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and travel by bike means more money can be spent on shelter, food, or recreation. And local shops are the most likely beneficiary of those savings. A Toronto study found that people who arrive by transit, foot, and bicycle visit more often and report spending more money than those who drive
Source: Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business — A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood (February 2009)
The CAA estimates that for a vehicle driven just 12,000 km per year, the average annual operating cost is between $1,284 (Cobalt LT) and $1,728 (Grand Caravan). Annual ownership costs (depreciation, insurance, finance, and registration) add between $6,515.25 (Cobalt LT) and $8,624.95 (Grand Caravan) per year.
Source: Driving Costs (2009 Edition), Canadian Automobile Association
- Proposed Bike Lanes on Sherbrook/Maryland (PDF) — City of Winnipeg website , Proposed Bike Lanes on Sherbrook/Maryland
- Safety Benefits of Bike Lanes — The Department of Cambridge Community Development
- Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business — A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood (PDF) — Clean Air Partnership
- The Myth of Free Parking (PDF) — Transit for Livable Communities
- Driving Costs (2009 Edition) (PDF) — Canadian Automobile Association
Since 2007, volunteers from Bike to the Future have been counting cyclists at key locations in Winnipeg during morning and afternoon rush hours. The counts take place during the first week of April, May, and June.
Jeremy Hull (BttF’s research guru) has used this data to produce a report entitled Commuter Cycling Trends in Winnipeg, 2007-2010. The report, and a media release announcing it, is on our website’s Publications page under 2010, Forums and Surveys.
Bike to the Future thanks Jeremy and all the volunteers who have counted cyclists.
by Jaret Olford, Local Bike Rider and Eco Enthusiast
The Lord Roberts Community Centre has made space available in one of their outbuildings for the CLER program to house a ‘bike hub’. The purpose of the ‘bike hub’ is to encourage community members to make the switch to modes of active transportation as much as possible.
Our proposal to the provincial government has included requests for funding for bike tools and equipment, and funds for us to organize AT related events and activities. The bike hub will house all these tools and serve as a drop in centre for our community to work on their bikes, receive advice on bike repair, etc. We are also hoping that the bike hub will accept used bikes and refurbish and redistribute them to interested parties in the neighborhood. We are also hoping to plan community events such as group bike rides and focused bike repair workshops that would be based out of our bike shop.
However, we can’t do it alone. We are looking for volunteers with or without bike mechanic experience to help us accomplish this. For safety reason, we have decided that there be 2 volunteers on duty during all workshop hours. Please consider the bike hub as a place to volunteer a few hours a week/month this summer so that we can get the community out and about on wheels!!!
If volunteering in the bike shop is not your thing, we will also need volunteers to help us get the word out, get the shop in top shape (painting, sign creation, carpentry, etc), help coordinate events and bring ideas to the table on how to make this project a success.
(June 16th update)
The first bicycle valet at the June 10th show went well, so the West End Cultural Centre will offer it at more events, which will be marked with a bicycle symbol on their website’s homepage (wecc.ca), with more info listed on the specific event page itself.
They are looking forward to their next offering of the service at the Royal Canoe show on July 3rd:
The West End will be offering their free bicycle valet service for the patrons of this show. Ride your bike to the West End and have it stored on racks inside the building by our wonderful volunteers and locked in a safe place inside the WECC during the show.
The West End Cultural Centre is excited to introduce a new and free bicycle balet service to their patrons at their 100 Mile Musical Diet show on Thursday June 10th. Ride your bike and have it stored in a locked and safe place by their volunteers while you watch the show!
Join an exciting new venture: Winnipeg Bicycle Valet!
Winnipeg Bicycle Valet, a project of Bike to the Future, is currently accepting applications for four volunteer positions:
- Sponsorship Coordinator
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Graphics and Website Coordinator
- Communication and Media Coordinator
Please contact David Wieser at WinnipegBicycleValet@gmail.com if you are interested or if you need more info.
If your organization is interested in offering a bicycle valet at your next event, please contact WinnipegBicycleValet@gmail.com.
Bike to the Future T-Shirts are available for $20. Sizing is S to XXXL, and there are five color choices. The stylish Bike to the Future logo is on front, with a Share the Road message on the back. Even the Mayor has one!
- Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your size and color request.
- Or you can purchase a T-shirt at our next Monthly Meeting.
Cash or cheque payment please.
June 9th update:
This went over very well at the most recent Active Transportation Advisory Committee meeting. The City’s Public Works department has been asked to include certain parts of the AT Network in its priority #1 snow clearing routes, and other parts in priority #2.
The City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) has been asked to offer some input regarding what a network of priority winter cycling routes (i.e. priority snow clearing) might look like. We have to forward ideas to ATAC ASAP if we hope to get our input included in the contracts for next year’s snow clearing.
This is just the potential first phase of a reliable, publishable network of winter cycling routes, which are given special plowing priority to ensure that they remain open to cyclists (and other users where applicable) year-round. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of roads or pathways that will be plowed all winter. Many other routes, especially major arterials, are already priority routes that fall under other auspices, such as transit and emergency vehicle priority routes. Also please recognize that we can’t do them all next year.
Please contact us with feedback or if you would like a 60″ x 60″ digital file suitable for printing.
We discussed this during and after the May (2010) Monthly Meeting, and we came up with the following principles:
- All AT routes should be moved up to priority #1 or priority #2 routes. Bike boulevards may be exceptions if they are not currently on snow routes. (See below for their treatment.)
- Where bike lanes are present, roadways should have priority #1 street clearing, and they should be cleared curb to curb, down to the pavement.
- Where bike lanes are next to parking, effort should be made to clear the boulevard so that car doors can be opened. (If car doors cannot be opened, cars will encroach on the bike lanes.) It was noted that Grosvenor Ave was a good example of where this had been done this year.
- Bike Boulevards: Where it is not a priority #1 or #2 roadway, we would want to see more frequent checking of the roads so that ruts could be removed and more frequent sanding. This may mean these roads are cleared outside of a city-wide clearing.
- Snow should be removed from shy lanes on bridges within 48 hours of cessation of the snow event. A benefit of this is that all users of the bridge will be safer, as snow removal protects against the ramp effect. We would also like to see the shy lanes cleared of debris on a regular basis in summer as accumulation is a problem. Bridges that were specified as highest priority were: Osborne, St. Vital , Chief Peguis, Slaw Rebchuck, Mayland/Sherbrook, Norwood, Charleswood, Fort Garry, and Louise (sidewalks).
- There should be extra ability to do clearing of bike paths on an ad hoc basis as required between snow events in the case of ice build-up, particularly ice ridges. Ice buildup occurs on bike paths as a result of freeze/thaw events that pool melt water on the paths. Regular inspections can be used to determine when such measures are necessary.
Friday June 25th
Many volunteers are needed.
There will be two shifts in the morning from 6:30-7:45 and from 7:45-9:00 for the following positions:
The Forks pancake breakfast
- Traffic directors
- Registration table
- Bike valet
- Shirt hand-out
- Door entrance counter
Wave (group ride) lead & trail cyclists.
We need experienced cyclists to lead each of the waves (group rides) that originate from the 5 Bike Oases and head towards Downtown.
We also need volunteers to work the door at the evening volunteer appreciation party at the Lo Pub, and we are also looking for about a dozen volunteers to count cyclists at various locations around the city during the morning rush hour (6:30-8:30).
To thank those who volunteer their time, prizes will be given away to volunteers, including a grand prize GT road bike from Gord’s Ski and Bike!
Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in being a volunteer. Also, please let Stephen know if you have a preference for your task, location, and time slot.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival is working hard to reduce their environmental impact. This year for the first time, they will be organizing bike rides out to the festival.
The approximately two-hour bike ride will be a great chance to enjoy the outdoors and get to the festival without driving numerous vehicles.
Participants will meet at Elmwood High School, and a safe-ride van will accompany the riders, and help transport their camping gear to Bird’s Hill Park.
The SpeakUpWinnipeg process was launched in April 2009. It creates a new citywide plan for Winnipeg.
The OurWinnipeg draft plan was has been released. Round Tables and Public Information Sessions are scheduled from May 28th to June 4th, or you can view the OurWinnipeg draft plan and comment on it at SpeakUpWinnipeg.Com. Cycling is included in the section entitled Sustainable Transportation.
April 2009 news: Speak Up Winnipeg — a public consultation initiative
We’re creating a candy jar of “good news” Winnipeg cycling stories and media releases. Send stories/ideas to us.
Congratulations to BttF Safety & Education Committee Director Dave Elmore, BttF Co-Chair Curt Hull, and former BttF Provincial Committee Director Jeremy Hull for passing the Can-Bike II instructors exam.
Dave, Curt, and Jeremy are now qualified to teach Can-Bike I and Can-Bike II courses, and they can also bring other potential cycling safety instructors up to the Can-Bike II level so that the new instructor is then qualified to teach a Can-Bike I course. We hope to expand the pool of instructors from the current 3 to at least 10 to 12.
Any workplaces or BttF members who are interested in taking a Can-Bike I or Can-Bike II course (or who are interested in becoming a qualified Can-Bike I instructor) should contact us.
Stuart McLean told a very funny cycling story (Dave and the Bike) during the March 27th episode of CBC Radio’s The Vinyl Cafe.
Podcast — Dave and the Bike goes for 15 minutes, starting at 34:00, in this 54 minute MP3 file.
On March 18th, the City held an active transportation Open House about the Omand Creek Bridge, which is one of the 35 projects in the $20million of active transportation infrastructure that will be built in Winnipeg in 2010.
The City has posted Survey Results, Comment Boards, and Meeting Flip Chart Notes on their website.
BttF’s Membership Committee Director, Rob Cosco, has started our 2010 Membership Drive. We are looking for volunteers to phone BttF supporters who have not renewed their memberships for 2010. If you can help, or if you’d like more info, please contact Rob.
- All memberships taken out in 2008 (and the complimentary memberships given out in 2009) are due for renewal.
- Memberships purchased during 2009 are in effect until our 2010 Annual General Meeting in November 2010.
- If you are not sure of your membership status, please contact Rob.
For the past three years, volunteers from Bike to the Future have been counting cyclists at key locations in Winnipeg during morning and afternoon rush hours. The counts take place during the first week of April, May, and June. If you are able to help out by volunteering to do a two hour shift, or would like more information, please contact Jeremy Hull.
Each year we produce a report on the numbers of cyclists and post it on our website. (BttF Publications — see Forums and Surveys). These counts have been useful.
This year, for example, our bike and pedestrian counts were used in public meetings concerning the rehabilitation of the Osborne Bridge. We were able to tell the public and the planners how many cyclists travel across the bridge, how many use the sidewalks, which direction they go, and even how many pedestrians use the bridge. The bike counts were also used when City Council recently decided to add bicycle tracks along a key stretch of Pembina Highway. With many upcoming cycling infrastructure projects this year and in future years, it is important to have good baseline data on numbers of cyclists.
A City Cycling course appears on page 82 of the City of Winnipeg Spring 2010 Leisure Guide.
Sport – Active Adult Workshops — City Cycling
New! If you would like to start commuting or if you’re uncomfortable riding in traffic, this course is for you. Can-Bike trained instructors will teach you the rules of the road and help increase your confidence and skills whether you ride on multi-use pathways, residential streets or in heavier traffic. Each participant will receive a free copy of Winnipeg Cycling Map 2009.
Instructor: Can-Bike trained (Bike to the Future’s Safety & Education Committee)
Fee: $35, 1 day
- Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, 625 Osborne St
Sat May 15 Noon–4:00pm, course 379096
- St John’s Leisure Centre, 601 Aikins St
Sun May 30 Noon–4:00pm, course 379088
On October 14, 2009, the City of Winnipeg’s Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services asked the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) to make a recommendation about the Idaho Stop Law (STOP signs as YIELD signs for cyclists).
The report, released today, recommends against pursuing an Idaho Stop Law for Winnipeg. However, it does ask the City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) to “provide the Public Works Department with a prioritized list of streets identified on the City’s Active Transportation network for review with respect to whether existing Stop signs along these streets meet the City’s Stop sign warrant criteria”.
Bike to the Future is disappointed with this recommendation, but we appreciate the research and thought the WPS put into the report, and we will continue to work with the cIty to make cycling in Winnipeg a safe, enjoyable, accessible and convenient transportation choice year-round.
BttF’s STOP signs as YIELD signs for cyclists page.
For years, cyclists have identified Pembina Hwy as a very important route that is “difficult” (inconvenient, unsafe, no fun), but there is no reasonable alternative to it between Chevrier Blvd and Plaza Dr.
The City of Winnipeg will soon be doing “mill and fill” road maintenance work on Pembina Hwy between Chevrier and Bishop Grandin.
February 4, 2010 update:
On January 18 at the Riel Community Committee, Councillor Justin Swandel tabled an Active Transportation improvements on Pembina Highway motion (PDF) that passed. It will come forward at the City’s Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works meeting at City Hall on February 9 at 9:00 AM.
Janice Lukes of the Winnipeg Trails Association has registered to appear in delegation at that meeting (click “Contact us”) to support the motion. The City is mandated to look at incorporating AT into all major projects. Janice has contacted other organizations to see if they will also support the motion at that meeting:
- Bike to the Future
- Manitoba Cycling Association
- Resource Conservation Manitoba
- One Green City
Other who should get involved:
- accessibilty groups (improved sidewalk maintenance and snow clearing)
- residents who live along the strip
- anyone else
You can also
- write your feedback about the possible cycling infrastructure on Pembina Hwy, and
- send it to Janice Lukes.
She’ll include it with the feedback forms she receives from the UofM Display on Monday, and present it at the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works meeting on Tuesday morning.
Incorporating an AT solution on Pembina Hwy has been the #1 recommendation of the City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee, and while this proposed solution may only be a few blocks, it is the edge of the wedge.
February 9, 2010 update:
Today was another very positive day at City Hall at the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works meeting!
Councillor Justin Swandel appeared in front of the committee and did an absolutely outstanding presentation on why active transportation (AT) should be incorporated on Pembina — in addition to whatever comes out of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor (Bus Rapid Transit — BRT) Phase 2. He pitched a strong case to the “need and opportunity” with the proposed Pembina Hwy “mill & fill” work. He specifically noted the letter from the University of Manitoba supporting his motion. He was brilliant. Huge kudos for him for doing what is right and safe for anyone on a bike and in a car on Pembina Hwy!
Janice Lukes (Winnipeg Trails Association), Karin Kliewer (Bike to the Future), Beth McKechnie (Resource Conservation Manitoba), Anders Swanson (One Green City), and Anders Annell (UofManitoba Bike Dungeon) each gave a presentation. There were many questions and bantering back and forth on interpretation of the policy City Council adopted in 2008 (stating AT must be incorporated into any rehabs or upgrades of roads on the AT network). Councillor Dan Vandal asked excellent questions related to why the funding wasn’t included in the budgeting of the “mill & fill”, and yet again the excuse was “BRT Phase 2) — the elephant that everyone except Swandel hides behind. Fortunately, Swandel had made a strong case that we all knew BRT would cost $200+ million, and would be a long time coming, but the city needed to act on this “mill & fill” opportunity.
Anders Swanson and Janice sat through the subsequent debate about recycling/composting/garbage in order to hear the decision on what Council would do with Pembina Hwy. Councillor Bill Clement (Committee Chair) asked Brad Sacher (Director of Public Works) to look into finding money in the existing capital budget to incorporate AT into Pembina with the “mill & fill” tender. Mr Sacher said he could come back “formally” to the Public Works Committee with a reply in a month’s time (probably delaying the “mill & fill” project) or he could try to find the money and proceed forward without returning to the Public Works Committee. Sacher was given the go ahead to see if he could find the money and the right design without having to come back to the Public Works Committee. (In other words, they told Brad to “make it happen”.)
In Janice Lukes’ presentation (PDF), she reminded them how creative they had been in finding up to $90+ million for the Chief Peguis Extension in less than 4 years, and also how well they crafted the partnerships for the $50+ million Waverly West / Kenaston intersection, and said she felt confident they could be creative to find funding to incorporate AT on Pembina Hwy. Anders Swanson spoke afterwards with Kevin Nixon (City AT Coordinator) and Mr Sacher about cycle tracks on both sides vs a multi use trail on one side (etc), designs that would/could work and what wouldn’t, etc.
Overall, we are very optimistic there will be some forward movement to incorporate AT into Pembina Hwy in this gap, and that it will occur this year.
Thanks so much for all your support. If you are so inclined, fire off an email to Councillor Swandel for all his effort and support in moving this forward. He is the only councillor to tackle AT on Pembina and not hide behind the BRT Phase 2 elephant!
February 11, 2010 update:
August 24, 2010 update:
Walking & Cycling Success: Perspectives from communities who are ‘building it right’ was a huge success. Thanks to all the sponsors, and especially to Paul Jordan of The Forks.
Considering the date was switched from Monday to Tuesday at Monday at noon because of the blizzard, the attendance of 150 (AT advocates, politicians, administrators) was great. The room’s energy was super — before, during, and after the event.
Winnipeg Trails Association Executive Director Janice Lukes was able to get Jay Walljasper on CJOB for an hour on Tuesday morning.
The Winter 2010 issue of Resource Conservation Manitoba’s Active & Green newsletter has been posted on their website.
by Janice Lukes, Winnipeg Trails Association
For the next few months, much will be happening related to the $20M in Active Transportation (AT) projects. I aim to provide regular updates on important information as it develops.
This ‘stimulus’ funding is stimulating a lot of fast action & fast decisions. Things are fluid and will be constantly evolving. I’ll attempt to keep you informed of key initiatives. You can really help to improve the final results by being involved — see how below.
This past week, I attended 4 significant meetings which I will attempt to share information on. In the below points, please note my end-of-each-meeting Summary Comments.
1. Vélo Québec Workshop Meeting
- This meeting refined details around the upcoming Vélo Québec workshops.
- The City of Winnipeg is holding two Technical Training one-day workshops (the same workshop each day) — 20 people per workshop on January 26th & 27th.
- The workshop will be for City & Provincial planners, engineers, and representatives from the ~9 consulting firms the city has hired to build the $20M of AT infrastructure.
- The workshop’s format (Planning Active Transportation Infrastructure for Pedestrians & Cyclists) will be somewhat similar to this: http://www.velo.qc.ca/english/bikewaysdesign.php?page=training.
- The City is funding all expenses related to the workshops (instructors costs, technical manuals, etc).
- The workshops will be delivered by Marc Jolicoeur, PEng and Research Director of Vélo Québec. Marc arrives on the Monday, and is toured around Winnipeg to look at the streets / city, etc. One of our goals in the workshop is to have him speak to effectively dealing with major arteries (Pembina Hwy, Portage Ave, Main Street, etc).
- Marc has delivered workshops throughout Canada and Quebec for 7+ years.
- Each participant will receive a technical handbook of Bikeway Designs: http://www.velo.qc.ca/english/index.php?page=publications. Note: This is the 3rd edition of the manual, and a 4th edition will be published in Spring 2010 = extensive expertise / best practices in designing on road cycling infrastructure.
- Note: Winnipeg does not have any technical standards / best practices related to bikeways because none have ever been built on Winnipeg streets.
This workshop is occurring because of ‘dynamic’ discussions between the City, the Winnipeg Trails Association, Bike to the Future, One Green City and the Active Transportation Advisory Committee … and the City’s funding. While only so much information can be delivered in a one day workshop, we know Vélo Québec’s insight and technical manuals will be a definite help to attaining a higher level / better quality of what is going to be built.
2 & 3. Communication Advisory Committee Meeting and follow-up Sub Committee Meeting
Basically, the meeting was a Status Update on the ISP activities and a request for a sub-committee to form to focus on more specific communication details (development of communication materials, brochures, messaging, etc.)
The City’s new Public Relations expert (Ed Shiller — http://www.edshiller.com/ed.asp and his team will be handling all PR related to the $20M Infrastructure Stimulus Project (i.e. promotion of AT, Open Houses, the new AT Blog on the City’s website, etc). While we are not yet clear on how many people are on the City’s PR team, Ed and 3 other PR staff attended this meeting. It appears there are more resources they can call on.
The Communication Advisory Committee meeting consisted of
- Mr. Shiller’s team (him and 3 PR people),
- some of the City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee members (7 non city people),
- the City’s Infrastructure Stimulus Project (ISP) team (5 people): Kevin Nixon (AT Coordinator) and Bill Woroby (City Public Works Project Manager who has extensive PM experience on large projects). Kevin and Bill oversee and work with: Ruth Marr (Marr Consulting), Lisa Holowchuck (Scatliff Millar Murray), and Bob Kurylko, (PEng and Project Manager at Stantect). Ruth, Lisa, and Bob oversee and work with 7 consulting firms who each have ~5 of the 37 projects. Ruth, Lisa, and Bob are working to ensure consistency, etc, with the 7 consulting firms.
This was the first Status Update many of us have had since the funding was announced, and I will highlight the key points.
All of the consulting firms are now hired and have been allocated a ‘bundle’ of projects – based on geography, type of project, etc. They have been provided a list of ‘Evaluation Criteria’ (5+ pages) to base their designs on, and a guideline of the general steps that will be followed:
Stage 1 – Background Information and Conceptual Design
A. Route Familiarization & Community Profiles
B. Develop Options: What / Why
c. Traffic Analysis (if appropriate)
D. Public Consultation
F. Conceptual Design
G. Final Analysis and Costing
Stage 2 – Preliminary Design
A. Preliminary Design – cost
Stage 3 – Detailed Design and Construction
A. Final Detailed Design
B. Tendering, Contracting & Construction
Complexity by Design
The projects have also been categorized due to complexity by design – which also relates to the ‘Tender Ready Timing’ and ‘Consultation Intensity’ (i.e. complex ones will take longer to figure out and be tendered later in the summer, and infrastructure that will really change the way vehicles move will require more intense consultations). The categories are:
- Complex with many options (e.g. Sherbrook / Maryland Bikeway, York / St Mary’s Bikeways, etc).
- Moderate with more than one option (e.g. Seine River Pathway, Transcona Pathway, Grosvenor Ave Bikeway, etc).
- Easy with no or few options (e.g. Omand’s Creek Bridge, Bison Dr. Pathway, etc).
Permits / Approvals Matrix
All of the projects are being reviewed to see which ones require permits / warrants / Federal approvals / traffic studies, etc. (i.e. pedestrian crosswalk studies, removal of street parking / lanes, navigational waterway approvals, Fisheries & Oceans approvals, etc.) The requirements are being bundled project-by-project to expedite the process.
The goal is to tender projects as they become truly ‘shovel ready’ starting in February and going through to June.
At the meeting there was extensive discussion that, prior to public consultations, key stakeholder groups meet with the consultants to provide input into developing options (part B of Project Guideline) — consult with Transcona Trails, Save Our Seine, Bike to the Future, etc, prior to going to the public consultation process. This hopefully will occur; the intent seems to be there. It was confirmed that public consultations would be held in various shopping malls and other yet-to-be-determined locations throughout the city. There are no dates yet, but they will start soon, and will also be bundled — a community consultation on say, 5 to 6 projects.
On Tuesday January 26th, at the Mayor’s annual State of the City Address, Ed Shiller’s team will launch promotional materials and a display on the City’s $20M AT projects. This display and supporting promotional material will be the ‘travelling roadshow’ that will be used in future community consultations at malls, etc.
- The 2+ hour meeting concluded with a PR / Communications sub-committee forming to assist Ed’s team in developing these materials. This team met on Friday, and is providing information for the City’s rapid turnaround for the January 26th launch.
- The update part of the meeting reiterated the complexity of building $20M worth of infrastructure that the City has never before been built, and building it in one construction season — mind-boggling!
- For any of you who have worked with the City on any type of project, you have a clear understanding of how City ‘process’ and ‘timelines’ work.
- But, without a doubt, the $20 million will be spend on building something. (It is a use-it-or-lose-it funding scheme.)
- The real question is how it will be spent.
- In light of setting expectations, I think we all need to be very realistic and know that not all of it will be built perfectly, and that there will be a need for ‘improvements’ over the years to come.
- And recognize that it is critical to attend as many of the Public Community Consultation process as possible when the dates are announced.
- The Public Relations / Communications part of the meeting (and Friday’s follow up meeting) was almost surreal. Here we have 4+ people from the City’s PR team working with us to develop PR materials on trails, bikeways, etc. I think I’ve waited 8 years for these discussions to occur! 🙂
4. Mark your calendars
Monday January 25th at 7:00 PM at The Forks (more details next week. This is short notice, but opportunities abound!
We will be hosting an informative evening open to your membership, the public, and organizations interested on perspectives where walking and cycling infrastructure was built and embraced with a fervour!
Quebec is Canada’s leading province in Active Transportation and Cycling Tourism. Marc Jolicoeur will share his perspectives on the hows / whys of Quebec’s great walking and cycling successes.
Minneapolis is second only to Portland in the United States as a city whose people and governments are embracing walking and cycling. Jay Walljasper will share his perspectives on Minneapolis’s success. Minneapolis just recently received buckets of stimulus funding also!
We are thrilled that both these speakers come from climates and terrain similar to Winnipeg and will share their time / insight / expertise with us on the eve of spending $20M in our city!
We will also be treated to a ‘visual visionary’ presentation from one of Winnipeg’s local artists and cycling advocates, Anders Swanson.
Please make a point to attend this session to learn more about what other successful communities are doing to develop walking and cycling routes. It will help you provide educated input to the upcoming public consultations on what Winnipeg will be building. There are multiple partners participating in this event, and we will announce shortly — but huge thanks to Paul Jordan (WTA Chair), the Province of Manitoba, and Anders Swanson for helping initiate this evening!!
The old Molson property (beside the Redwood Bridge) is important for cycling in the area because it is a barrier (missing link) along the North Winnipeg Parkway.
The Friends of the North Winnipeg Parkway are currently organizing a response/position to an application to rezone the site.
Winnipeg Free Press story (Tuesday January 5, 2010)
by Janice Lukes, Winnipeg Trails Coordinator, Winnipeg Trails Association
Time for an end of year and much overdue update!
Many of you have been in the ‘business’ of promoting trails, commuting, and active transportation for decades in hopes of securing increased funding to build more — decades educating elected officials and the public on the benefits — healthier lifestyles, environment and improved sustainability, etc, years of advocacy! I’ve only been involved for a brief 8 years, but can’t begin to tell you how unbelievably refreshing it is to see the focus of our efforts now shifting, so I can’t imagine how you too must feel about this progress! Cheers to a brilliant 2009 — to everyone’s efforts — and to a historic year for trail development in Winnipeg with all levels of government providing unprecedented support.
2010 and a broader focus is about to begin! A brief overview of initiatives I’m involved in on behalf of WTA follows:
2010 Captial Budget, City of Winnipeg
In the weeks of Dec 1st to 15th, I appeared in delegation to the Property & Development Committee, Public Works Committee, Executive Policy Committee, and finally to City Council, commenting on the 2010 budget. Presentations can be viewed at http://winnipeg.ca/CLKDMIS/. In summary – presentations focused on thank yous for funding support, listening, and ongoing dialogue, concerns for infrastructure quality, and a communications strategy. While presenting to various committees can be a gruelling process, it is very important. We’ve had dynamic dialogue with the City over the past few years, with stellar results. Thank yous, recognition of support, and ongoing dialogue will ensure continued success.
Spending $20 million on active transportation infrastructure — your involvement
This funding must be spent by Spring 2011, so the City has one construction season to build — the 2010 construction season. The City of Winnipeg has no design guidelines / standards for on-road cycling infrastructure. Other than painted lines on roadways, the City has never built on-road cycling infrastructure. They do have design guidelines / standards for multi-use trails. Since multi-use trails cannot be built everywhere, we need the connectivity on-road infrastructure offers. It is critical the on-road infrastructure is built to the highest standards possible and that it be built for everyone to access.
To date, the City has grouped the 37 trails and on-road projects into bundles based on commonality and locations. They’ve allocated these bundles of projects to multiple consulting groups (7 or 8+). These consulting groups will interact with the City (Active Transportation Coodinator Kevin Nixon, a City Project Manager, and two other consulting groups) to ensure consistency in what is built. We are told public consultations will be held in late January to February. Lots of consulting groups, lots of consulting, lots of dialogue going on.
It is vital that the City receives as much public input as possible — the end users more often than not have the best input. We are being assured the input will be ‘heard’. When the public consultation sessions are confirmed, I will be emailing all of you and encouraging you to bring get your members out to participate.
Please note: The City has stated the on-road infrastructure will be designed only for for ‘basic / less confident’ cyclists, and not children and families. Personally I am challenged by this in many ways, but will wait to hear more details over the next month and will keep you informed.
Anders Swanson (One Green City), myself, and Bike to the Future have successfully advocated to have the City bring in technical expertise from Velo Quebec to share with the consortium of consultants & City staff working on the projects. Velo Quebec has been designing on-road cycling infrastructure in the province of Quebec (with a similar climate to Winnipeg) for 40 years — complete with manuals, workshops, trained experts, etc. Velo Quebec will hold two workshops for 40 consultants and City/Provincial staff at the end of January. We are also hoping to hold an evening open to the public (you) and whoever is interested to learn more about Velo Quebec’s success in ‘La belle province’.
Education – Communication – Public Relations
$20 million worth of new Active Transportation infrastructure holds immense education, communication, and PR opportunities. As one who believes the world revolves around marketing and PR :-), I focused much of the 2010 Capital Budget discussions around the vast PR opportunities $20 million holds for the City. Just before Christmas, we are informed the City’s new PR specialist, Mr Ed Shiller, and his team have been tasked to work on the AT file and have formed a ‘Communication Advisory Committee’. Our first meeting is set for next week. The City also just recently set up an AT blog to capture public input: http://winnipegatrans.wordpress.com.
While the City has been challenged with communication abilities in the past, I’m very optimistic that Mr Shiller will be able to deliver. He has lived and cycled in Copenhagen and Toronto, and had to buy a car when he moved to Winnipeg this past fall — AT is not new to him. This, combined with the willingness to receive advice from those of us on the Active Transportation Advisory Committee and general public are all very positive signs.
Provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group
In May of 2009, Minister Jim Rondeau announced the Province would be forming an Active Transportation Advisory Group. He joked at the announcement that the Province saw the success the City was having with their advisory group, and felt they too could benefit from a similar structure. The Province convened the group this fall (11 people); I am the Chair, and we have had 3 meetings to date. We are in the process of gathering information to base recommendations on. The formation of this group is sound step forward for everyone in the Province, and we expect some initial recommendations to come forward in the next few months. We are in the process of setting up an outreach / communication system to dialogue with all who are interested. For myself, working with the City and its process has been an ideal learning opportunity. The process in the Province is yet another level to learn and experience 🙂
New positions – with some familiar faces! Congratulations to
- Howard Skrypnyk, Provincial Recreational Trails Coordinator, Province of Manitoba – who replaces the now-retired Jackie Crone. http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving
- Jim Chapryk, Executive Director, Manitoba Recreational Trails Association
Both Howard and Jim have been long time volunteer cycling and trail advocates in various organizations and have new roles with the Province’s focus on recreational and the Trans Canada Trail. I am thrilled to see them both in these positions, and know with their support we will all continue to make great progress going forward!
The good news doesn’t stop. New trailhead structures have been just recently erected on the Harte / Preston Trail and Cordite Trail, and on the Northeast Pioneers Greenway and Bishop Grandin Greenways. The trailhead project was initiated by the Winnipeg Trails Association just over 3 years ago, and due to an interesting City process, is now a reality. Signs on the trailhead structures will be installed over the winter months. They are also putting benches under some to act as shade structures!
We are fortunate to have secured the talents of Kirk Warren to design the trailhead signage. Kirk designed the international award winning trail signage markers located on bollards throughout the city. The mapping is being done in partnership with the City of Winnipeg and Wendy Wilson of the Prairie Pathfinders. You are here will never look so good! The City, Red River Co-op, the Winnipeg Foundation, and the Province are funding this project,and will enable additional structures for 2010 & 2011.
Trail Signage — kilometre markers
The City has a few trail signage markers remaining to install, completing a total of 26 signed trails. It is an arduous process as each trail sign requires an on-site visit and “call before you dig” regime. The City installation team has been super to work with throughout the entire process! You may recall our partnership with Winnipeg in Motion funded kilometre markers on 6 trails, and is now working with us to develop a kilometre scavenger hunt program and install kilometre markers on additional trails. A super partnership!
International Trails Day — Saturday, June 5th
Again, the City and Province have committed funding to support International Trails Day. This day brings brilliant recognition to trails, communities, volunteers, and supporters. So far, we have these events occurring on June 5th. If you are interested in also holding an event, please contact me:
- Save our Seine: 20th Anniversary celebrations
- Bishop Grandin Greenway: 10th Anniversary celebrations
- Friends of the Harte Trail: Trail extension / opening celebrations (and their 10th year also!)
- Transcona Trails: Cordite Trail opening celebrations
- Prairie Pathfinders: Free guided hikes from The Forks
- Northeast Pioneers Greenway: Celebrating many new developments
Bike to Work Day — Friday, June 18th
Winnipeg Trails Association is organizing the Pancake Breakfast at The Forks. If you are interested in volunteering and helping with this event, please contact me.
January & February
Check out these winter trail events. The Prairie Pathfinders are holding frozen river walks on the Seine and LaSalle, and Winnipeg in Motion is holding Snow Trek — a skiing, snowshoeing, and celebrate winter event. Details can be found at http://www.winnipegtrails.ca.
There are two conference being planned in early spring with a strong focus on Active Transportation. One is being hosted by the Physical Active Coalition of Manitoba, and the other is being hosted by Health in Common. I am participating on behalf of WTA to some degree in both, and when more details are available will pass them on.
We have now secured a student to help us with the WTA website! He is in the process of learning a few more of its technicalities and we should be up and current 99% of the time very soon!
And last but not by least of any importance, our great WTA Chair, Paul Jordan, is yet again working hard to provide us with an unbelievable winter river trail on the Assiniboine River! It will be wide for walking, skating, and skiing if all goes to plan. Make sure you check it out!
Bike to the Future is an inclusive group of concerned citizens. As such, we will work with and accept assistance from groups or individuals who share the objectives in our Vision and Mission, and with whom we feel we can work cooperatively and constructively.
- acceptance of this support will not be interpreted or promoted as an endorsement of other activities of the supporting group or for any product or service, and
- Bike to the Future will not enter into any exclusive agreements with any group or individual.
This Position Statement was endorsed at BttF’s January 2010 Monthly Meeting.
Our Provincial Committee has formed a task force whose mission is to do a systematic review of the provincial Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Their goal is to make cycling a more attractive transportation alternative.
Develop a list of issues
- Consult with BttF’s membership.
- Review and expand upon the initial review of the HTA that has been done by BttF member and lawyer Todd Andres.
Assemble solid background information
- Gather best practices in other jurisdictions.
- Survey cyclists, drivers, pedestrians.
- Consult with police.
- Prioritize the list and identify contentious issues.
- Include our research in the Provincial Active Transportation Advisory Committee’s research project.
Present recommendations to the provincial government’s department of Infrastructure & Transportation for an annual review of the HTA
- Work with provincial officials to include our issues in an annual review.
- Promote politically attractive recommendations.
- Repeat each year.
Present recommendations through advisory committees
- Promote top priorities at every opportunity.
- Continue building background information.
- Clarity of the rules of the road
- STOP signs as YIELD signs for cyclists
- Sharing the road
- Bike’s passing cars on the right
- Side-by-side riding
- Passing distance when cars pass bikes
- Proper riding distance from the curb
- Car/bike behaviour at intersections
- Bike Boxes
- Riding on (sharing) sidewalks
- Riding on the roadway shoulder
- Rules for bike lanes
- Intersection light, paint, signage
- Dismount requirements when a multi-use trail crosses streets
- Required equipment: lights, helmet, bell
BttF’s HTA Review task force
- Charles Feaver
- Todd Anders
- Jeremy Hull
- Janice Lukes
- Mark Cohoe
- Cory Bellhouse
- Bill Newman
- Matt Gemmel
- Dave Elmore
If you’d like contribute to this issue, please contact Provincial Committee Director Charles Feaver.
Speak Up Winnipeg is the City’s public forum for Winnipeggers to express their opinions about the future of our City, and how we can ensure it is sustainable, making Winnipeg a leader among cities.
The Call to Action for OurWinnipeg report will be presented at 8 Open Houses from Tuesday November 17th to Thursday November 26th, or you can read the 55 page report online.
Bike to the Future’s 2nd annual presentation of the Bike Shorts Film Festival on October 20th at Cinemathique was a huge success. It was a sell-out of all 118 seats. All proceeds went towards Bike to the Future’s advocacy efforts.
Thank you to BttF member Don English for again expending dozens of hours of effort organizing the event. Thanks to Shona Kusyk who worked with Don prior to unexpectantly leaving Winnipeg a month ago; Bike Art was her idea. Also thanks to the volunteers who contributed to the success of the event in a number of different ways.
The winners of the Fan Favourites voting:
- Bike Shorts Film Festival: White Vans – Aren Hansen
- Winnipeg Bike Shorts: Bring the Kid Outta Ya – Brent Miller
- Bike Art: Robert Burton
Bike Shorts’ Artistic Director Dustin Anderson is looking for new films for 2010. See Film Submissions — November 7, 2009 at http://bikeshorts.ca.
Bike to the Future has an advocacy brochure: Cycling Advocacy for Winnipeg Citizens (PDF). Please use it to help advocate for improved cycling. Also, please distribute it to your friends and other cyclists.
On September 25th, Bike to the Future sent a set of questions to each of the NDP leadership candidates. By October 7th, their responses were received.
Questions & Responses (PDF)
Mark Cohoe, Bike to the Future’s City Committee Director, led a Design & Strategy Meeting about the Osborne Bridge on Wednesday June 15th in Osborne Village. Mark and Anders Swanson of One Green City have produced a document entitled The Osborne Bridge — Community Vision and Cycling Design Discussion (PDF).
The Bike to Work Day 2009 Final Report (16 pages, the shortened version, minus 50 pages of appendices) is now available.
Ciclovia, meaning “bike way,” is an event whereby a significant city street – the entire north side of Broadway from Osborne to Main – is temporarily closed to automobiles to allow dominance by non-motorized traffic. This closure will be part of the day’s active transportation-friendly route connecting all the way from Assiniboine park right down to the Forks! Ciclovia combines healthy living with arts and culture and engages citizens in active alternatives to motorized transportation, bringing life and community bonding back to otherwise car choked streets. Attendees will enjoy one of the city’s most beautiful districts, taking in live entertainment, food, unique visual displays, family activities, and more.
Volunteers are needed to fill the following roles: Block Captain, Marshalling, Site Decoration, Signage, Info Tent, Environment, Stage, Hospitality, Donations.
(updated on Tuesday July 28th at 10:15 PM)
We are saddened to learn that Tim Hunt passed away suddenly on Saturday July 25th.
Tim was one of the handful of cyclists who met in Old Market Square in July and August 2006 to discuss bicycling advocacy in Winnipeg and organize a forum entitled Bike to the Future, which was held at the UofWinnipeg on September 20th, and which lead to a larger group of cyclists meeting monthly and then incorporating as Bike to the Future in February 2007.
Tim has been an active volunteer for BttF, representing us on the Pembina Winsmart project, and serving on a variety of committees.
Tim was an key member of the Manitoba Cycling Association’s Recreation & Transportation Committee from 2000 until it ceased meeting in October 2005.
Our condolences go out to Tim’s family.
Jeremy Hull, Bike to the Future’s research and statistics guru (and Provincial Policy Committee Director), has produced his 3rd annual spring bicycle counts report from bicycle count data that 34 of his volunteers have accumulated. The statistics and insight contained in this report are interesting, informative, and professional.
The report (PDF)
Congratulations to Anders Swanson for being named as the recipient of this year’s Individual award at the Manitoba Eco-Network Environmental Awards.
Manitoba Eco-Network media release:
Anders Swanson was nominated by Bike to the Future Co-Chair, Kevin Miller. Anders has been a tireless advocate for cycling and bicycles in Winnipeg, leading the way to a comprehensive network of cycling routes and infrastructure designed to make cycling safer, easier, and more accessible. He has paid particular attention to the needs of inner city children, teaching them to repair and build their own bikes. In fact, on the evening of the awards presentation, he will be leaving his volunteer work at Orioles Bike Cage a bit early in order to attend. His creative website, OneGreenCity.com is used by Active Transportation promoters of all stripes, and he has gained the respect of politicians, city administrators and community groups with his hard work, non-confrontational style and absolute commitment to making Winnipeg a greener place. Anders either founded or belongs to at least 6 community groups, including the BIZ Transportation committee, North Winnipeg Commuter Cyclists, the Physical Activity Coalition of Manitoba and the River East Neighbourhood Network. He is also a member of the Mayor’s Environmental Advisory Committee.
Anders’ nomination (PDF) was supported by the Winnipeg Trails Association, Manitoba Cycling Association, and the City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Coordinator.
Since Fall 2007, tens of thousands of dollars have been spent constructing temporary detours for motor vehicle traffic. The detours constructed for active transportation traffic has been significantly less expensive:
(This item was originally posted on March 6th.)
May 26th update:
Disraeli Bridges Rehabilitation, Public Consultation — May 2009 newsletter (PDF) “Option 2” was “strongly preferred”.
The Disraeli Rehabilitation project’s Collaborative Planning Working Group (CPWG) held a day-long meeting on February 18th to discuss options for the cyclist/pedestrian crossing. This was their 2nd meeting. Representatives from Bike to the Future (Brion Dolenko), One Green City (Anders Swanson), the Winnipeg Trails Association (Janice Lukes) and other organizations attended the meeting, and many resource materials were produced from the meeting (all documents are PDFs):
- Meeting #1 Minutes
- Meeting #2 Minutes
- Project Goals
- Summary of Design Criteria
- Issues and Opportunities Map (1.6MB)
- Option 1: Attached Crossing — map (600KB)
- Option 1: Attached Crossing — artist’s oblique view (270KB)
- Option 2: Separate Crossing — map (600KB)
- Option 2: Separate Crossing — artist’s oblique view (270KB)
These resource materials were presented and discussed at a meeting organized by Bike to the Future, One Green City, and the Winnipeg Trails Association.
Bike to the Future, the Winnipeg Trails Association, and the Winnipeg Rapid Transit Coalition have concerns about the bikeway plan for the new Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor) that will be built between The Forks and the Pembina-Jubilee underpass. Construction starts later this year.
Summary of our concerns:
- Bus Rapid Transit is receiving major new tunnels and bridges, but AT is only being incorporated where it’s easy to do so. The current project scope and budget do not provide the budget or political will to find solutions to major AT obstacles, such as the South Osborne underpass.
- Connectivity from one side to the other side of the CN railway line is completely lacking. This creates a major gap in the middle of the proposed AT route, which forces cyclists and other AT users to use the South Osborne Underpass.
The Gap (PDF)
- General connectivity issues that must be resolved to make this project a true success include:
— Connecting to the south of Jubilee to allow access to Pembina Hwy, Riverside Drive, Elm Park (BDI) pedestrian bridge, and Churchill Drive.
— Connecting to the west of the CN railway line to allow access to River Heights and Corydon Village.
— Connecting across the South Osborne underpass to allow access to Osborne Village and Downtown.
— Connecting from Stradbrook & Main to Assiniboine Avenue, which is slated to become an important AT access route to Downtown.
- Current plans propose a single multi-use pathway to be shared by all AT users. This leads to cyclist/pedestrian conflicts due to the fundamentally different characteristics of each AT user. The AT route should instead consist of clearly demarcated and separate cycling and pedestrian components.
- Current plans propose an AT route that is not direct in some sections, and consists of sub-standard multi-use pathway widths in certain other sections.
- Open House #1
- Open House #2
- If you can’t attend an Open House, input can also be e-mailed to Bill Menzies, or you can contact your elected officials.
Our past actions:
- In January we wrote a letter to the City about our concerns, and the City replied.
- On March 11th we wrote another letter, this time to the City’s Executive Policy Committee.
- On March 19th we detailed many of our concerns and began to distribute this list to decision makers and the media.
All three of these documents are on our BttF Publications page under 2009 City of Winnipeg
Note: Check out this BRT line!
The Province of Manitoba redrafted the Provincial Land Use Policies, and requested feedback on them from interested stakeholders and individuals.
(There were workshops for this purpose taking place in various parts of Manitoba, including one in Winnipeg on Monday April 27th at the Norwood Hotel, 112 Marion from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.)
To learn more about the Provincial Land Use Policy review, and to read Bike to the Future’s analysis of it written presentation to the Province, please see our document on our Advocacy Resources -> Publications page.
As a result of lobbying from Bike to the Future’s Provincial Committee (Director Jeremy Hull), Provincial Energy Minister Jim Rondeau has created a provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group and appointed 11 people to it. Four of those people are Bike to the Future members: Mark Cohoe (BttF City Committee Director), Janice Lukes (Winnipeg Trails Association), Anders Swanson (One Green City), and Terry Zdan (The Centre for Sustainable Transportation). Janice was appointed Chair of the provincial Active Transportation Advisory Group.
Winnipeg cyclists can enjoy the convenience of biking and bussing with the return of Winnipeg Transit’s Bike and Bus Program. Effective May 1, 2009, most Route 60 buses will be equipped with bike racks, although you may see them on other routes too. Bike Racks are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There’s no cost to use the rack, just your usual bus fare.
The Bike and Bus Program runs until October 31, 2009, and complements Winnipeg Transit’s Bike Locker pilot project. The lockers are at two locations; St. Vital Shopping Centre (in the Transit bus bay) and at Osborne Junction (on the centre island). Visit winnipegtransit.com for more information.
Sharing the Road with Buses Buses and bikes are considered equal under The Highway Traffic Act, but a ten-ton bus is harder to stop than a 15-kilogram bike. Here are some tips from Winnipeg Transit to help make your cycling trip more enjoyable:
- Avoid riding in the blind spots at the sides and rear of the bus where the operator cannot see you.
- Stay well back and on the left side of the bus and remember that buses stop often.
- Always pass a bus on the left side – don’t get trapped between the bus and the curb.
- Allow plenty of room when passing a bus.
SpeakUpWinnipeg.com is the interactive web site supporting the 12-month process of creating a new citywide plan for Winnipeg.
What do you want Winnipeg to look like in 20 to 25 years from now? The City has taken the initiative to seek public involvement, so this is our opportunity to express our views about active transportation and other isssues. Join in the discussion on many diverse topics and questions. For example: The City Building dialogue
The Speak Up Winnipeg approach holds that Winnipeggers have the vision and creative energy to plan for the future, and that an open, involving and empowering process can capture this collective wisdom and turn it into action. From April 2009 to April 2010, Speak Up Winnipeg is open to anyone, at any time.
Input is accepted in a number of ways: pictures, videos, words, and points of view and ideas can be shared through this web site. As well, there will be face-to-face opportunities to share ideas as roundtables, open houses, and other public events.
Speak Up Winnipeg will be the most interactive, participatory and transparent planning exercise ever attempted in this city.
- Launch: April 25, 2009
Winnipeggers embark on the biggest and most collaborative planning process ever undertaken in the City. Mayor Sam Katz launches *Speak Up Winnipeg* at the Mayor’s Symposium – A Sustainable Winnipeg. During the launch, SpeakUpWinnipeg.com goes live.
- Speak Up Winnipeg #1: April to October 2009
Get involved in the planning process by sharing your thoughts, ideas, and points of view in six key areas: Sustainability, Safety and Security, City Competitiveness, Communities, City of the Arts, and City Building. SpeakUpWinnipeg.com will gather input on all six areas throughout this phase, and a bi-weekly web feature will focus discussion on one particular area. As well, focus groups and roundtables will be held in May and June, and Speak Up Winnipeg will be at community events during the summer.
- A Call to Action for OurWinnipeg: November 2009
The vision and priorities of Winnipeggers will be captured in a short report that highlights conclusions from the Speak Up Winnipeg #1 phase. The report will identify directions and actions needed to help move us towards achieving the vision. A draft of this report will be released for public feedback before becoming final.
- Consultation Papers for OurWinnipeg: December 2009 to January 2010
During the winter, the vision and directions from the Call to Action will be translated into policy options for open discussion. Consultation papers are proposed to be created for four areas: Sustainable Winnipeg, Communities Where we Live, Work and Play, Sustainable Transportation, and Sustainable Infrastructure. These titles and groupings may change as a result of public input during earlier phases of the process.
- Speak Up Winnipeg #2: January 2010
This will be another opportunity for the public to Speak Up on policies and strategies through the interactive web site and roundtables.
- Draft version of OurWinnipeg: February 2010
The first draft of OurWinnipeg will be based on public input from all previous phases. The plan will also connect to a number of background strategies.
- Speak Up Winnipeg #3: February to March 2010
A third cycle of public involvement (the draft plan and background strategies) will be shared for discussion and final input. Speak Up about OurWinnipeg.
- OurWinnipeg: April 2010
The final phases of the process will be the formal adoption of a new 25-year city-wide plan. The Province of Manitoba will be asked to approve the plan and the City will hold a public hearing for OurWinnipeg.
- The Future of OurWinnipeg: after April 2010
Speak Up Winnipeg and OurWinnipeg don’t end with adoption of the plan -– this is just the beginning. Ongoing progress measurement and continued opportunities for public planning involvement will be designed during the creation of the plan, and can be implemented immediately after the plan is adopted. This part of the process is critical to achieving the vision we have created together.
The Centre for Sustainable Transportation and the City of Winnipeg are undertaking a GPS cycling study called OttoCycle: Building Better Biking in Winnipeg. More than 900 cyclists will be able to take a GPS device along on their regular cycling trips for two weeks between May and October, 2009.
UofManitoba Masters’ of City Planning student Karin Kliewer has proposed a thesis entitled Power and the Vélorution: Cycling advocacy, social networking and grassroots change in Winnipeg, MB. The thesis “explores planning implications of power in urban environments, and the power dynamics associated with bicycle culture. A case study will explore how a Winnipeg advocacy group, Bike to the Future, has found a voice and claimed decision-making power by networking, organizing, and working together towards a common goal.”
At our February Monthly Meeting, Karin asked BttF directors and members for permission to do the research required for her thesis. We granted that permission, and in fact we are thrilled to be a part of this project and looking forward to being involved with it. If any BttF member has concerns about this, please contact us.
Karin’s thesis proposal (PDF)
On Tuesday March 10th, the City’s Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works passed the City administration’s proposed 2009 Active Transportation Action Plan. It will now go to the Executive Policy Committee and then to City Council for final approval.
To view the 2009 Active Transportation Action Plan, go to http://winnipeg.ca/CLKDMIS/ViewDoc.asp?DocId=9082&SectionId=&InitUrl=, and in the top left window, scroll down to “Reports” and then down further to “13. 2009 Active Transportation Action Plan”.
These recommendations are the result of input from the Active Transportation Advisory Committee, Kevin Nixon (City of Winnipeg Active Transportation Coordinator), and city councillors.
The fact this is being voted on in March means there’s a greater chance of them actually being built this year. (11 projects from 2008 year were not started due to late approvals, etc.)
Considering the funding allocated in the 2009 Capital Budget for Active Transportation, the projects and allocation are good.
Combine the 2009 projects, remaining 2008 projects, and a few others occurring in conjunction with street expansions and upgrades, and 2009 is shaping up to see the addition of some good active transportation infrastructure.
A week ago, Bike to the Future contacted all four candidates in the March 22nd provincal by-election in Elmwood to ask if they’d be willing to answer a written questionaire about active transportation issues that we’d post on our website. All four candidates’ answers to the questionaire have been received.
IKEA has made a request to the City for a zoning variance that would allow it to build less bicycle parking than current zoning laws require. Bike to the Future and the Winnipeg Trails Association have both written letters to the City’s Executive Policy Comittee (EPC) opposing IKEA’s request.
On March 3rd and 4th, Bike to the Future and the Winnipeg Trails Association arranged for their members and residents of the River Heights – Fort Garry ward to meet with each of the candidates nominated for the upcoming by-election. The meetings allowed the candidates to engage members of the community in a discussion about Active Transportation in River Heights – Fort Garry, and learn about opportunities for improvements to active transportation infrastructure and programming within the ward and throughout Winnipeg as a whole.
River Heights – Fort Garry AT Primer newsletter (PDF, 4 pages)
Active Transportation issues in River Heights – Fort Garry (PDF, 23 pages, 1.2MB)
Candidates Responses (PDF, 4 pages)
This item was originally written on January 21st. It has been updated with two more sample letters written by Bike to the Future members.
The federal government is about to announce billions of dollars of stimulus spending on infrastructure projects. The City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee has millions of dollars worth of unfunded projects that would greatly improve the safety and convenience of cycling in Winnipeg.
- Winnipeg At Facilities in 2008 (PDF, 4MB)
- Winnipeg AT Facilties Implementation Plan for 2009 – 2014 (PDF, 3MB)
All of us need to tell our federal MPs, provincial MLAs, and City Councillors why those federal dollars should be spent on cycling infrastucture. Here’s why:
- Most of the cycling and walking projects are ready to be implemented, so they will also be ready for ribbon-cutting and use long before all of the highway projects even make it through the design phase.
- Active transportation projects are green. They are good for people’s health and wellness, good for the environment, and good for our city.
Here is a letter that was written by Anders Swanson of One Green City.
Here is a letter that was written by Janice Briggs based on Anders’ letter.
Here is a letter that was written by Charles Feaver.
Please contact your federal MP, provincial MLA, and City Councillor.
- Federal Members of Parliament.
- Provincial Members of the Legislative Assembly
- City Councillors
- Contact info for City Councillors and MLAs (PDF)
A few months ago, Anders Swanson started a Request of your input for cycling spot improvements campaign via the Neighbourhood Cycling Groups and Bike to the Future. He’s been collecting and compiling these ideas of specific locations where relatively simple changes in infrastructure design will make a big difference for cyclists.
The current city-wide list is posted here (PDF).
The list is being used by the City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee to help identify, prioritize, and implement on-the-ground changes.
Thanks to you, it is an excellent source of ideas and solutions. It is already usable as a guide, showing dangerous/tricky areas that a cyclist might wish to avoid.
New additions are encouraged. Please post your new ideas to the appropriate Neighbourhood Cycling Group, and they will be added. If you’ve already suggested something and it is missing from the list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For maintenance items like a pothole, unswept curb lane, or anything you feel should be addressed immediately, please use Report-a-Problem, phone 986-ROAD, or contact your City Councillor, whichever is most appropriate.
A global campaign is underway to persuade the planet’s favourite search engine to be more bicycling friendly. For more info and to sign the petition: www.petitiononline.com/bikether/petition.html.
Please spread this far and wide to anyone you know who would like to see safer and more accessible cycling routes in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg has never been as close as we are today in seeing a significant increase in funding for Active Transportation (AT) to go towards complete routes throughout the city.
You may have read in the Free Press about efforts by Bike to the Future and partners like the Winnipeg Trails Association, Resource Conservation Manitoba, One Green City, and other local AT supporters advocating for an increase in AT funding in the City’s 2009 Capital Budget.
In an unprecedented move, two of the mayor’s Executive Policy Committee members voted against the proposed 2009 Capital Budget because of limited funding for cyclists and other AT users.
We need to show the councilors that cycling is not a fringe issue, but that safe, enjoyable, accessible, and convenient cycling infrastructure is in everyone’s best interest.
Tuesday December 16th at 1:00 PM at City Hall
We are asking all cyclists to come out -– bring your bike bells — and support Mark Cohoe from Bike to the Future and Janice Lukes from the Winnipeg Trails Association who will be doing a joint presentation to City Council opposing the 2009 Capital Budget and advocating for equality for cyclists.
Your attendance will help make a difference.
What else can you do to help?
- Pass this message on to all the people you know who are interested in having better facilities for cycling in Winnipeg.
- Contact your city councillor (http://winnipeg.ca/council/) and ask him/her to increase the funding for active transportation. Share your reasons why you want to see more and safer infrastructure; if it existed, you would use it.
- There may be an opportunity to speak on Tuesday at City Council if you feel strongly about increasing funding. Currently only two presentations opposing the budget are allowed, but by-laws can be waived if there are enough people wanting to be heard. Call your city councillor and tell him/her you want to speak to this issue.
One week after six Bike to the Future members, each representing their respective active transportation or green organizations, appeared before the City of Winnipeg’s Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee and successfully advocated for increased funding for active transportation in the City’s 2009 budget, they were back at it again yesterday. This time it was the Executive Policy Committee (EPC) reviewing the budget, and Anders Swanson (One Green City, BttF) and Kathleen Leathers (Prairie Pathfinders) joined them.
Anders Swanson (PowerPoint — very informative)
Last week’s news story — six presentations
Six Bike to the Future members, each representing their respective active transportation or green organizations, appeared before the City of Winnipeg’s Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee yesterday morning to advocate for increased funding for active transportation in the City’s 2009 budget. They were successful.
Here are their presentations (most are PDF):
Janice Lukes — Winnipeg Trails Association
Jessie Klassen — Resource Conservation Manitoba
Beth McKechnie — Physical Activity Coalition of Manitoba
Sigrun Bailey — River East Neighbourhood Network – Trail Committee
Nona Pelletier — North Winnipeg Commuter Cyclists
Mark Cohoe — Bike to the Future
— Infrastructure examples
This was only the first step. The City’s 2009 budget goes before City Council’s Executive Policy Committee (EPC) on Tuesday December 9th. The final decision on the 2009 budget will be made by City Council on December 16th. Please contact your city councillor.
The EPC news story — Anders Swanson’s very informative presentation
Time magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2008
#19. Montreal’s Public Bike System
When lots of people use a communal resource — like, say, a cheap public bicycle-rental program — they tend to abuse it. So when the city of Montreal built its Public Bike System, nicknamed Bixi, the designers packed in all the technology they could find, in a desperate attempt to out-engineer human iniquity. The modular bike-rack stations are Web-enabled and solar-powered. The bicycles are designed with tons of sealed components to resist the savage beatings they will undoubtedly receive, and they’re equipped with RFID tags so they’re easily trackable. Too bad they can’t redesign the riders too.
Is your workplace doing something new and exciting to support cycling and walking to work? Has your employer been a long-time supporter of transit use, carpooling, or teleworking? Recognize their efforts with the first ever Commuter Friendly Workplace Awards! New projects are also eligible to apply.
- Info and Application (PDF)
Bike to the Future’s presentation of the inaugural Bike Shorts Film Festival on October 21st at Cinemathique was very successful; 91 people attended it. All proceeds went towards Bike to the Future’s advocacy efforts.
Bike Shorts is looking for Canadian stories about bikes and the people the ride them in Canada for future projects. You could receive a $200 grant if your idea for a film is selected.
Also, Bike Shorts director Dustin Anderson is making a Canadian winter cycling collage. Please help out with this fun cross-Canada collaboration.
UofWinnipeg community radio station CKUW 95.9 FM is interested in producing a bike culture radio show. They are a volunteer-run station, so they are looking for someone to take on this project — someone interested in sharing their opinions and knowledge on bike culture. They will provide training, help develop a format for the show, and provide on-going support where necessary.
Please contact the Program Director if you are interested.
About 200 enthusiastic commuter cyclists crowded into the University of Winnipeg’s Bulman Centre on October 15th to celebrate our favourite two-wheeled mode of transportation. For three hours, we debated and discussed how to make cycling infrastructure better, safer and more common in our city.
The evening started with an unprecedented event: Greetings from our mayor, Sam Katz. He expressed his admiration for the great turnout and told us not to be discouraged by the slow rate of growth in Winnipeg. Cycling is a priority, he assured us, and the best way to keep it on City Hall’s agenda is to continue fighting for it.
Katz stuck around for the next item on the agenda: The latest “Bike to the Future” sketch written by Cory Bellhouse. As performed by a trio of actors, it told the fictional story of the first mayor of Winnipeg’s introduction to commuter cycling. Those sitting near our current mayor say he laughed louder than anyone.
The evening’s agenda continued with a look at four “visionary videos” about how the need for better cycling infrastructure is revolutionizing other cities. Topics included a valet parking service for bikes at Giants games in San Francisco, and a so-called “bike box” at traffic lights that allows cyclists to get a head start on cars.
After the videos, local reporter Bartley Kives arrived to moderate a panel discussion with four city decision-makers: MPI boss Marilyn McLaren; Minister of Healthy Living Kerri Irvin-Ross; City Councillor and EPC member Justin Swandel; and police rep Staff Sgt. Mark Hodgson.
Thanks to some poking and prodding from Kives, and some great questions supplied by Bike to the Future members and supporters, the panellists explained their positions on everything from traffic laws to bike-only lanes. At the end of the panel, Councillor Swandel summed it up by saying it was a great opportunity to learn how much Winnipeggers care about the issue of commuter cycling. The panel discussion was broadcast on CKUW 95.9 FM.
Finally, after a quick break that included free food and coffee, a chance to look at various information tables, and the opportunity to buy a snazzy new Bike to the Future T-shirt, participants broke out into small groups to debate specific cycling issues and share new ideas. Up for discussion: Everything from transit/bike relations to protecting bikes against theft.
At the end of the night, some lucky people left with a great door prize. It looked like everyone left with new knowledge of cycling issues in Winnipeg, and a sense that we have to keep working together to make better cycling infrastructure a reality in our city.
Thanks to all the volunteers who made the night happen, the Province of Manitoba’s Sustainable Innovation Fund, and all the participants who came out to share their views!
A project partnership between Bike to the Future (BttF), the Manitoba Cycling Association (MCA), the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Trails Association (WTA), Climate Change Connection, One Green City,and Resource Conservation Manitoba (RCM)was initiated in September to create a new Winnipeg cycling map for 2009. The target release date is on Earth Day in late April.
The project team consists of
- Curt Hull (BttF Treasurer, Project Manager)
- Ron Brown (MCA Executive Director)
- Kevin Nixon (City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Co-ordinator)
- Janice Lukes (Winnipeg Trails Association)
- Beth McKechnie (Resource Conservation Manitoba, creator of the 1999 Cyclists’ Map of Winnipeg)
- Anders Swanson (One Green City)
- Gord McGonigal (VP of MCA Recreation & Transportation in 1999)
- Ted Mann (route checking)
All eight of these team members are Bike to the Future members.
The new Winnipeg cycling map will be based on the City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Network (1.5MB PDF) map. It’ll be a pocket-sized Z-style map.
Route information needs to be verified before winter, so Ted is asking all BttF members and supporters to assist him with this task.
Beth will be at our Fall Forum with a list of routes that still need to be checked, and she will assign routes to anybody who is interested in helping with this task. Any routes left over will then be posted here. If you’d like to help, but can’t attend the Fall Forum, please contact us.
Route checking criteria (what to look for):
- Existing infrastructure (cycling route signs, sharrows, diamond lane, multi-use pathway or sidewalk, etc)
- General sense of curb lane width (narrow, ample)
- Vehicle parking allowed (neither, one or both sides of street)
- Surface type (paved, gravel, cement)
- Obvious hazards, choke points, anomalies
- Gaps in continuity
- Difficult or dangerous crossings
- Whether a trail/path has lighting
- Suggestions for infrastructure improvement on that route
- Attributes/features (such as gas stations with an air hose, bike shops, public washrooms, public drinking water source, ice cream shops, or other sites of interest to commuting and recreational cyclists)
The Downtown BIZ wants to install bike racks downtown to make frequenting buildings and amenities easier for visitors, workers, and residents. They will subsidize 50 per cent of the cost, and also handle the installation. They are limited in the number of bike racks they can subsidize, so this is a first-come first-serve opportunity.
Info and Order Form (PDF)
The City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) has begun the input process for recommending projects to be undertaken in 2009. We already have an official map (that isn’t perfect) and a long list of big projects to complete. However, we want to make sure we aren’t overlooking simple fixes, leaving out an obvious priority, or focusing on long routes for way-finding, but then forgetting specific problem areas that are dangerous and could fixed right away.
We want your help.
We are looking for specific design issues that pose a danger to cyclists, or little things that, if designed well, would simply make life easier. The more accurately you describe the situation and your solution, the more likely it will become reality.
So, if you have an idea, please go to www.onegreencity.com, click on the area of the map that your idea pertains to, join the Google Group for that area of the city, and post your idea. Alternatively, you can send your idea to email@example.com, and we’ll post it, but then you won’t be able to see discussion about your idea (which hopefully generates other ideas).
The Globe and Mail — Biking in the City
Want to make a difference for cyclists? Start a war
John Barber — firstname.lastname@example.org
September 9, 2008
One week last year, Janet Sadik-Khan, New York’s new transportation commissioner, visited Copenhagen to study bikeways. Impressed by a system that gives cyclists their own lanes protected by wide buffers – lanes taken away from cars – she returned home determined to emulate it.
“Thirty days later they had it,” activist Gil Penalosa told Toronto council’s works committee yesterday. The city removed two lanes of parked and moving cars from Ninth Avenue in the Chelsea district, replacing them with one bicycle lane and a generous no-go buffer zone between it and the remaining motorized lanes. Just like that.
Last month, Ms. Sadik-Khan earned raves for another quick-and-dirty initiative that closed Park Avenue to motorized traffic, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, for three consecutive Sundays. At the same time, city crews are tearing up the entire length of Broadway, removing driving lanes and parking in favour of generous bike lanes protected by broad landscaped buffers.
Over the same period, Paris flooded its famous boulevards with a fleet of 24,000 bicycles for the use of any citizen with a euro in their pocket. Simply creating the stations to accommodate the fleet required the elimination of 7,000 parking spaces, according to Mr. Penalosa, director of the group Walk and Bike for Life.
Over the same period in Toronto, however, local bureaucrats struggled to persuade suburban councillors to accept bicycle lanes on a handful of obscure routes. While great cities around the world compete with bold strokes to reclaim their streets for pedestrians and cyclists – as parks commissioner of Bogota in the 1990s, Mr. Penalosa helped create 320 kilometres of separate bikeways – Toronto quails at the challenge of painting new stripes on Annette Street.
Yesterday’s debate, dominated by doubters to whom the so-called bicycle advocates happily deferred, was enough to dash recent hope that Toronto’s torpor was over. Under the fresh leadership of Councillor Adrian Heaps, and with the help of new fast-track rules, council’s cycling committee had promised big changes. But yesterday, Mr. Heaps’s only role was to encourage the indefinite deferral of long-planned bike lanes for Horner Avenue in southern Etobicoke.
What we need is a big gesture, a thorough makeover of a major street with unapologetic impacts on drivers. The current strategy, which aims to remake the city without risking actual change, is an absurdity.
Consider the bureaucrats’ assurance that none of the proposals before committee yesterday would have “significant impact” on existing traffic. But if Toronto’s ambitious bike plan is to succeed, noted Ron Fletcher of the Toronto Bicycle Network, by definition it must have significant impact on traffic. Otherwise, what’s the point?
What we need more than anything, of course, is the kind of leadership that such figures as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë have displayed in their forthright campaigns to de-motorize their cities.
“We need doers,” Mr. Penalosa emphasized repeatedly. “We need people doing things.” Consensus is impossible, he added, and compromise often worse than doing nothing. “We don’t have time to think,” he insisted. “We have to do.”
Suburban councillors decry what they call city hall’s “war against the car.” If only! In truth, this is a phony war, with hesitating bureaucrats filling in for absent generals while a fearful mayor shirks in the rear.
What we need is a real war to make it clear where we all stand.
All of these workshops are free (or by donation), and held at the Bike Dump.
They are all drop-in (no registration required), except for the workshop on September 17th. To register for that one, please contact us.
- Wednesday September 17th at 6:30 PM
Wheel truing & wheel building
- Wednesday October 15th at 7:00 PM
Gears & derailleurs
- Wednesday October 22nd at 7:00 PM
Winter cycling: Bike, clothes, and skillz
- Wednesday November 19th at 7:00 PM
Montreal Bike Trade Show popularity tied to sales activity
Canada’s bike industry is booming. In the first half of 2008, bike (unit) sales were up 6%, and dollar sales rose 8.5% over 2007 figures. One category – the lower priced rigid mountain bikes – skyrocketed by 600%, while the commuter oriented road bikes are up nearly 10%.
These numbers indicate that Canada is heading in a more bike-friendly direction. Janet O’Connell, Executive Director of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC), attributes the rising tide to a range of factors – an increasingly eco-conscious public, more bike routes and trails, rising fuel prices, and a provincial tax holiday on bike and bike safety related equipment in Ontario.
“It is exciting to see so many people embracing both their bikes and a healthy lifestyle. Whether you buy a bike to commute or use it for recreation, cycling is inexpensive, healthy and energy efficient.” Janet O’Connell made these observations in Montreal where she is assisting with setup for ExpoCycle 2008, BTAC’s annual trade show.
ExpoCycle 2008 features 90,000 square feet of trade show display space and attracts 2,500 manufacturers, retailers and suppliers from around the world. O’Connell notes that “the Canadian consumers’ love affair with bicycles is also motivating the cycling industry. Pre-registration for ExpoCycle 2008 has already broken records, exceeding last years numbers by 20%.
*The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada’s mission is to change Canadian culture by positioning cycling as the pre-eminent form of transportation and recreation in Canada. A not-for-profit trade association whose members come from the retail and supplier sectors of Canada’s bicycle industry BTAC is the national voice for cycling BTAC actively advocates on critical issues with government at all levels and builds partnerships throughout the cycling community in Canada. BTAC programs include Market Research, Cycling Advocacy, ExpoCycle (Canada’s Bike Trade Show) and many cost saving benefits to members.*
Bike to the Future has been contacted by a number of people since July 18th about cyclists being ticketed for riding on the sidewalk.
A few have been along Portage Avenue and other streets, but the majority are from the Osborne Street Bridge, which is a longstanding favorite place for the police to target because of the large number of pedestrians who walk over the bridge between Osborne Village and the Downtown.
In one incident, a Village resident/cyclist who works downtown was accompanying a non-cyclist friend who had never ridden to work before. The friend was slowly riding his daughter’s bike (24″ wheels), so they took the sidewalk and were each nabbed for $107. The cyclist appeared in Small Claims Court on August 14th. Here’s the story:
I managed to get off the ticket pleading guilty with an explanation:
- I commute to work everyday and ride on the road nearly all the time, respecting the rules of the road.
- The only time I ride on the sidewalk is when the roads are unfit to ride on safely.
- When I do ride on the sidewalk, I am respectful of pedestrians as I understand they have priority and ride at a safe speed. Although in this particular incident there were no pedestrians present, if there would have been, I would have given them warning and given them ample space by moving over to the grass when passing them.
- Even though I am well-aware that the law forbids cycling on the sidewalk, cyclists are often caught in a catch 22 situation. We are put in a position where we have to use our judgment with regards to our personal safety versus the law.
- I judged that given the personal risk of having to swerve around pot-hole ridden roads during rush-hour traffic I was justified in riding on the sidewalk for my personal safety and I feel that the average responsible and prudent citizen would have come to the same conclusion.
On a side note, as the magistrate was reading out my fine, she looked confused and surprised (I’m assuming because she has never come across such an infraction). She told me to take a seat because she had to “review my plea”, and I then saw her walk back to get the Highway Traffic Act binder to look up the section that applies to cycling on sidewalks.
At our August Monthly Meeting we discussed this issue of the police targeting sidewalk-riding cyclists.
It is illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Winnipeg, and it’s also dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians unless the cyclist is travelling at a very slow running speed or slower. Given the lack of bicycling infrastructure in this city, we understand why some cyclists are uneasy about riding on certain stretches of roadway. Unfortunately, the only safe and legal alternatives are to go somewhat out of your way to find a route that you’re comfortable with, or walk your bike past the worst stretches of roadway.
To send a message to the City’s Public Works Department (about this or any other “problem”), go to http://www.winnipeg.ca/publicworks/ReportAProblem/default.asp.
A core group of Bike to the Future volunteers have worked tirelessly during the past two years to achieve our mission and vision. Some progress has been made, but much more needs to be done. We’ve got twice as many opportunities and potential initiatives as volunteers, so another alternative to riding on unsafe streets is to work towards getting them made safer by getting involved.
Bike to Work Day 2008 — Final Report — 3MB PDF file, 97 pages
If you are looking for secure bike parking downtown, a new bike corral is now open in the Civic Parkade across from Red River College’s Princess Street campus. The corral uses a card reader for access (fun to use!), and currently has space for 50 bikes. The cost is $50 per year. Contact the Exchange District BIZ at 942-6716.
The bike corral is the result of a partnership between the Winnipeg Parking Authority, Red River College, Exchange District BIZ, and City Councilor Mike Pagtakhan. Spread the word! Let’s show that safe bike parking is needed and will be well used.
Here is the Exchange District BIZ’ media release:
Winnipeg, July 24, 2008 – The Exchange District BIZ, along with partners Red River College, the Red River College Students’ Association, the Winnipeg Parking Authority, and the City of Winnipeg will unveil a brand new Bike Corral in the Civic Parkade at 10:00 am on Monday, July 28.
The Civic Parkade Bike Corral will feature space for fifty bicycles, 24-hour security and 24- hour access with a personal electronic passcard.
“This is the Fort Knox of Bike Corrals,” jokes Brian Timmerman, Director of Operations with the Exchange District BIZ, “At $50 for a yearly pass, you get to store your bicycle in a safe, weather-protected corral with 24-hour security monitoring. It’s great to see more and more people seeking out alternate modes of transportation, and projects like this one really help to support those healthy, and environmentally-friendly decisions”
“Choosing to use your bike for work, or as an alternate mode of transportation offers riders many health, financial, and environmental benefits, and having a safe, secure and accessible location to park your bike is a definite consideration when choosing to bike to work for many,” says Councillor Mike Pagtakhan. “The Civic Parkade Bike Corral was a great project to support, as it will provide dozens of bike riders with the peace of mind that their bike is in a safe place with 24/7 monitoring.”
For information about the Civic Parkade Bike Corral, please contact:
Exchange District BIZ
Spring Bicycle Traffic Counts, 2008 — 14 page PDF report
Bicycling groups in Copenhagen hosted David Suzuki and a film crew from the CBC. www.copenhagenize.com/2008/07/david-suzuki-got-copenhagenized.html
Thanks to all cyclists who participated in the 1st Annual Bike to Work Day Winnipeg on June 20th. Some highlights:
- 2177 cyclists registered prior to, or on the day of, the event
- 2543 cyclists were counted participating in the event
- Bicycle traffic counts were done in 12 locations throughout the city, and showed a bicycle traffic increase of 64% on the day of the event over previous 2008 counts (increases ranged from 13% to 145% depending on the location)
- 11,241 estimated total cyclists on Bike to Work Day (based on 2006 Census of cyclist commuters (5.760) x the increase in 2008 over 2007 (1.19) x the increased traffic on Bike to Work Day Winnipeg (1.64)
- 400 participant and 70 volunteer “Bike to Work Day” t-shirts were given away
- 280 cyclists received a free pancake breakfast at the Forks
- All of the waste from the pancake breakfast was composted
- 8 groups were involved in organizing the event, including:
- Bike to the Future
- City of Winnipeg
- Climate Change Connection
- Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
- Manitoba Cycling Association
- Marr Consulting Services
- Resource Conservation Manitoba
- Winnipeg Trails Association
- The event was organized in a little over two months
- 52 companies, groups, and organizations supported the event with financial or in-kind contributions
- Financial contributions exceeded $27,600
- 70 volunteers helped at The Forks and at 15 Energy Stations all over the city
Special kudos to the 20% of you who were first-time riders to work –- awesome!
The registration survey found that cycling infrastructure was the number one thing that would get more people out cycling. Bike to the Future is a voluntary, inclusive group of concerned citizens working to make cycling in Winnipeg a safe, enjoyable, accessible and convenient transportation choice year-round. Please visit our website for more information or to get involved.
Bike to Work Day Winnipeg 2009 will be held on Friday, June 19th, 2009. We hope you’ll participate.
Event photos will be posted on the Bike to Work Day website in the near future. If you have any great event photos, please send them to email@example.com .
Thank you once again for your participation in Bike to Work Day Winnipeg 2008. See you next year!
You may have noticed that the City of Winnipeg has introduced new cycling pavement markings known as “sharrows” to promote cycling on routes that have wider curb lanes and are part of the City’s commuter cycling network. Streets that currently have sharrows include Dakota/Dunkirk, Higgins, Regent West, and Plessis.
Bike to the Future has produced an information sheet (PDF) with facts and FAQs about the City’s Sharrows program.
The City’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) released its 2008 action plan on Friday April 25th.
http://www.winnipeg.ca/clkdmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=197117 (huge PDF file)
The City will spend more than $3 million this year to create 70 kilometres of new bike-and-pedestrian paths and bike lanes. (See the Free Press story about it.)
Many Bike to the Future members contributed to this 2008 action plan by expending countless hours compiling ideas, doing research, and/or attending numerous ATAC meetings. These members, many of whom represent our partner organizations, include Gareth Simons (Bike to the Future), Philip Roadley (Manitoba Cycling Association), Anders Swanson (One Green City, Mayor’s Environmental Advisory Committee), Janice Lukes (Winnipeg Trails Association), Beth McKechnie (Resource Conservation Manitoba), Kevin Nixon (City of Winnipeg’s AT Coordinator) and many of our City Committee members. Their efforts are paying dividends.
For for info about City of Winnipeg Active Transportation, please see our Advocacy Resources pages.
The City of Winnipeg is holding three Open Houses to discuss the rehabilitation project for the Disraeli Bridge & Overpass. This is a chance to express your views about the three proposed options; they have varying benefits for cyclists and pedestrians.
Page B7 of the Thursday April 24th Free Press contains a full page ad that has info and diagrams of the proposed designs. You can see the same information on the City’s Disraeli rehab website page. That page lists the dates and locations of the Open Houses. It also contains an April 2008 newsletter — PDF that contains lots of info and diagrams, and has contact info on the last page for expressing your opinions (if you are unable to attend one of the Open Houses).
The City’s website page for the Chief Peguis Trail project has extensive information, including proposed amenities for cyclists and a Survey and Comments form.
The Bike Shorts Film Festival is an event/fundraising opportunity. It originates from Dustin Anderson, the Purple Pirate. You would have met him if you were at our Fall Forum last October.
Bike to the Future’s Events & Fundraising Committee Director position is currently vacant, so we’re looking for a group of volunteers to take ownership of this event/fundraising opportunity, and organize a Winnipeg screening.
Dustin writes: “I want to invite you to use The Bike Shorts format and content to generate funds for your local cycle advocacy groups. The structure is pretty simple: Get films (done – you can have ours), find a venue, promote, enjoy. I will be happy to share with you my process to help you make it happen.”
If you’re interested in being a part of this, or if you need more info, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the second year, Bike to the Future is conducting spring counts of cyclists at selected locations in Winnipeg. Last year we focused on the downtown area. This year we will continue to look at the downtown, but we are also focusing on the University of Manitoba and the soon-to-be rebuilt Fort Garry Bridges. We also started earlier this year, so that our first counts took place in winter conditions.
So far we have had 6 volunteers who have 8 counts at 4 locations, with each count taking place during morning or afternoon rush hour. The counts took place at University Crescent, the Fort Garry Bridges, the Maryland Bridges, and the Louise Bridge at the beginning of March and again at the end of March / beginning of April. We plan to continue with counts at the beginning of May and again at the beginning of June. We would welcome additional volunteers who can spare a couple of hours on a weekday morning or afternoon at a suitable location of their choice.
The results will be summarized in a report, as they were last year. (See the report our Publications page.) These counts are valuable in documenting the current levels of cycling, and in establishing baseline information that can be compared to future years. Last year’s counts showed that up to 5,000 cyclists were traveling in and out of the downtown area in good weather. With the increased advocacy and interest in cycling, we anticipate that these numbers will increase.
Anyone who wants to help out or would like more information can contact Jeremy Hull at email@example.com.
One item in the 2008 Provincial Budget:
“This year, Manitoba will receive $17.9 million through the federal transit trust. We will work with Winnipeg to develop projects that will increase ridership, provide alternative active transportation options, including bicycle paths, and make progress towards its Rapid Transit Implementation Plan.”
Bike to the Future has been working with a student from the University of Winnipeg to develop a Cycling Safety Course Survey.
The purpose of this survey is to collect information that will assist Bike to the Future in designing cycling safety courses. The survey will ask for information on demographics, cycling habits, opinions on cycling, and on potential participation in cycling safety educational courses. Completing this survey will take approximately 5 – 10 minutes. Please do not complete this survey more than once.
Any questions can be directed to contact(at)biketothefuture.org.
Bike to the Future, recently prepared a budget submission, “Cycling and the Future of Manitoba“, and delivered it to Finance Minister Greg Selinger. Copies were also delivered to the leaders of the three parties and to other ministers and government MLA’s. These documents can also be obtained from our web site.
The submission has two parts, a short statement of our recommendations and a longer document with detailed appendices in support of these recommendations. We believe that investments by the provincial government in the development of cycling will result in economic, health and environmental benefits to the people of Manitoba, such that these investments will more than pay for themselves.
Any questions or comments about these documents can be directed to province(at)biketothefuture.org.
Bike the the Future with Ray Yuen from the University of Winnipeg are conducting a survey regarding cycling in the city. All are welcome to respond to the survey and contribute to our research regarding cycling choices and behaviours. Feel free to extend this invitation beyond Bike to the Future as the more responses we receive the better data we can collect. Please complete the survey at http://www.biketothefuture.org/external/cycling_survey.htm
The report from the Bike to the Future fall forum From Imagination to Creation: The Future of Cycling in Winnipeg was delivered on Wednesday November 21st at City Hall. Councillor Jenny Gerbasi was there to receive the report on behalf of City Council and the Mayor’s Environmental Advisory Committee.
Download the report: From Imagination to Creation: The Future of Cycling in Winnipeg
Our Annual General Meeting is on Tuesday November 13th at 5:30 PM at the Eco-Centre, 3rd floor MEC building, 303 Portage Avenue. It will last approximately 30 minutes, and it will be immediately followed by our November Monthly Meeting.
The AGM agenda:
- Welcome and introductions.
- Approval of the minutes from our inaugural AGM on May 10th.
- Presentation of yearly financial statements. This is not applicable because our first year-end won’t occur until March 31, 2008.
- Presentation of directors’ annual reports.
- Election of a new Board of Directors. (See below.)
Anybody can attend, but only Bike to the Future members can participate in the election of a new Board of Directors because the Board represents all members.
Click here to see our organizational bylaws.
Board of Directors
Our Founding General Meeting was on May 10th, but we had decided that all AGMs will be in the fall because of the date of our fiscal year-end and other provisions in our organizational bylaws. All directors elected on May 10th retain their positions, but two of them have resigned, which means there are two vacancies on the Board. Also, three directors have changed positions:
- Molly McCracken — from Events & Fundraising Director to Director at Large.
- Karin Kliewer — from Director At Large to Membership Co-Director.
- Cory Bellhouse — from Director At Large to Membership Co-Director.
Therefore, the Board vacancies are Secretary and Events & Fundraising Director. Our bylaws state that we must have a Secretary, but Events & Fundraising Director could go unfilled in favour of another Director At Large or another position that the Board approves.
We are seeking nominations for these two positions. All nominations must have a seconder, and both the nominator and seconder must be Bike to the Future members. You should nominate yourself if you are interested in serving on our Board of Directors.
Please submit nominations (or any questions) to firstname.lastname@example.org . Receipt of the nomination will be confirmed. We have already received a nomination for Secretary.
Our fall forum on Thursday October 11th from 7:00 to 9:30 PM at the UofW Bulman Centre, From Imagination to Creation: The Future of Cycling in Winnipeg, was attended by 150 cyclists and a few politicians and media people. The speakers, video, maps, info tables, and discussion groups were a huge success. The ideas from the discussion groups will be compiled into a report and delivered by bike to The City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Coordinator, the Mayor and City Councilors, and the Government of Manitoba. The date, time, and location of the delivery will be announced on our e-mail list and posted here before the end of October.
In order to increase our lobbying voice and our ability to achieve the goals of the many cycling advocacy needs in Winnipeg, Bike to the Future is introducing our 2007 Membership Drive! As an advocacy-based organization, our voice is only as strong as our membership.
Running from now until the Bike to the Future Forum and AGM on Thursday October 11 at the U of Winnipeg Bulman Centre, any new member will be entered to win a $165 prize package donated by Mountain Equipment Coop. Any member who recruits a new member will also be entered to win* (put your name on the membership form you give your friend).
The MEC prize package includes: World Tour panniers, Fitzer multi-tool, Planet Bike combo light set, Air Zond horn, Pro Patch kit, MEC rear rack, MEC Bio-Cycle cleaner, MEC chain cleaner tool, and MEC wet lube.
MEC Urban Sustainability Grant
Bike to the Future is the current recipient of the MEC Urban Sustainability Grant (for every bag not used, 5 cents is donated to Bike to the Future). We are also being supported through their Community Partnership Program.
Ride your bike to City Hall on July 24 to show support for cycling infrastructure in Winnipeg!
Why: The Manitoba Medical Association will be holding a press conference at which the Mayor has committed to attend.
What: The Manitoba Medical Association will identify active transportation as a medical issue, thank the Mayor for recent progress on AT, present him with a bicycle helmet, and advise that they will be monitoring the City’s progress on the Active Transportation Study implementation plan. The MMA may also present results of an Omnibus Survey they are conducting to see if Manitobans support more money being spent on projects that encourage individuals to use active transportation.
Purpose: To keep the Mayor and Council on their toes, knowing that Winnipeggers support cycling infrastructure and will be watching/expecting progress.
When: Tuesday, July 24, 1:00 p.m.
Where: City Hall (lobby or steps – weather dependent)
RSVP: Let us know if you’re able to be there on your bike so we can ensure a good showing of cyclists – send a quick reply to email@example.com
Thanks & hope to see you there!
What can make your cycling safer in Winnipeg?
Bike to the Future – Safety Jam this Saturday, June 2 at the Forks
Come with questions + Ride away with answers
Where will it be?: North Atrium of the Forks Market. (This is one of the glassed rooms off the east corridor overlooking the plaza.)
When will it happen?: 1:00 pm Saturday, June 2
What’s happening?: Every rider makes their own decisions as to what they feel is safe in any given situation. Howard Skrypnyk, a CAN-Bike instructor, will give a 1/2 hour presentation of the 5 Key Principles that will help you make those decisions on the road. After the presentation, Howard and the audience will discuss some real-world situations and come up with some ideas for handling them safely.
After that what?: At about 2:00 pm, Gord’s Cycle and Ski will lead a ride from the Oodena Circle (near the Children’s Museum), followed by musical entertainment:
- 3:00 pm – Irish Ceili Band
- 3:20 pm – International folk dancers
- 3:40 pm – Irish set dancers
- 4:00 pm – Audience participation dancing