Many Candidates agree with cyclists in Bike Winnipeg survey

In a quick survey last week, Bike Winnipeg found that many Winnipeg civic candidates and cyclists agree that the City’s infrastructure should encourage cycling as a year-around alternative to travelling by car.

The survey was distributed by e-mail to all candidates and to over 1,000 cyclists. 34 of 66 candidates responded, as did over 300 cyclists.

“It is interesting how closely the views of these candidates reflected the views of cyclists on the development and maintenance of bike routes,“ noted Charles Feaver of Bike Winnipeg:

  • Three quarters of both cyclist and candidate respondents want infrastructure to encourage year-around cycling as an alternative to car travel.
  • The majority of both cyclist and candidate respondents want busy cycle paths cleared of snow within two days.

BW spring bike counts estimate that 7,000 people commuted to and from downtown each workday in the “shoulder months” of May and June 2014.  Bicycle traffic on routes with cycling facilities has increased by 50% since 2010.

A recent City of Winnipeg Pedestrian and Cycling planning study found 46% of Winnipeggers would like to bicycle more often, but separated bike lanes were the most important improvements needed to make that possible.

The majority of respondents to last week’s Bike Winnipeg survey also felt;

  • The rate of investment in cycling infrastructure should be at least double the current amount (88% of cyclists & 63% of candidates).

“Progress on bicycling infrastructure in Winnipeg has been slow and spotty since the big Federal Infrastructure grants.  Now we have incomplete bike routes, which is discouraging for would-be commuter cyclists,” explained Charles Feaver. “One of the first planning documents the new council will consider is the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategy.  It will allow the new council to make infrastructure investments that offer us healthy and cost-effective transportation alternatives, rather than building infrastructure that forces Winnipeggers to put up with the stress of congestion and potholes because driving is the only safe way to travel.”

For a summary report, click here:

Check out what candidates in your ward are saying about transportation:

  • Use “categories” to find information about candidates in your ward
  • Use “tags” to look up individual candidates.

Green Action Centre Survey of Councillor Candidates

The Green Action Centre contacted candidates for city council in each ward (as well as school trustees) and asked the following question: “What priority will you place on active transportation in our communities and how will you ensure children can safely walk and bike to school?” Click here to see responses.

CAA Civic Election 2014 Survey of Candidates

CAA Manitoba surveyed all candidates in Winnipeg and Brandon. Question 2 is about active transportation. Click here to see candidates’ responses.  Some responses from mayoral candidates:

Brian Bowman’s response: I am an avid supporter of Active Transport. Increasing the number of multiple-use and bike paths will be a priority for me. We need to have more protected bike lines. We need to be innovative in our approach to Active Transport, we should look to examples like the recent bike lane change on Sherbrook Street that implemented a parking-protected bike lane. This was an amazing approach that was able to increase the safety of our city’s ridership, while also doing so in a cost-effective manner. I will look to increase and will champion these types of innovations. I also want to improve the amount of bike-lane signage to highlight our city’s popular destinations and tourist attractions. Increasing the amount of ridership leads to a healthier city.
Active transport and Rapid Transit are part of the solution to our city’s infrastructure needs. If more people are able to commute from their home to school or work we will reduce the wear and tear on our roads.

David Sander’s Response: I have reviewed the new Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies prepared for the City with extensive public consultation, and I approve of them as a whole, for implementation during the next 20 years. I recognize that about one-third of the 20-year budget is designated for grade separations, and I believe they will be given lower priority now. But I support the goal of achieving “Vision Zero” with no deaths or serious injuries on our streets, and I believe we must allocate additional funds as necessary to ensure that existing paths are properly signed according to national safety standards, to close the most obvious gaps in the route networks, and to educate drivers, pedestrians and cyclists about safer movement through our City.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Response: Absolutely. Promoting active transportation is good for both our health and our carbon footprint. As an alternative to cars, investment in active transit infrastructure can also improve traffic flow and reduce wear and tear on our streets, saving Winnipeggers money in the long run. As part of my commitment to improving our city’s infrastructure, I will focus on connecting existing bike paths and creating new ones for cyclists to use. I also want to make sure Active Transportation is incorporated in the planning and construction of future roads projects.

Paula Havixbeck’s Response: This is part of the entire investment in infrastructure that must be made. The proposed plan at hand is $340 million over 20 years; I would strive for something more reasonable that we can afford and have it completed in a coordinated manner with roads and sewer upgrades.

Gord Steeves and Robert Falcon-Ouellette did not respond to the CAA’s questions

Michel Fillion’s response: How I will make this a priority is by first displaying a sense of respect between vehicles and bicycles. As I mentioned before in my campaign, I want to licence bicycles and riders. This would primarily be for the education of riders using the street only. The secondary reason is for the funds that would be allocated towards bicycle nfrastructure. A second priority explanation – I would work with the provincial gov’t in vehicle driver’s education. Drivers would be required to pass a bicycle awareness test at the time of the photo requirement. These two explanations would insure that both modes of transportation know about each other with respect to driver/rider regulations.

“Wasylycia-Leis reaffirms new money to fix roads”

Winnipeg Sun, October 14, 2014 — “Judy Wasylycia-Leis, if elected, pledged to commit $60 million of new money to an overall $400-million infrastructure budget at a press conference Monday. Wasylycia-Leis … said her $60-million committment would be in addition to the existing $340 million already budgeted by the city for infrastructure. Wasylycia-Leis said that $400-million budget would then also include the $20 million she pledged for active transportation in an announcement earlier this month”. (article)

“Gord Steeves shuts down idea of re-opening Portage and Main”

CBC News, October 13, 2014 — “Winnipeg’s Portage and Main intersection will remain closed to pedestrians if Gord Steeves is elected mayor….By contrast, another mayoral hopeful, Brian Bowman, promised back in August that he would have the pedestrian barricades at Portage and Main torn down by 2019…. But Bowman isn’t alone in his view on the matter. Coun. Jenny Gerbasiand mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis have also called for the intersection, which has been closed since the mid-1970s, to be reopened to foot traffic”. (article)

“Sanders aims to make city more attractive to young people”

The Carillon, October 10, 2014 –”… [David] Sanders outlined more than a dozen commitments he said would make the city more attractive to young people….Included in Sanders’ youth wish list:   Less expensive and more reliable public transit [;] Better active transportation networks[;] More outdoor, winter-friendly recreation spaces…. Sanders acknowledged his youth policy lacked specifics but said what he could accomplish would depend on the cooperation of other council members, and by what scarce dollars the city could find in its budget. Much of his youth policy was also part of Sanders’ policy on seniors, which he had released the day before — on issues like affordable housing, recreation, transit and active transportation…” (article)

 

 

“Use BRT money for traffic light synchronization: Gord Steeves”

Metro, October 10, 2014 — “Rather than expand bus rapid transit, mayoral candidate Gord Steeves said on Friday he’d spend money synchronizing traffic lights to speed up all vehicles. Steeves promised at least $1 million per year over the next four years to upgrade and synchronize between 50 and 75 intersections of lights along regional streets, starting in the downtown”. (article)