At Bike Winnipeg, most of our programs and rides have been completed for another year (except for our Winter Cycling 101: ‘Defrosting the Myth’ on YouTube Live this coming Sunday!). Our executive director, Mark Cohoe, our volunteer board of directors, and our committees and groups are still hard at it, though, working to get More People Biking More Often.
We can’t help but look back with some pride at the incredible things we’ve been able to achieve together with you this year:
On the Advocacy front, we made countless presentations and submissions to groups and government committees, seeking improvements to policy, infrastructure and services that make cycling safer for commuters and recreational cyclists and their families and groups. We have a positive rapport with the City of Winnipeg and are building similar linkages with the provincial and federal governments; these relationships help us to have meaningful input and influence on issues relating to active transportation.
Among the many “wins” this year, community advocacy came to fruition through New Biking Infrastructure and Improvements, including fully separated bike lanes, a change we are pushing hard to see implemented city-wide. Some of the new facilities we’ve called for that were either started or completed this year include:
- River & Stradbrook Protected Bike Lanes
- Rue Goulet Protected Bike Lane
- Northwest Hydro Corridor Greenway
- Creek Bend Road Bridge Bike Path
- Archibald Street Pathway
- Harrow Street Pathway connection to the Blue Line AT Pathway
- Churchill Drive Pathway
- St. Mary Avenue Protected Bike Lane
- Berry Street Protected Bike Lane Updates
- Pembina Highway Protected Bike Lanes
- Saskatchewan Avenue Pathway
- Main Street – Flora to Selkirk – Bike Path
- St. Vital Bridges Pathways and Connections
- Wellington Avenue Pathway (in the Airport Zone)
Our representations to City Council also encouraged the formulation of New or Improved Policies, including enhancements to the timing and quality of Snow Clearing on bike paths, and the City’s adoption of an improved Bicycle Registration System to track bikes better and help ensure recovered stolen bikes get back to their owners.
In addition, the efforts of Bike Winnipeg, in partnership with Safe Speeds Winnipeg, have helped to see the default speed limit for Neighbourhood Greenways set to 30 km/h, a much safer speed for roadways where cars, pedestrians and bikes share space. Looking ahead to next year, the City of Winnipeg is continuing a pilot project in four reduced-speed neighbourhoods and will be considering city-wide speed limit changes in 2024. Bike Winnipeg will continue to advocate for a 30 km/h speed limit on residential streets where people walk, bike and drive. We’ll keep you posted to ensure all voices are heard.
To connect at the local level with cyclists throughout the city, Bike Winnipeg completed the launch of all our Local Bike Groups. These five groups bring together people who know the issues and needs of their neighbourhoods to speak out for improvements to the cycling facilities they use.
As part of our Outreach and Education work, Bike Winnipeg hosted 30 group rides throughout the city with more than 600 participants! We conducted ride marshal training, cycling ambassador and ride leader training for volunteers and community members. We continued many of our favourite ride series this year – Bike for the Future!, Pedal into History, Art Rides, and the Pedal Powered Ghost Tours. We also want to give a shout-out to our local bike groups who started leading their own rides this summer.
Our Cycling Ambassadors were out at seven events this year (with one still to come) where, so far, we have engaged with nearly 400 participants at events, including a school safety presentation for newcomers, CAA Manitoba Bike Tuneup Day (where 65 repairs were made), Cargo Bike & Trailer Festival, Mobility Fair for Older Adults, and three university orientation sessions, plus this coming Sunday’s Winter Cycling 101 event.
And finally, a Social Enterprise we take great pride in is Bike Valet Winnipeg. In 2023, our bike parking coordinator and volunteers held 27 event days, keeping 1,350 bikes safe and secure, free of charge, so their riders could confidently leave their bikes, helmets and other gear behind and enjoy street festivals and other special events without worrying about their rides being stolen.
So remember, to help boost Bike Winnipeg’s success, please take a second to reach out, and we will connect you with your local bike group or a committee or project that interests you. More people speaking out more often will help lead to More People Biking More Often!