Here’s a big thank you to Team Awesome (which included my daughters) who cycled the 14 km route from Downtown Transcona through Elmwood and on to City Hall. Councillor Shawn Nason was our mascot and definitely showed his passion for bringing positive growth to the NE of Winnipeg. Thanks to the Pit Stop Volunteers – @transconabiz, @BikesandBeyond, @ExchangeDistrictBIZ, @vincentdesignca, @cityofwinnipeg @BikeWinnipeg – you brightened a cool, grey but GREAT day for riding. Kudos to Canstar News reporter Sheldon Birnie for riding with us and asking good questions.
We had one big goal today – to document the gaps in the Active Transportation routes in the NE of Winnipeg and to gather support of both cyclists and motorists. I will, in the coming weeks, write about how bicycle commuting is a good thing for those who must bus or drive to work and how building infrastructure for cycling improves the quality of life in local neigbhourhoods. For now, I will show how some simple, inexpensive solutions could make life better for motorists and cyclists who want to ride from the NE to St. Boniface, NW Winnipeg and Downtown.
We started at the clock tower in beautiful downtown Transcona! From here we went 2 blocks south to Pandora and rode the path going West. It was a nice path, but with all the intersections I was aware that vehicles turning north or stopping at Pandora may not see that this is an Active Transportation trail.
SOLUTION: Paint Green crossings to warn motorists about the path.
As we arrived at Plessis St. on Pandora we were faced with a dilemma. The Active Transportation route goes south but we were going west, so which way to go? Two blocks north to Regent or continue along Pandora to Starlight Drive (at Fire Paramedic Station 21)? We chose to stay on Pandora because traffic is lower, slower and we had a push button light to cross Regent.
SOLUTION: Mark a bike lane or a Sharrow lane (it’s a very wide 2 lane road) along Pandora from Plessis to Starlight Dr.
SOLUTION: Bike Route signage so that rookies and visitors can find the safer route.
At Regent we were confronted with a Sharrow lane in the curb lane that was not well marked and a very wide sidewalk which was much emptier than the Sharrow Lane. We choose the sidewalk, risking a ticket and being very courteous to the pedestrians along the route.
SOLUTION: Paint a bike lane along the sidewalk of Regent. I’d also suggest a speed limit for bikes on this type of route at 20 km/h.
SOLUTION: Repaint the Bike Sharrow Lane indicators
SOLUTION: Paint a bike lane along the sidewalk of Regent. I’d also suggest a speed limit for bikes on this type of route at 20 km/h. SOLUTION: Repaint the Bike Sharrow Lane indicators
Just past Costco on Peguis Street there is all of a sudden a new Multi-Use trail, so we hopped on that and went up to Reenders to continue our route. Reenders has a great path which suddenly becomes a sidewalk at Stapon Road. At Lagimodiere Blvd the sidewalk even disappears and we were forced back into traffic (at the busiest traffic point).
SOLUTION: Widen the sidewalk to continue the Active Transporation Route all the way to Panet Road.
From here we tried Clyde Rd. and McCalman Ave but in hindsight we ought to have just taken Talbot Ave. all the way to Brazier. Brazier, a preferred North/South bike route in Elmwood/EK is not marked as such but it got us where we were going, to @bikesandbeyond.
SOLUTION: Bike Route signs along Talbot and Brazier to help motorists know that cyclists are on the route and to help cyclists navigate.
Finally we took the new bike bridge over the Red River, Annabella to Waterfront drive, on to Bannatyne and finally to City Hall. Once you leave Elmwood the route is easy to find and well marked. But getting from Bikes and Beyond to the bridge (6 blocks) required navigating back lanes, sidewalks and one way streets.
SOLUTION: Bike route signage to the Active Transportation route.
- Total distance: 14km
- Pit Stops Visited: 6
- Fun rating: 10/10
Overall, this was a fun and positive experience. There are so many in the cycling and motoring community who support good routes for cyclists. We have an opportunity to fill in the gaps. Nothing I suggest would require a $100,000 study or $1M in infrastructure spending and the outcome could decrease the number of cars on the road, increase the health and safety of cyclists and it would finish the string of projects that have been built over the past 20 years.
@MayorBrianBowman, we need the promised investment in our Active Transporation for NE Winnipeg. Let’s work to bring our city together.