Saturday, 11 August 2012

Harrow Street has two nice bike lanes

Nice Harrow Street Bike lane.

Photo taken by the Analyst. 
There's one street in the city with a pretty impressive bike lane - or, rather, bike lanes, as they run on both sides of the street. They're certainly not overly linked up with other bike infrastructure in the city (but do run along some residential streets that I'm sure serve as "bike only" places at certain times of day). The lanes make up for this shortcoming in their distance - covering a few kilometres from Wellington Crescent to near the Pembina underpass. These bike lanes are the Harrow Street bike lanes.

This one "light timer button" feature is nice and all, but may further the notion that bicyclists are just "pedestrians plus" a little too much. Bike riders aren't pedestrians, they're vehicle drivers and are generally treated as such by the law (save the lack of the insurance mandate - bike-riders are personally liable if they're found responsible for damaging a vehicle and so must pay out of their own pocket in those cases - and the lack of licensing at the moment).

Photo taken by the Analyst
But boy oh boy does that path keep going! It leads straight to an Assiniboine Credit Union beside the Pembina underway. I ran out of space for photos by that time unfortunately, but it seemed like quite a significant distance for a bike-lane. This is despite the fact that google maps tells me that the leg of my journey involving the length of the Southbound Harrow Street Bike Lane was a mere 2.5 km (my full journey, though, was many multiples of klicks longer).

Photo taken by the Analyst
2 and a half klicks may not seem like that much, but the ride seemed a lot smoother and longer than what I experience with many other bike lanes. Then again, I don't think I've road down the entire length of any other bike paths, so this might just be ignorance and lack of perspective on my part. Maybe I'll try to do a more rigorous comparison in the near future.

 As with all of Winnipeg's bike infrastructure, integrating the Harrow Street bike lane into a larger system should be a high priority and would reap much benefit to bike-riding Winnipeggers and the city in general. It is fairly integrated by Winnipeg standards, though.

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  1. I ride that route alot. It sure is nice to have your own lane & not constantly worry about being run over.

    1. When traveling Northbound to the Northbound Harrow Street Bike Lane it can suck having to get into the left lane & turn off Pembina. This is especially so after braving the cyclist death trap known as the Pembina underpass.

  2. Agreed. Pembina underpass is terrifying.

  3. Thank you for providing this informative post! Aside from the essential bike parts, road safety is a must!