Tuesday, 31 July 2012

CBC Poll: Do you think Winnipeg should spend more money on cycling paths and designated cycling lanes?


The 5:00 PM local CBC story that inspired this post is now available as an article and video.


A Winnipeg bike lane.

Image Source: McLeod - The Uniter
Manitoba CBC Poll: Do you think Winnipeg should spend more money on cycling paths and designated cycling lanes? 

Given the gap-filled and grossly underdeveloped nature of our present bike paths, I'd have to say "hell yeah".

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  1. I'm of two minds. On the one hand, putting a line half a meter from the curb on main street and saying it's a bike lane is garbage.. so is doing it on most other streets. Rushing things through is also bad for everyone. That said, having real bike paths (hopefully more often than not) separate from roads criss crossing the city would be wonderful. There are some decent ones already in Winnipeg.

    Hey, whatever happened with the Trans-Canada trail? Was it ever completed in Manitoba?

    1. Not as of Oct. 2010.

      "To date, more than 15,500 kilometres, or about 70 per cent of the proposed 22,000-kilometre route, have been completed. Organizers hope to finish the rest by 2017, the 150th year after Confederation.

      Funding for the project has come from government, businesses and donors.

      As the network has developed, some people have committed to travelling the breadth of the country, tackling stretches of the trail for weeks or months at a time, year after year.

      Along the way, there were growing pains, such as incomplete stretches of trail and maps that didn't seem to correspond to what was on the ground.

      Mindful of such shortcomings, the Manitoba Recreational Trail Association - which oversees the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba, working with 18 regional trail associations and more than 100 volunteers - hired a trail rider this year to do an audit.

      Kevin Klimczak, 26, spent about six weeks cycling more than 1,300 kilometres west to east across the province - taking photos, logging data in his GPS and poring over a map that had not been updated since 2005.

      It was a wet summer in Manitoba. The first day of his trip, Mr. Klimczak came across a section of the trail between two lakes that had been flooded. He slogged through it, water up to his knees and carrying his bike.

      On most nights of his expedition, he was able to find a hotel room. When he couldn't, he set up a tent. He saw deer every day, at least one bear and was chased by a pack of stray dogs. Many days, he didn't see another human being on the trail.

      With the physical part of his audit complete, he's now writing a report, part of a work-study term for his studies in recreational management at the University of Manitoba. His report will include information about foot bridges that need repair and other gaps in the network.

      Despite its gaps, bumps and ruts, and even the occasional fence, the trail is a valuable national asset, Mr. Klimczak said.

      "As an initiative to promote physical activity, it's great," he said on Thursday, about a week after completing his audit. "The connections between the small towns, like in western Manitoba, may just be a gravel road. But the good thing is, the towns have developed a trail close to town. And they're able to promote physical activity and just getting out, because they're really great walking trails."

      And as a way to promote Canada's landscape, wildlife and natural beauty, it's unparalleled, he said.

      "It's kind of difficult to see it from a vehicle when you're going 100 kilometres an hour and you're only stopping to gas up here and there," Mr. Klimczak said. "On a bike, or horseback riding or hiking, you really see a lot more.""