Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Assiniboine Avenue No Way

Assiniboine Avenue Bikeway

Image Source: Photo taken by The Analyst
Recall all the controversy over the Assiniboine Avenue Bikeway? The eeeevvviiiillll Bike LobbyTM was supposedly singlehandedly influencing municipal public policy with their mighty powers & influence, due to their .... (okay, there's no institutional analytic reasoning there).

Well, after this hard fought decision, after some business complaints, and after the realization that the bike path (like most other things in modern Winnipeg) was rushed (by municipal public servants due to federal stimulus expiration dates as opposed to any evil lobby) without sufficient consultation, what's been decided? After the Winnipeg bicyclist community has become informed and started using the infrastructure built amongst controversy, what does the future hold?

Assiniboine Avenue Bikeway to be closed
for three years.

Image Source: Photo taken by The Analyst

Well, via Winnipeg Redddit, I've learned that a significant section of the pathway we'll be closed for three entire years.

Damn, that Bike LobbyTM sure has dastardly plans. Somehow singlehandedly ramming through a bike path and then shutting it down.

Just pure deviousness, eh?

Parts of the bikeway are still open, though. Turning right off Osborne, one can bike a couple of blocks before discovering that a vast stretch of the bikeway will be closed for construction. The parts that are open perfectly illustrate City Hall's commitment to bikeway snow clearing.

Assiniboine Avenue Bikeway, uncleared just
like before. 

Development just north of Osborne Village is definitely a good thing. It proves that there's a desire for the urban lifestyle north of south central Winnipeg. If development continues to creep upwards, all the way to the southern part of downtown, this will go a long way in revitalizing the city and counteracting our sprawling, car-overdependent culture.

Snowed in Harrow Street Bike Lane.

Image Source:  Photo taken by
The Analyst
Nevertheless, the three year shutdown of the relatively recent Assiniboine Avenue Bikeway reveals how absent good bike infrastructure is in our city.

Winnipeg redditor brendax noted that the Assiniboine Avenue Bikeway is the only proper piece of bike infrastructure in the city. Other bike infrastructure tend to be painted on lanes that aren't always kept up and compare woefully to bike lanes in other cities or stupid sidewalk bikeways.

One of the painted on bike lanes that I happened to like, the Harrow Street Bike Lanes, are only around for the summer. Come snowfall, City Hall doesn't seem to value clearing them.

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  1. Three years!?! That's ridiculous! The beauty of a bike is... I'm still going to go that route anyway!

    1. Probably wouldn't violate da rules like that, but it is a pretty long period of time to shut down an entire lane. They're probably going to use it for parking trucks.

      Knowing this city, since they say the construction will take 3 years it'll take 6 years.