Bicycle Lanes – Blessing or a Curse?

Bicycle LaneBike lanes have been showing up around Winnipeg, especially the downtown area over the last couple of year. Until recently, even though a couple of these lanes have been on my normal commuting route, I’ve not given them too much thought. Nice to have, but I was a little indifferent.

Then the city created a dedicates lane on Assiniboine Ave. which caused a lot of controversy and in my opinion was a waste of money. Assiniboine was a low traffic street in the first place and bicycling on it was no problem.

Then one day a few weeks ago a bike lane shows up on St. Mary Ave.! Initially, this seems like a great thing, in fact just the day before I rode up the middle of two lanes of traffic and thought to my self “that was a little crazy”. And then there it was, my own dedicated lane, and for a day or two things were good.

Then things changed. St Mary has parking in the curb lane before 9am and lots of drivers cruise up the curb lane, encounter a parked car, and lane change with no regard to the bike lane or the bicyclist in the lane, that would be me! To top it off they frequently rounded the parked cars and then crossed over the bike lane again with no regard for the cyclist, to make a right hand turn onto a one way street.

I don’t think that bike lanes really help the cyclist all that much and I’d just as soon not have the false sense of security. Cycling on the road with cars, it’s always be ready for the unexpected.

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