Some Winnipeg cyclists are fuming after their regular commute into downtown across the Osborne Street Bridge Tuesday morning took a turn for the expensive.
Police were out ticketing cyclists who failed to dismount when riding along the bridge’s westbound sidewalk — currently the only pedestrian pathway due to a massive repair project currently underway.
Cyclists were being fined $110 under a provision of the Highway Traffic Act.
“It’s crazy. $40-$50, OK, but not $110,” said a deflated George Soare, one of the ticketed cyclists.
“It’s absolutely impossible to ride through here and not ride on the sidewalk,” said cyclist Marlowe Brownlee, who added he feels it’s dangerous for bikes to travel in the two northbound traffic lanes are full of heavy, slow-moving vehicles.
“Am I to ride in one of these lanes and risk getting hit by a vehicle?,” he asked.
For others, the ticketing appeared simply to be a cash-grab on behalf of the city.
“I think it’s for the revenues of the city’s car-centric infrastructure, and until they invest in proper cycling infrastructure, this is what’s going to happen,” said Alana Lajoie-O’Malley.
“It’s just evidence they’re not thinking about active transit at all.”
Other cyclists were overheard grumbling at police not stopping cars crossing the bridge where drivers were clearly yakking on their cellphones.
A police spokesman said upwards of 10 cyclists were ticketed during the blitz, but didn’t have the exact total.
The stops were done for safety reasons, Const. Jason Michalyshen said. “Every year it comes up,” he said.
“There’s rules for bikes just as there are for other people on the roadway,” he said.