Winnipeg city councillor calls for road safety feedback after near miss on sidewalk

An adjustable curb pilot program provides safe cycling lanes. handout / City of Winnipeg

A Winnipeg city councillor is seeking input from pedestrians about road safety after an incident with a cyclist this week.

Mynarski councillor Ross Eadie says he was getting off a city bus Thursday when a cyclist on the sidewalk sped by, nearly missing him and breaking his cane.

“The worst part is, after he untangles my broken cane from his bike, he comes and he blames me,” Eadie said.

Eadie, who is blind, said he relies on the use of his cane to get around on his own and isn’t sure why a cyclist who is old enough to drive isn’t using the road.

“This isn’t my only incident,” said Eadie.

Story continues below advertisement

He suggests the reason cyclists are using the sidewalks, in his opinion, is because they’re afraid of being hit by a car. He says they should be using a bell if they need to ride on the sidewalk.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

The City of Winnipeg Road Safety Strategic Action Plan claims to be driven by data and public feedback to help serve both short and long-term investments over the next three to five years.

The plan outline states it intends to help prevent serious injury and death on Winnipeg roads by conducting gap assessment of the current state of road safety in the city, develop a plan that achieves the road safety vision and synergize with other city policies and develop a framework to ensure the plan is sustainable and implementable.

Last month, cycling advocate Anders Swanson, of Velo Canada Bikes and Winnipeg Trails, told 680 CJOB he was hit by a car while riding his bike in the Exchange District. At the time, he said he’s seen a lot of close calls in recent weeks between drivers and cyclists or pedestrians, and he said it exposes a vulnerability the city has in terms of the way roads are set up.

Click to play video: 'Cycling advocate, some city councillors support active transportation extension'
Cycling advocate, some city councillors support active transportation extension

Eadie says he understands why cyclists want to ride on the sidewalk due to heavier traffic in the city, but wants pedestrians to get out “in force” and talk about ideas they have to make Winnipeg roads safe for everyone.

Story continues below advertisement

“Road safety is about the sidewalks too,” Eadie said, adding that it took the cyclist about eight minutes to untangle his cane from the bike before Eadie was left to navigate his way slowly due to its mangled state.

“[Pedestrians] have a right, cyclists and drivers have a privilege,” he said.

Winnipeggers can take the Road Safety Public Attitudes and Experiences Questionnaire here.

–With a file from Sam Thompson

Sponsored content