Tuesday, 24 July 2012


The city of Winnipeg is finally going to close one of the gaps in Winnipeg's haphazard, underdeveloped bike infrastructure. This involves creating new bike infrastructure in what's traditionally a very frightening route for bicyclists: Pembina highway. To quote the Free Press article:

WINNIPEG is set to begin construction on Pembina Highway bike lanes that will connect to the Bishop Grandin greenway.

On Monday, city crews will start the four-month project, which will see buffered bike lanes added to the curb lane between Crescent and Plaza drives. In a statement, city officials said this is the only feasible route to connect two existing active-transportation paths. The properties on the east side of Pembina Highway back onto the river, and west of Pembina is an industrial area where no residential streets connect Chevrier Boulevard to Bishop Grandin.

("Work to begin on Pembina bike lanes". Staff Writer. Winnipeg Free Press. July 20, 2012.)
Some commenters, however, just couldn't stand the thought of bicyclists actually having accessible routes. MAY WINNIPEG BE A CAR-DEPENDENT CITY FOREVER!!!! 

Screenshot of comments section on Winnipeg Free
Press article. 
  Yes, damn bicyclists, don't they know that cars own the road! The funny thing is that this same commenter who's whining about bicyclists slowing him down. If more bicyclists actually have their own infrastructure, which connects them to some off-road bike-only trails, shouldn't that mean less instances of cars stuck behind bikes? After all, the Pembina bike lanes will connect bike-riders to the Bishop Grandin Greenway, which is off the conventional busy roads (i.e. a place without motorists to be blighted by having to drive behind bikes for a few minutes).

Doogie5 makes the most reprehensible comment, suggesting that bike-riders flock to the sidewalk. "Get on the sidewalk" jeering contributes to an already epidemic problem for Winnipeg: sidewalk cyclists. Bike-riding on sidewalks is both illegal and dangerous given that cars don't expect vehicles of bicyclist-speed coming off sidewalks designed for pedestrians. Indeed, surveys of US bike accidents indicate that bicyclists going off sidewalks accounts for most accidents.

An acquaintance of mine who's lived in Toronto noted how much more often he sees bicyclists on sidewalks in this city. The car-dependent, car entitled mentality contributes to this risky and reckless behaviour.

So if you're a bike rider and some jerkass tells you to bike on the sidewalk, ignore him or vocally censure him. This attitude is damn well intolerable and people need to speak out against it.

Would you like to support this blogger? Consider making a donation or checking out their shop


  1. Finally, somebody speaking my language. Good on you!

  2. the 'bike lane' along dunkirk drive between bishop grandin and fermor avenue is essentially a widened sidewalk that puts cyclists in danger at every street crossing (especially between st. mary's road and st.vital road where there is a street and lane every few metres).

    the city, through poor planning and development of cycling infrastructure is making matters worse. drivers rightfully complain that cyclists aren't using the bike lane along that stretch, without understanding the complexity of the problem. it's not the fault of cyclists, it's poor planning.

    we've got a long way to go.

  3. ekimsharpe - amen to that.
    I am a motorist, cyclist & taxpayer.
    I support active transportation, but am constantly gob-smacked by how the city chooses to blow our tax money on poorly thought out projects that serve no one. Traffic circles in residential neighbourhoods? What a wonderful solution to a non-existent problem. If you really wanted to allow cyclists move thru 4 way stops, either make them optional for cyclists (when safe & prudent) or install 4 yield signs. That would accomplish the same thing at 1/50 the cost.
    Is it just me, or is there a complete lack of signage guiding you through major intersections on our paths. Bishop Grandin crossing Pembina - Good Luck.
    Trying to follow cycle routes often causes one to make strange maneuvers through traffic, because their is logical connection or method to cross the road. The city's solution - cyclists should walk their bike across intersections. Would motorists think it reasonable to get out and walk across the street?
    I could rant on and on about this/rapid transit etc. (million dollar bus stops no one uses! effing brilliant!) It seems no one at city hall or ppd is accountable to the real world.