Bike Winnipeg glad the city making connections to U of W
The city is seeking consultants to help plot the improvement of key AT corridors, which will eventually make the full AT network "more useful."
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A city-commissioned look into people-powered travel from the West End to the University of Winnipeg area could lead to “important links” that strengthen the city’s active transportation (AT) network, advocates say.
Mark Cohoe, Director of Bike Winnipeg, said for the most part the U of W is “easy to get close to,” but not navigate around or really arrive at easily.
“For the last two or three blocks the cycling facilities tend to peter out,” Cohoe said, adding it’s true of a few existing AT paths in the city to downtown.
Thankfully, the city has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to have a consultant hone in on connecting St Matthews Avenue to the U of W and closing one of those gaps.
“It’s something we look at as hopefully being able to make that corridor a little more useful,” Cohoe said.
In the RFP, the project goals listed include identifying “ways to make improvements so that people of all ages and abilities (can) safely walk or bike within the defined area.”
Included in the all ages and abilities, then, would be U of W students, many of whom commute from the affordable neighbourhoods west of the school. So another goal for the consultant is identifying opportunities to “increase the number of students walking or biking to school by providing a safe environment.”
Cohoe said both Bike Winnipeg and representatives from University of Winnipeg have been involved in preliminary discussions about what is needed in terms of improvements, and both parties are “glad to see this moving along” with stakeholder engagement.
“We’ve sent proposals through already, we think there are good connections—a few different options,” Cohoe said. “One would be right at Qu’Apelle Avenue to Spence Street.”
In addition to identifying cycling routes, the study will also look at how people want to use existing and future walking and cycling networks to improve “cohesiveness in the community.”
A similar contract is available for a consultant to do the same for connecting Bannatyne Avenue to Sherbrook Street and Waterfront Drive.
That project’s scope includes a specific requirement for “adjustable protected bike lanes on Bannatyne Avenue and McDermot Avenue.”
The RFP says the adjustable facilities “would allow for on-going monitoring and public feedback of protected bike facilities that would inform the design of the permanent facilities that will be constructed at the time of the future street renewal.”
Once the contracts are awarded, the city’s consultant will undertake a study of the neighbourhood, project planning including public engagement, and preliminary designs for any improvements.