City of Winnipeg needs public input on proposed bike lanes
CHRISTINA HRYNIUK, CONTRIBUTOR
Winnipeg’s new bike lane plans will change the gears for cyclists, but city planners still need the public’s input on where the lanes should go.
“People are very engaged,” said Scott Suderman, a transportation planning engineer for the city. “We’ve received great input so far.”
Suderman added that one design of the proposed lanes will be picked and approved by city council.
Downtown is one area that will get a revamped lane. The new lane will connect The Forks to the Exchange District on Fort Street or Garry Street. There will also be a new light on Main Street to connect The Forks to Assiniboine Avenue. Construction for the light will start this summer, according to Suderman.
One student is pleased with the proposed new lanes.
“They’re a great idea because it’s so aggravating when I get stuck by a bike while driving,” said RRC nursing student Danielle Rasmussen. “It gets annoying when drivers and cyclists fight for the road.”
The new lanes will be painted on the left side of the streets and be separated from traffic by curbs.
“We want to be compared to other cities in Canada and have safer routes for cyclists,” said Suderman. “Having the lane on the left side will ensure that traffic and cyclists don’t collide with each other.”
But after several open houses, Suderman said the public still has concerns for cyclists’ safety.
“Frankly, the current set up of bike lanes now is stupid,” said Tyler Blue, a cyclist who uses downtown bike lanes regularly.
Blue said he thinks there should be more lanes throughout the city because people still ride on sidewalks.
Manitoba averages two cyclist fatalities and 144 cyclist injuries per year, according to Manitoba Public Insurance.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re eight or 80, we want input to see what’s the safest route,” said Suderman.
To see the different options for the bike lanes, visit winnipegwalkbikeprojects.com.