Candidates take virtual ride for ElectionCycle
WINNIPEG, MB – While the weather has put a wrench in plans to have candidates ride a mile along someone else’s route, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Bike Lab’s event the Election Cycle – Accessing UWinnipeg and Downtown successfully drew candidates’ attention to several serious challenges faced by Winnipeg’s downtown commuter cyclists.
UWSA Bike Lab Advocacy Coordinator Jacob Nikkel led a photographic tour of a ride that covered the routes cyclists must use to reach The University of Winnipeg, drawing attention to difficult road crossings, pseudo-bike lanes that disappear without warning, potholes, and other obstacles.
“Winnipeg’s cycling community is growing stronger every day, and we need civic leadership that can respond to this shift in how people get from A to B,” says Nikkel. “It’s vital to hear how candidates will support active transportation, especially considering the positive impact it can have on the health of people and the environment.”
The event was a chance for candidates to share their positions on active transportation, attended by candidates for mayor Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Robert Falcon Ouelette, and candidates for city councilors John Orlikow, Keith Bellamy, Shane Nestruck and Anne Thompson. Joining the conversation were cycling advocates, students, community members, representatives of the UWSA and University of Winnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Annette Trimbee
“A big thank you goes out to participants for taking the time to connect with these young voters” says Dr. Trimbee. “Our University has a strong history of social engagement, and working toward meaningful change in our community, and I’m proud the UWSA is carrying on that tradition.”
Just about everyone in attendance spoke to the importance of making cycling safer and more accessible to all Winnipeggers, particularly through improved infrastructure across the city such as protected bike lanes. Other visions for active transportation in Winnipeg shared at ElectionCycle included efficient cycling routes, a widespread winter cycling culture, and improved workplace infrastructure such as shower facilities for cycling employees.