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Mayor looks to push back vote on cycling plan

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This article was published 13/5/2015 (1745 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Mayor Brian Bowman wants to slow down the city's adoption of its 20-year cycling and pedestrian strategy.

Bowman is proposing to delay a vote on the strategy for a month in response to questions raised over the consultation process for the Winnipeg's $330-million blueprint.

Workers paint markings on a dedicated bike lane on Sherbrook Street.


Workers paint markings on a dedicated bike lane on Sherbrook Street.

At Wednesday's executive policy committee meeting, Bowman will move a motion directing the Office of Public Engagement to review the consultations conducted in 2013 and recommend future public-engagement activities for active transportation projects.

The strategy was to be voted on by council May 27, but the mayor is proposing the matter be laid over until the June public works committee meeting, where the results of the review will be considered.

"Over the past week I have heard from members of our local business community that the city could have done a much better job in the 2013 consultation process for the pedestrian and cycling strategies," Bowman said in a news release.

"Given that some members of our business community have expressed concerns with the engagement to date, this is a critical step in an important plan that will benefit the health and well-being of all Winnipeggers."

The Free Press reported Monday that Coun. Russ Wyatt had sent a letter to downtown business owners, warning the creation of 13 protected bike lanes over the next 20 years may lead to a loss of parking.

"I thought you may want to know this. This is not just a 'strategy,' but calls for the amending of the city's transportation master plan, designating and setting out these streets for this treatment. Once it is in the plan, you are then on the defensive if you want to stop or change it," Wyatt wrote in an email to an undisclosed number of businesses.

Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, a longtime cycling advocate, said by pausing the adoption of the strategy, the city can make sure fears are addressed.

"It is about getting the information and making sure everyone gets accurate information," she said, adding it will not stop the city's active transportation plans for 2015.

Public works chairwoman Coun. Janice Lukes said she isn't fazed by Bowman's proposed delay because he is a supporter of the strategy.

"If the mayor feels that he wants to take it to the Office of Public Engagement, I am 100 per cent behind him. The mayor is completely supportive of active transportation, I am not worried about that in the least," she said.


— with files from Bartley Kives




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Updated on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 6:38 AM CDT: Adds photo

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