Winnipeg must build a safe, citywide bike network to meet the challenges of climate change, address the high cost of maintaining roads, reduce traffic congestion and provide more transportation options, says city council candidate Josh Brandon.
“Cycling is a healthy way to get around the city and we know more Winnipeggers would choose to cycle if we had a safe and connected community network,”says Brandon, a candidate in the Daniel McIntyre ward. “By expanding our cycling network, we will give people more options for travelling, keep cars off the road and help protect our environment for future generations.”
Winnipeg has more than 7,000 lane-kilometres of roads, 145 bridges and underpasses and approximately 400 kilometres of bike lanes. Most of the bike lanes are either off-road paths or unprotected painted lanes on city streets.
“Winnipeg is woefully behind other Canadian cities in building infrastructure that can safely accommodate cars, bikes and pedestrians,”Brandon said.“Four years ago, the city set a goal of making cycling and walking attractive alternatives to driving – yet very little has been accomplished by the current city council. Residents deserve better.”
If elected, Brandon will advocate for the completion of the Wolseley to West Alexander Corridor to provide better cycling and walking infrastructure in the Daniel McIntyre ward, including:
· Safe north-south route along Ruby and Banning streets, with controlled crossings at the major intersections
· Extension of St. Matthews route east towards downtown
· Designated east-west route on either Wolseley or Westminster avenues
According to a Probe Research poll released on July 24, 21 per cent of Winnipeggers are already using their bikes daily or several times a week for transportation. The poll also found that if there were a network of safe, protected bike lanes, 35 per cent of Winnipeggers would consider using their bikes for daily or frequent transportation.
“It’s not safe to ride a bike in many parts of the city,” Brandon said. “Creating a safe, citywide active transportation network is good for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.”