Friday, June 25, 2010


FedEx using the cycle lane on Bannatyne as its parking spot... as usual.
Happy Bike to Work Day!

Bannatyne at Ellen

I shudder every time I cycle down Bannatyne past Ellen. Ellen has a section where it's clearly labeled "one-way" traffic, but allows cyclists to head in both directions. How confusing for both motorists *and* cyclists.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Geez Louise

I used to cycle on the road portion of the Louise Bridge, taking the full lane. However, cars often passed me, nearly hitting oncoming traffic. I emailed the Winnipeg Police Service, and they responded and said I could ride on the sidewalk.

Approaching the Louise Bridge from the north. Note the vegetation obscuring the view of oncoming sidewalk traffic.

Exiting the Louise Bridge via the sidewalk:

Rounding the corner - very slowly, as far right as practicable, aside from passing the people waiting for the bus to the left (street side). A cyclist passed me going the opposite direction on the sidewalk as I took this photo, so sticking to the right is essential.

Right before I merge back into traffic on the street. Again, sticking to the right, as a cyclist travelling in the opposite direction on the road needed to merge back onto my sidewalk on his or her way to the bridge.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Cyclists reminder"

These signs have been a shameful sight on many of Winnipeg's finest streets for several decades. Originally erected to placate impatient neighbourhood motorists during the Sunday road closures, they stand as a daily reminder of just who is the real boss in this town. It is time to at least replace these spiteful signs with "Share the Road" signs, which are currently the preferred (and standard) way to gently remind people that motorists and cyclists both have rights and responsibilities on the road.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Filling fissures in bike lanes with tar

These are photos of the bike lane on Hargrave between St Marys and Graham. Last year, after much badgering, the City filled the fissures - but with tar!

In summer's heat the fissure's still sitting there - waiting to entrap an unaware cyclist's tire into its tarry depths.

Main at Higgins "must turn right" sign

Main at Higgins - There's a "must turn right" sign on Main at Higgins ("except buses"). The exception should also include bikes. This intersection follows two of the worst downtown blocks for cyclists (Disraeli/Alexander to Logan and Logan to Higgins) as motorized vehicles and cyclists compete for limited road space because of the kerb extensions - particularly outside the Salvation Army. There seems no apparent reason why the exception to turning right shouldn't be extended to include cyclists. You can see from the photo the continuation of the bay on Main north of Higgins which would enable bikes to get this far before moving back into the line of traffic.

Curb extensions

My pet peeve downtown are the curb extensions that have been constructed without giving cyclists any room - forcing them over into the fast-moving traffic.

1. Donald Southbound at Portage. My question: Why can't the kerb extensions at the main entrance to the MTS Centre at the SW corner of Donald at Portage be pared back so that cyclists can have the 1.5 m of space?

Currently riding on the west side of Donald southbound is OK - i.e. the block alongside the "Planet" sign in the photo. Negotiating through the Donald/Portage intersection is tricky given the volume of traffic and the potholes, and then you find you've run out of road because the kerb extension didn't take into account cyclists. The MTS Centre was finished around 2004 and subsequently I measured the distance between the white line and the edge of the kerb extension at about 28 inches 28 inches (0.711 2 meter) The difference between that and 1.5 meters would make all the difference - and cyclists wouldn't have to merge into the fast-moving line of vehicles.

At the Donald/Graham intersection (the back end of the MTS Centre) the kerb extension also needs to be pared back. It's not as large as that at the entrance.

The length of the side of the MTS Centre (between the kerb extensions at the front and back) there's restricted parking so usually there's no vehicles there (unless there's a show in town), so riding this block is no problem, apart from the kerb extensions. The road opens up on the next block southward (Graham to York) with an additional kerb lane, so biking's fine from there.

2. Smith Street at Notre Dame:
You'll see from the two photos the view facing NW and facing South on Smith Street (just by the Burton Cumming Theatre). Last year the City put a kerb extension in here also, and you can see from the photos that there's been no accommodation for cyclists made. They just needed to have make the kerb extension about a meter narrower and everyone would have been accommodated. :-) This one particularly irks me as the kerb extension was only done last year.

3. Hargrave at William: - The first photo shows that intersection around August 2009. There are only two vehicles waiting to turn right. Usually there were more in the evening rush hour - tailing back along the bike lane. To me what needed to be done was the parking space (blue vehicle) needed to be no-parking between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. So, then the bike lane would be clear of vehicles as they'd be in the curb lane (this is alongside Western Paint and Glass).

What the City did is shown in the 2nd photo... so now the bike lane disappears under the line of rush hour vehicles turning onto William.

Monday, May 17, 2010

City of Winnipeg’s 311 Service – 24/7 Access to City Information and Services

Winnipeg’s new 311 inquiry service provides citizens the opportunity to ask questions about, or to request city services at their convenience. Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) operate out of a contact centre right here in Winnipeg, and are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Inquiries from the public can be dealt with in both English and French.

Contact 311 24/7 in any of the following ways:

Phone: 311
Fax: 311
Toll free: 1-877-311-4974 (4WPG)
TTY: 204-986-1311
Mail: 311 Services, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B9

Contact 311 when you have a:

  • Request for service (such as sewer back-up, water main break, bulky garbage collection).
  • Request for information (such as permit processing, animal control, building inspections, traffic/parking issues, hours of operation of civic offices and facilities (such as pools and libraries), assessment and taxation, transit schedules).
  • Concern (such as parking tickets, property condition, street maintenance, snow clearing, potholes, noise complaints).
  • Request to register for city programs (e.g. Leisure Guide)
Upon receipt of your inquiry, the CSR will:
  • Search the extensive data base for an answer to your question if it is a request for information.
  • Complete a service request. The CSR will provide you with:
  • an approximate length of time to complete your request.
  • if you are calling to request a service, the CSR will open a new case for your request and will provide you with:
  • the approximate length of time to complete your request and,
  • a unique reference number for that request. It is important that you keep this number handy for future inquiries due to privacy legislation; if you lose the number or don't record it, we will not be able to provide you with any updates on your service request, or;
  • If you need additional expertise from departmental staff, the CSR will connect you with the right individual (during normal business hours), or assist you in leaving a message with the appropriate department.
Source: [May 17, 2010]