The City of Winnipeg is committed to improving safety on our roads and helping reduce motorist and pedestrian harm.
Our road safety strategies stem from the Manitoba Road Safety Plan: 2017-2020, which was developed in partnership with the Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg Police Service, and Manitoba Public Insurance. This plan reinforces a "Towards Zero" philosophy, creating a vision for safe Manitoba streets that see zero pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist deaths.
It focuses on four key areas: sharing research and data across municipalities; developing strategies to create safer roads; targeting enforcement efforts to reduce the number of unsafe drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on the road; and examining new speed strategies to lower risk.
Since 2014, we have aligned with a number of province-wide initiatives and also have made progress on a number of road safety issues specific to City streets.
Traffic safety is a priority for the City of Winnipeg. We want our roads to be a safe space for all users; when data, statistics, and incident reports indicate the need for change, we do everything we practicably can to make that change. Below is a snapshot of some of our recent implementations.
Marion Street/Goulet Street Speed Limit Reduction
The speed limit on Marion Street and Goulet Street (from St. Mary's Road to Youville Street) has been reduced to 50 km/h.
This change is part of the new Speed Limit Setting Bylaw that came into force in 2019 as a result of the Transportation and Traffic Modernization Act (Bill 14) that abolished the former Highway Traffic Board.
The decision to reduce the speed limit here is the result of a technical analysis (based on the Transportation Association of Canada's Guidelines for Establishing Posted Speed Limits), as well as a push from the community to work towards a more pedestrian-friendly environment.
Garry Street active transportation signals
The City recently installed a number of bicycle and pedestrian priority signals along the newly-opened Garry Street bi-directional bike lane. This signal type is new for Winnipeggers and helps mitigate collision risks when cars want to turn left across a through-traffic bike lane.
It is important for drivers along this corridor to know that there are four separate controls at this type of intersection: pedestrian; cyclist; left-turning vehicles; through traffic. Vehicles cannot turn left unless their dedicated signal is green.
Image 1 (below) shows this type of intersection when the left-turn light is red. All traffic is moving except the left-turning cars.
Image 2 (below) shows the traffic movement when left turns are permitted. Cyclist movements are stopped. PLEASE NOTE: Pedestrians will continue to be permitted to cross and have the right of way. Cars must be mindful of pedestrians, and yield to them (as in any other intersection).
Poplar Avenue & Levis Street
The stop sign on eastbound Poplar Avenue at Levis Street was removed on August 9, 2019. A new stop sign will be installed on northbound Levis Street at Poplar Avenue as a traffic assessment shows this will improve safety and operations at the intersection. The stop sign at Poplar and Stadacona Street will remain unchanged.
Main Street & Rupert Avenue
Following a review of collision data, we identified potential for safety improvements at the intersection of Main Street and Rupert Avenue.
We recently implemented restrictions at the intersection as follows:
- Westbound traffic on Rupert at Main Street must turn right at all times.
- Northbound and Southbound traffic on Main Street at Rupert Avenue will be unable to turn left during peak weekday hours: Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Long-term strategic planning
The City is committed to the Towards Zero philosophy that seeks to eliminate all injuries and fatalities on the transportation network through changes to how roads are planned, constructed, and used. This philosophy will guide a large portion of the new Transportation Master Plan, which the City is developing over the next three years. A multidisciplinary team will prioritize improvements to continue to move the City towards a safer road network for all users.
The City uses traffic studies as a mechanism to review traffic safety on our streets on an ongoing basis. In these, we study roads with high rates of collision and other data-based markers, many based on requests or concerns brought forward by the public, Councillors, 311, and other observations. We've also initiated a recent community-specific pilot project looking at holistic community safety through a traffic lens in an area identified by residents as particularly problematic.
Road safety initiatives
Safer roads start with safer road designs. We have been hard at work ensuring that road safety is part of all construction projects, as well as a key component of engineering and construction improvements we make annually.
Pedestrian safety initiatives
To improve pedestrian safety, the City has recently installed a series of new pedestrian-friendly crossing mechanisms. These include: standardizing crossing signal intervals; introducing all-red pedestrian clearance periods; new pedestrian crosswalks and corridors; adding stop signs to medium-volume intersections; and reducing speed in school zones.
Active transportation initiatives
The Transportation Division oversaw the Council Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies report. This policy document serves as a roadmap for civic investments into infrastructure and active transportation support programs in order to make walking and cycling safer, more convenient, accessible, and attractive to citizens. Through these strategies, the City has implemented the use of green paint, leading bike signals, and dedicated bike signals to support active transportation safety.
Transportation Management Centre
The Transportation Management Centre (TMC) has improved traffic signal timings at intersections throughout the city, and is also assessing traffic flow conditions for safety improvements.
The SAFE Roads Manitoba Committee is a community initiative led by key public/private stakeholders, including the City of Winnipeg, committed to educating and encouraging motorists to engage in respectful and safe driving practices. Established in 2004, the SAFE Roads vision is to educate motorists and the general public in following respectful and safe driving practices - protecting the safety of construction, utility, emergency services personnel, equipment operators, and others who work in or adjacent to our roadways.