Winnipeg considers permanently lowering speeds on some city cycling routes
Proposal identifies 27 street sections to set speed limit at 30 km/h
The City of Winnipeg has selected more than two dozen stretches of road where it wants to set speed limits at 30 kilometres per hour to make streets safer for cyclists.
In 2021, the city piloted reduced speeds on four streets that are part of the cycling network, and now wants to expand the project. The city has chosen 27 street sections for potentially reducing speeds if the new proposal moves forward.
"We don't have room in a lot of areas to put separated bike paths in, we just don't," said public works committee chair Janice Lukes.
"So what we have to do is, we have to look at the existing infrastructure, and we have to look at traffic calming options on the existing infrastructure."
For residents like Nelson Sanderson, the lower speeds will come as a relief. He has lived on Harbison Avenue West for more than two decades.
Harbison runs to a dead end, and Sanderson says drivers will often speed back down the street once they realize they can't go any further.
He worries about people on the street getting hurt, especially kids.
"They'll have maybe three or four little ones, and sometimes you get nervous … them crossing the street," he said.
That's why he supports a proposal to lower the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.
"That'd be awesome, for the sakes of all the children and older people like myself."
Up the street, Melissa Epp also supports the idea.
"It's kinda nice, because I have two kids so I feel a lot safer with them wandering around, like if someone were to sneak off," she said.
As part of the pilot project, the city gathered feedback from people on the affected streets and surrounding area. It found that people on the streets with the lower speeds largely supported the plan, while people on other streets had more mixed opinions.
"I think ultimately what needs to happen eventually is the city just needs to reduce residential speeds on all streets, and this is sort of a step in looking at how we may or may not go about that," Lukes said.
The public works committee will vote on the proposal at its next meeting on March 7. If it passes, it will need final approval by council.
'A good step'
The proposal to reduce speeds on cycling routes comes as the city is conducting another pilot project, which lowers speeds on all residential streets in four neighbourhoods.
That pilot project, which starts this month, will set speed limits at 30 km/h in Bourkevale and Tyndall Park, and 40 km/h in Richmond West and Worthington.
Ian Walker, chair of Safe Speeds Winnipeg, is excited to see the city moving ahead with lowering speeds.
"We've dedicated an awful lot of space in Winnipeg for people to drive cars and we would just like for all users to have the opportunity to be able to access our communities in a way that's comfortable for them," he said.
"So I think this is definitely a good step in that direction."
If passed, the lower speed limits will go into effect later this spring. Other traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, would be installed between 2023 and 2024.
Proposed streets to get reduced speeds:
These are the street sections where the city is considering lowering speed limits to 30 km/h:
- Alexander Avenue from Arlington Street to Princess Street.
- Banning Street from Portage Avenue to Notre Dame Avenue.
- Egerton Road from Southern Terminus of Egerton Road to Morier Avenue.
- Eugenie Street from St. Mary's Road to Youville Street.
- Harbison Avenue West from Henderson Highway to Eastern Terminus of Harbison Avenue West.
- Kildonan Drive from Helmsdale Avenue to Rossmere Crescent.
- Kildonan Drive from Larchdale Crescent to Northern Terminus of Kildonan Drive.
- Linwood Street from Portage Avenue to Silver Avenue.
- Machray Avenue from Fife Street to Main Street.
- Powers Street from Dufferin Avenue to Partridge Avenue.
- Ravelston Avenue West from Plessis Road to Day Street.
- Ravelston Avenue East from Day Street to Park Circle.
- Ravelston Avenue East from Park Circle to Wayoata Street.
- Park Circle from Ravelston Avenue East to Ravelston Avenue East.
- Rover Avenue from Hallet Street to Angus Street.
- Ruby Street from Palmerston Avenue to Portage Avenue.
- Youville Street from Marion Street to Haig Avenue.
- Warsaw Avenue from Thurso Street to Pembina Highway.
- St Cross Street from Anderson Avenue to Cathedral Avenue.
- Cathedral Avenue from St Cross Street to Scotia Street.
- Scotia Street from Southern Terminus of Scotia Street to Matheson Avenue East.
- Matheson Avenue East from Scotia Street to Scotia Street.
- Scotia Street from Matheson Avenue East to Forrest Avenue.
- Forrest Avenue from Scotia Street to Marymound Way.
- Marymound Way from Forrest Avenue to Leila Avenue.
- Leila Avenue from Marymound Way to Scotia Street.
- Scotia Street from Leila Avenue to Northern Terminus of Scotia Street.