Educating Drivers and Cyclists about safely sharing the roads

Educating Drivers and Cyclists about safely sharing the roads

Mar 27 2016 – Kevin Yaworski

See Winnipeg Metro news article below about cyclist recording video with 2 go pro cameras for MPIC.

This article was posted on a local Winnipeg traffic safety and related group page and it almost immediately got a bunch of comments from people complaining about bad cyclists and the need for licensing and insurance for them.

I am disappointed about all the whining and complaining.  I thought this was a solution focused group that uses the power of facts.  There is good and bad cyclists just like drivers.  How about we focus on educating the benefits of safe driving and riding to both groups.  I have lived in Europe and visited cities that have many more cyclists than we have and they manage fine with out bike licenses or insurance.

The benefits to cities and society of having more active residents including  more cyclists and dedicated or shared infrastructure well proven.  I cycle, drive and have taken public transit lots and have done this here and in other cities around the world.

While riding or driving I see safe and courteous riders and drivers and I also see the opposite.  I have sometimes made poor choices as a driver and a rider.  The rider is always the one more at risk so educating both groups is critical.

It takes me about 30 mins to cycle 11km to work and not much less to drive at rush hour.

It is not rocket science to figure out the health, financial and environmental benefits of this choice.

I am glad that 90% of my ride is on dedicated bike / pedestrian paths or side roads but this not the case for many riders.  Why not follow the lead of other cities that have embraced cyclists and the proven benefits?

… Insert more complaining about bad cyclists and need for licensing and insurance.

My response
We pay enough taxes and fees already.  There is a bylaw to prevent cycling on the sidewalk so are my kids supposed to pay for a license and insurance to ride their bike to school?  The benefits of cycling well proven so let’s educate both groups better and not tax to discourage it.

Insert more complaining about bad cyclists and need for licensing and insurance including when I was a kid I had to plate my bike and paid for it by delivering newspapers.

Sounds totally accurate and like a broken record yet?
Maybe that is why they deleted comment about plating bike after.

Their response
Country living is totally different from city.

I grew up in the country and drove a farm truck and tractor on the road for short distances with out a license never mind a bicycle license

… Insert more complaining about bad cyclists and need for licensing and insurance.

I agree that all cyclists and drives need to ride and drive safely. I do not agree with deterring cycling and all the benefits of it with license and insurance fees when the majority of road construction, repairs, accidents and related are for vehicles. See my comments above about the benefits etc…

Here’s the link to the laws of cycling in mb:

See the images and info. The recommended 3ft sounds fair to me. While cycling I regularly have to avoid huge pot holes and other hazards from poorly built and or maintained roads especially where buses stop regularly. Also travelling closer than 3ft to the curb is a sure way to get flat tires from nails thrown to the side by traffic. Especially when the City Council wastes our money and decides to try and make up for it by not doing fall street cleaning or doing poor ass job in spring.

Sorry this is getting off topic for the focus of the group but it hopefully will help improve safety which is a focus and incourage better sharing of the roads. Here is a good site for cyclists as well including maps to find dedicated bike paths and less busy side streets when planning a route:

I have deleted a few comments above that are against the groups rules clearly stated in the description. The group is for sharing facts, experiences and constructive discussions related to traffic enforcement and traffic safety in Winnipeg not for making fun of others. If I missed any here or elsewhere please report to admins or pm me directly if you prefer.

So, after reading im still unclear. Are cyclists entitled to a lane or not, and are they allowed to tow trailers? And 3 feet off the curb is a long ways, plus another 3 from a vehicle, plus the width of the cyclist… thats like 7 feet. A car lane is just bigger than that. That much room is an unreasonable expectation, which is why they should be allowed on the sidewalk.


Two Comment from others:

They are to ride as close to the curb as possible. If the road is decent then they should easily be able to be within 18″. That’s where I used to try and ride if I needed to be on a road. There are some places where it is not possible due to the potholes and crappy road conditions but they should not be taking up and entire lane. They should be able to be ticketed for obstructing traffic if they do.

I’ve been riding a bike for 45 years, sidewalk and street and don’t get the problem. If cyclists stayed on the curb, and motorists gave proper room, like days gone by, it wouldn’t even be an issue. This is simply an issue of entitlement, I mean winter bike riding in winnipeg, ON THE STREETS, cmon.

My response
I agree with you Daryl ^ for the most part. If you read the text in the above image or pages linked it does not say entitled to a lane it says as close to the edge of the right lane as is PRACTICABLE and suggests 3 ft. I think this is reasonable for the reasons I mentioned above. Of course there is not always going to be 3ft available or practicable.

As stated above I prefer dedicated or shared paths or residential streets but where this not available or practical and only a busy street I will either drive on the road or side-walk if the curb side is not well maintained.

The by-law to prohibit cycling on the side walk is to protect pedestrians as a bicycle travelling at avg speed can cause injury. Not sure where my avg speed on the road sits compared to other cyclists but it is 23 – 25 kmh and max 38.6 based on Map My Ride app and my phone / GPS which I sometimes use and leave in my bike bag. I am considering getting fat bike for winter and trying it but sounds dangerous. Might be on the side-walk more in winter.

Map my ride

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things that I think are a matter of public interest or that I think others will be interested in
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