Motorists driving Winnipeg's Sunday bike routes could face fines

The City of Winnipeg is looking at fining motorists who drive on Sunday bike routes.

Breaking new Winnipeg bylaw on could set drivers back $190.80

The city is considering bringing in a bylaw that would see motorists fined $190.80 for driving on a Sunday bike route. (City of Winnipeg)

The City of Winnipeg is looking at fining motorists who drive on Sunday bike routes.

The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works passed a recommendation Tuesday to levy fines of $190.80 to drivers caught on the four streets typically closed to vehicular traffic Sundays and holidays, from Victoria Day in May to Thanksgiving Monday in October.

The city currently uses signage and barricades to inform drivers on Wellington Crescent, Wolseley Avenue, Lyndale Drive and Scotia Street of the closure.

Cycling advocate Mark Cohoe of Bike Winnipeg applauds the move.

"Sunday closures have been there since the 70's," he said. "So it's not like it's really something new. It's just really enforcing something. You know, there may be some backlash. It's one day a week we're asking for this."

He said it would encourage more cyclists to take advantage of the routes.

"It'll be like a family route, sort of bring out the kids along with Mom and Dad and get them out on the bikes," he said. "And that does help introduce people to cycling."

If city council approves the change, the city would spend between $15,000 and $20,000 on new signage, and the barricades would be removed.

But the recommendation also says the city would save $35,000 a year, the cost of two crews setting up and removing the barricades once a week on the four streets. 

A public awareness campaign would also be conducted to inform motorists of the new fines.

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