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City cancels bike-path planning study

Will spend money building paths instead, says mayor

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Cyclists are seen on the Assiniboine bikeway in a file photo.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Cyclists are seen on the Assiniboine bikeway in a file photo. Photo Store

The City of Winnipeg has cancelled a $400,000 bike-path planning study initiated in the wake of the poorly executed 2010 active-transportation upgrade.

Three years ago, the city struggled to meet the funding deadlines imposed by a $21-million bike-and-pedestrian funding package made available as part of a federal economic-stimulus program. A $400,000 consulting contract awarded this year was intended to choose future routes and ensure the city had the capacity to build them.

But that contract has been cancelled, Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi said Tuesday after the city’s public works department confirmed the cancellation.

Mayor Sam Katz’s office said the money will be spent instead on building actual bike paths. In May, council approved an action plan that placed a sidewalk alongside St. Anne’s Road as the top bike-and-pedestrian priority.

Public works chairman Dan Vandal (St. Borniface) said he believed $400,000 was an excessive amount of money to spend on a consultant when the city knows its active-transportation priorities. He said he will ensure the change is discussed at the next committee meeting.

Gerbasi said more planning is required to avoid further execution problems.

History

Updated on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 4:52 PM CDT: Corrects road that is a priority. A previous version of this story named the wrong road.

5:26 PM: Adds comment from Coun. Vandal.

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