West Broadway bike path causing confusion for cyclists, drivers

A bike path is causing confusion amongst cyclists and drivers who are regularly commuting through the West Broadway neighbourhood.

Rush-hour parking spots on Sherbrook Street, Portage Avenue intersection a problem, cyclist says

A bike path is causing confusion amongst cyclists and drivers who are regularly commuting through the West Broadway neighbourhood. 2:07

A bike path is causing confusion among cyclists and drivers who are regularly commuting through the West Broadway neighbourhood.

The bike path along the east side of Sherbrook Street runs between the traffic lane and a parking lane. When cars, buses and bikes converge at the Sherbrook Street and Portage Avenue intersection, they are forced to weave in and out of traffic to get around the cars that are parked in that spot during the morning commute.
Three-hour parking is allowed on Sherbrook Street near the Portage Avenue intersection from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. (CBC)

"I bike all the way from St. Vital and there is a nice bike path all the way along, except [on Sherbrook] where it gets weird," said Ryan Gelley.

Gelley was referring to a three-hour-parking spot that is allowed during the morning rush hour.

The parking spot also forces cyclists to make an illegal manoeuvre, Gelley said.

"If the sidewalk is clear of pedestrians then I will usually just take the sidewalk, which is against the law, but it's safer for me," Gelley said. "If there are no pedestrians, that's what I am going to do."

Anders Swanson, a manager with the Winnipeg Trails Association, said the parking spot, and anomalies like it, discourage people from cycling.
Ryan Gelley said cars parked in the curbside lane of Sherbrook Street at the Portage Avenue intersection force cyclists like him to take the sidewalk for a portion of their rides through the area. (CBC)

"If your kids' school was over there and they were in Grade 5, would you let them ride to school on that, knowing that those cars are crossing back and forth?" he said.

Swanson said he hopes the city's recently-passed $334-million pedestrian-cycling strategy not only develops a new network of quality bike lanes, but also focuses on upgrading old paths.

Cycling advocate Coun. Jenny Gerbasi said one of the focuses of the new strategy will be to fix up old bike lanes.

"A huge part of the problem is about gaps with the current system, and things that make it unsafe, and looking at those," Gerbasi said.

Regarding the Sherbrooke bike path, a city spokesperson said it is able to maintain proper movement with only three of the four traffic lanes open during rush hour. The city also said it plans to drop the three-hour-parking limit on the street to two hours in the fall.

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