Sunday bike rides on the city’s bike-only streets are expected to be safer with the passage of a new bylaw which will subject motorists to fines.
A civic committee earlier today endorsed the bylaw that authorizes police to fine motorists who travel for more than one block on Sundays and holidays on Wellington Crescent, Wolseley Avenue, Lyndale Drive, Scotia /St. Cross streets between the May long weekend and the Thanksgiving weekend.
Public works director Brad Sacher said there is no bylaw now that enforces the bike-only provisions, adding it handcuffs the police’s ability to enforce the policy.
The bylaw would subject motorists who drive on those streets to fines and costs totaling $185.
Sacher said that with the passage of the bylaw, the city would no longer need to erect the temporary barriers on those streets.
Instead, the city will post signs warning motorists. The signs, expected to cost $15,000-$20,000, will only stay up during the May-October period.
Sacher said there will be a lengthy public education campaign and police will be instructed to only warn motorists for a first offence initially.
The bylaw must be approved by council and the Manitoba Highway Traffic Board.
Sacher said he expects all approvals would be in place by August.
Coun. Ross Eadie told the public works committee the bylaw would penalize residents who live on the five streets, and he requested the public works committee to amend the bylaw to exempt those residents from being fined. However, the committee did not approve Eadie’s request.