Connecting bike lanes priority for political newbie


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A candidate for St. James in the civic election said he’ll work to connect Winnipeg’s disjointed bike lanes, if elected.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/07/2022 (247 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A candidate for St. James in the civic election said he’ll work to connect Winnipeg’s disjointed bike lanes, if elected.

Daevid Ramey, 53, was born and raised in Winnipeg. He and returned 10 years ago, and settled in St. James with his family. He leads a weekly community bike ride from Bourkevale Community Centre, and said making it easier for people using active transport and avoid potentially dangerous open traffic is a policy priority for him.

“My goal is to take care of the things that impact all people, not just focus on roads,” said Ramey, who officially registered to run Thursday.

“Roads are important, of course, they get us to where we’re going. But there is a lot more in our community that we also need to take care of, including pathways, bicycle paths, sidewalks, appropriate lighting so that people can walk safely down their streets, even simple little things like putting more benches in our public spaces.”

He said the city’s pedestrian and cycling action plan, which includes funding to create and connect protected bike lanes, moves too slowly. If elected, he would seek outside funding to hasten the projects.

“So I would take the plans that exist now, and ensure that the resources and the things that we need to get them done, would be done. It’s about funding the policy, funding the plan in a way that is sustainable so that it does get done.”

Creating fluid bike lanes across Winnipeg isn’t a pipe dream, Bike Winnipeg executive director Mark Cohoe said, especially as rising gas costs and the effects of climate change influence Winnipeggers, and city leadership has begun to show more interest.

“There is a willingness. Right now, the money hasn’t been there to come through with it, but I think it’s pretty close,” he said. “I think we can, with a slightly different council and slightly different mayor… really make that change and see it. I think it is politically possible.”

A ten-year time frame to build and connect the infrastructure would be realistic, he said, as long as investments in road building and rehabilitation give more of a priority to active transport.

“Certainly, the federal government is there with money, the province is moving toward providing some more money as well, they could definitely do better, but you have willing partners to help invest in that as well,” he said. “So I think that’s part of the solution, to make sure you’ve got the three levels of government, not just the city working on your own.”

Shawn Dobson and Kelly Ryback are also running in St. James. Election day is Oct. 26.

Malak Abas

Malak Abas

Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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