Neighbourhood Greenway Reduced Speed Pilot

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Neighbourhood greenways are on-street routes designated to comfortably and safely move both cyclists and pedestrians and motor vehicles. Greenways typically include a range of treatments from low-impact things like signage, bike signals, and pavement markings to varying degrees of traffic calming including a best-practice speed limit of 30 km/h.

Winnipeg currently has 11 greenways, all of which operate with a speed limit of 50 km/h. This summer, five of them are getting a (trial) speed reduction makeover.

The Neighbourhood Greenway Reduced

Neighbourhood greenways are on-street routes designated to comfortably and safely move both cyclists and pedestrians and motor vehicles. Greenways typically include a range of treatments from low-impact things like signage, bike signals, and pavement markings to varying degrees of traffic calming including a best-practice speed limit of 30 km/h.

Winnipeg currently has 11 greenways, all of which operate with a speed limit of 50 km/h. This summer, five of them are getting a (trial) speed reduction makeover.

The Neighbourhood Greenway Reduced Speed Pilot will evaluate the impact reduced speeds and additional traffic calming treatments have on improving conditions for cyclists and pedestrians along the following existing neighbourhood greenways:

The pilot is planned to be in place for one year at each location. Learn more about the proposed changes below.

We want to hear what residents along and nearby the planned pilot locations have to say about the current greenways, the reduced speed pilot plan, and what impact the proposed pilot may have on their travel choices. We will report back in June/July on what we heard and will then announce implementation plans.


Background

In 2020, the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works directed the City to pilot reduced speeds on five existing neighbourhood greenways. Working with area Councillors, the City selected five greenways (all of which already have some existing traffic calming treatments and enhanced pedestrian crossings) for the pilot program.

The speed limit will be lowered on each of the five planned pilot locations, and each will also receive a variety of new traffic calming interventions ranging from new signage and barricades to speed humps and enhanced pedestrian crossings.

Technical guidance and case studies from other cities tell us that these measures should reduce vehicle speeds and volumes, increasing safety and comfort for cyclists and creating a more desirable environment for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Case study: In the early 2000’s, the City of Portland set out to ensure at least 80 percent of their residents had access to a neighbourhood greenway within a half-mile of home by 2015 (watch the project video that explains their plans and progress). As their greenway network grew, the Portland Bureau of Transportation saw a number of benefits for their community – including some they didn’t anticipate. As expected, vehicle volumes along the greenways lessened and bike volumes exponentially increased. But the changes didn’t stop there. Schools started reporting more kids riding bikes to class more often, and also saw younger kids learning to ride a bike earlier. Today, Portland has a robust greenway network that is growing year over year.


While the pilot program may slightly increase travel time for some, the intent is for these streets to shift to serving local-only motor vehicle traffic and increased cycling and pedestrian through traffic. We also recognize traffic may slightly increase on surrounding streets, but other cities’ experiences and technical data tell us the increase should be minor, which would mean an acceptable trade-off for increasing safety and vitality of these important route types.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How do Neighbourhood Greenways work for pedestrians?

    about 22 hours ago

    In accordance with the Highway Traffic Act, pedestrians are not permitted on the roadway when a reasonably passable sidewalk is present. However greenways do tend to improve pedestrian conditions as a secondary benefit as slower vehicle traffic can improve both safety and comfort for pedestrians and area residents. Reduced speed limits increase driver reaction time, improving both actual safety conditions for pedestrians and the perception of pedestrian comfort. When crossing the street a person walking (or cycling) who is struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 km/h has a significantly reduced chance of severe injury or death compared to someone struck by a vehicle traveling 50 km/h. Reduced speeds also reduce noise and a result in a more pleasant environment for those walking on the sidewalk and those spending time outdoors. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How are you using public feedback gathered during pre-engagement?

    18 days ago

    We’re calling this engagement “pre-engagement” because we are doing it before the pilot begins. During this feedback period, we’re asking residents to tell us about their thoughts on the neighbourhood greenway’s current state, the pilot program, and what impact the proposed pilot may have on their quality of life. Ultimately, we will use this information as a benchmark when evaluating success of the pilot program. In the short-term, we will use any critical feedback we receive to finesse our pilot plans prior to implementation this summer.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why are speed humps the preferred traffic calming approach for the pilot?

    18 days ago

    Speed humps are cost effective traffic calming measures that do not limit motor vehicle access. Speed humps are also removeable should the pilot program recommend not continuing with the lower speed limits and traffic calming.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What does success look like?

    18 days ago

    Ultimately, success of the program will be measured by four main factors: decreased motor vehicle volumes and speeds on the pilot streets; increased cycling volumes on the pilot streets; feedback from greenway users; and feedback from nearby residents. We will compare speed and volume counts from the pilot period to those we collect during the pre-pilot, and will also take into account results of the public engagement program.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How will the pilot program be monitored?

    18 days ago

    To help us understand how the reduced speeds and increased traffic calming measures impact both motor vehicle and bike traffic, we will conduct speed and traffic counts both during the pre-pilot phase and once the pilot is implemented. We will also be observing the streets throughout the pilot, and will ask again for community feedback in spring 2022 to help us understand how the pilot impacted the community and how Winnipeggers felt about the changes.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How will the pilot impact motorists? What about traffic on neighbouring streets?

    18 days ago

    We anticipate the change may impact traffic in two ways, though we expect these impacts to be minimal. First, the slower speed may increase travel time slightly for drivers on the greenway; however, this will be negligible. Second, those who do not wish to travel at the slower speed may instead choose to move their route to neighbouring streets. While this may increase volumes on surrounding streets, we expect the increase to be minor and an acceptable trade-off for increasing safety on the greenways.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What are neighbourhood greenways like in other cities?

    18 days ago

    A number of cities across Canada and the US have implemented very successful, very robust neighbourhood greenway programs. Vancouver, Portland, and Minneapolis are great examples. Portland in particular is known for its program, which started exponentially expanding when the city set a target for all Portlandians to have a greenway within a half-mile of their homes. As their greenway network grew, the Portland Bureau of Transportation saw a number of benefits for their community – including some they didn’t anticipate. As expected, vehicle volumes along the greenways lessened and bike volumes exponentially increased. But the changes didn’t stop there. Schools started reporting more kids riding bikes to class more often, and also saw younger kids learning to ride a bike earlier. Today, Portland has a robust greenway network that is growing year over year.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Does this mean changes are coming to all neighbourhood greenways?

    18 days ago

    The pilot program includes only five of Winnipeg’s 11 existing neighbourhood greenways. We will make recommendations for widespread implementation (or not) depending upon the outcomes of the pilot.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why do this now?

    18 days ago

    The Traffic and Transportation Modernization Act was passed in 2018 and now allows the City of Winnipeg to set speed limits on streets in the city (a function previously reserved for the Province). Because of this, the City can now improve its existing neighbourhood greenways to respond to industry best practices, which are 30 km/hr speed limits. The pilot program will allow us to trial and evaluate the lower speed limits on a handful of greenways before deciding whether to implement them on the other neighbourhood greenways.