Good evening all
Just got back from LUD of Mitchell general meeting. A discussion came about regarding people crossing PTH 52 from the south side to the north side. Brent Wareham, the regional director of operations for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation was asked to speak to the issue. To be fair, Brent was in there because he lives in Mitchell, not as a government representative. I know Brent but could not help but be very disappointed about what came next. He side stepped the issue of safely getting people across the 52 and then specifically pointed out that cyclists (not just kids on bicycles) on busy highways were a major issue. He added that the provincial government’s movement towards active transportation was making it worse. He strongly recommended that cyclists ride against traffic in order to be safe and stated clearly that the local RCMP would ignore this violation of the traffic act. He stated that he had seen the accident report and went on to imply that the recent death of a cyclist on the 12 would might have been avoided if the cyclist had not been riding with traffic, on the pavement.
A couple of us at the meeting pointed out that bicycles riding on the road are vehicles and that riding in the opposite direction would be more likely to cause an accident. I understand he is trying to make highways safe and I might even agree that if there is a wide paved shoulder (like between Mitchell and Steinbach) his recommendation might have merit. Otherwise I was left with the sense that the “victims” were being blamed. I for one am going to contact the local RCMP and see if they really are onside with this. We have such a long way to go before cyclists can be safe on Manitoba roads……