No right on red 'good step' for cyclists, pedestrians in Exchange District
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:39PM CST
Come to a stop on McDermot Avenue or Bannatyne Avenue and you'll find there's a new law to obey.
'No right on the red' signs, along with electronic bike signals are being installed as part of a city protected bike lanes project.
"I like it. A lot of times when I'm cycling in certain areas people don't stop for bikes," said Jessica Mcglynn.
She said motorists don't always notice cyclists, and she believes preventing them from making a right turn will improve safety.
Some drivers agree the changes make sense. Others worry it slows down traffic and can create a backlog at intersections.
The city said the project is an important connection for Winnipeg's cycling network and the goal is to balance the needs of all road users.
It said the signage helps provide a pause for cyclists to proceed into the intersection before the light turns green for motorists.
'I think it's a really good step for Winnipeg,' said Anders Swanson with Winnipeg Trails Association.
Swanson said the changes, including no right turns on a red light, won't just help keep cyclists safe, they'll also protect pedestrians.
He said many studies have looked at the science of restricting right turns on red – including data on fatality and injury rates – and it comes down to drivers being able to see people walking.
"People going to turn right are typically looking left, so in the other direction to watching for oncoming cars, and if you forget about pedestrians which are quieter, they don't move as quickly and they’re not as big, you risk hitting someone," said Swanson.
The association wants to see protected bike lanes developed further into protected intersections, with additional curbs at crossings. Swanson said they already exist in parts of Europe, the United States and Canada.
The city anticipates the bike lanes will be completed by end of August and will open once all safety measures have been installed.