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'Near impossible': New bike lanes cause close quarters driving along Goulet


As Winnipeg's active transportation network grows, three-lane roads are being scaled back to two lanes to make room for dedicated bike routes.

The shift is drawing concern from truck drivers.

Esther Lawson has been hauling everything from gravel to snow through Winnipeg for the past eight years. She's frustrated by the altered truck routes as active transportation lanes pop-up throughout the city.

"I'm all for green friendly, but a lot of us still have to work in the city and our job is driving through the city all day long," Lawson said.

She doesn't have a problem with more cyclists on the roads, it's about how the city is building its new bike lanes.

"Some of the streets are so narrow, two trucks can barely pass each other without clipping mirrors," said Lawson. "And come winter, when there’s going to be snow on the ground, some of these will almost be impossible to pass another truck at."

She says concrete barriers like the ones currently being built on Goulet Street also make it challenging to turn onto the roadway.

"It’s quite difficult and it’s not so bad when the lanes are wider, but when the lanes get too narrow, it’s near impossible.

Bike Winnipeg's Mark Cohoe says protected bikes lanes are a critical safety feature for everybody using the road.

"When we can get separation, so that someone who is riding along that bike lane knows they’re going to be safe. That makes a huge difference," said Cohoe

He said an active transportation network needs to use regional streets like Goulet.

"And in Winnipeg, that’s going to be a lot of different street types that we’re going to have to encourage those bike lanes to be on," Cohoe said.

The chair of the City's Public Works Committee said she sees both sides of the coin, and stresses the importance of coexistence.

"We all have to share the road, but I do get very concerned about the trucking routes and the fact, we need to move our goods and services, but we also need to move people," said Janice Lukes.

Lawson said she doesn't expect the lanes on Goulet to change, but hopes the transportation industry has more say on active transportation routes in the future.

"If the truck routes get shrunk down, we’re suffering hard. And our industry’s not going anywhere. We’re going to be driving for years," she said.

Lukes said the Manitoba Trucking Association has voiced concerns in the past, notably about modifications made to bike lanes on Chevrier Boulevard.

The city posts online surveys and hosts open houses about its active transportation route plans. Lukes encourages more people to get involved and share their feedback before construction starts. Top Stories

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