Call to Action – 2022 Budget Worsens AT Infrastructure Deficit

Call to Action

  • Contact your City Councillor and Mayor Bowman to let them know that you support rapid implementation of the Pedestrian and Cycling Network Plan, which is essential for meeting the City’s climate goals;

The City Limits funding to Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements

Adoption of the city’s Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies in 2015 was a big step forward for the city.. For the first few years following adoption of the strategies, we saw budgets for walking and cycling increase. Significant new walking and cycling facilities were developed. However, those budgets were subsequently slashed as the city dealt with a freeze in funding from the province.

Funding for the Pedestrian and Cycling Program has been minimal since 2018.

Projected funding for the city’s Pedestrian and Cycling Program (including amounts included within road renewals) for 2022 will be just 38% of the annual amount called for in the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies. At this level of funding, a deficit of $65 million will accumulate  for the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies by the end of 2022.

City of Winnipeg Budget for Pedestrian and Cycling Program (including amounts included within Regional and Local Street Renewals, 2015-2021 actual, 2022-2023 forecast

At this level of funding, there is no hope of completing even a bare bones network of walking and cycling facilities in the 20 year horizon anticipated in the city’s Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies (passed in 2015). It will prevent the City from achieving significant mode share change by 2030, despite the city’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for the city to accelerate funding for pedestrian and cycling improvements, and significant mode change.

Many Winnipeggers want to ride their bikes more often, but a disconnected and incomplete cycling network discourages them.  A 2018 poll conducted for Bike Winnipeg and CAA Manitoba showed that while 21% of respondents cycled on a regular basis (daily to a few times a week) in 2018, fully 45% would cycle on a regular basis if they were provided with a cycling network that was safe, comfortable, and connected! When asked what might encourage them to ride more often, the most common response was; protected bike lanes along major routes.

Top Improvements to Encourage Cycling – VIEWS ON CYCLING AND DRIVING IN WINNIPEG, CAA, Bike Winnipeg, June 2018

The current level of funding for pedestrian and cycling improvements in Winnipeg falls far short of what is needed to provide people with the comfortable, connected, convenient networks needed to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. 

In stark contrast to the budget for walking and biking, the budget for Regional and Local Street Renewals has seen substantial growth since 2015. In 2021, funding for road renewals grew by more than $21 million over funding provided in 2020. A further $10 million increase to $162 million/year is projected to be added to street renewals budget line in 2022. 2% of the 2.33% property tax increase projected for 2022 is dedicated to additional funding for street renewals.