News Release - Manitoba
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May 16, 2012

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT WOULD SUPPORT MORE ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION: LEMIEUX

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Municipalities Could Set Bylaws on How Cyclists Use Roadways

Proposed amendments would expand the Highway Traffic Act to boost forms of active transportation and help create designated bicycle pathways on existing roads, said Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux after introducing the legislation.

“The proposals will amend the act’s definition of traffic to include bicycles,” said Lemieux.  “It means municipalities would have the power to make bylaws that regulate bicycle traffic and adapt the bylaws to the specific needs of their communities, and that will mean more routes for cyclists.”

Commuter cycling is largely an urban activity and the proposed changes would give municipalities a larger role in managing the flow of traffic on their streets and in their neighbourhoods, Lemieux said.  Municipal governments are often best positioned to assess routes and areas where integrating bicycles with motor vehicles is appropriate, he added.

The minister said the proposed amendments are part of the Manitoba government’s ongoing commitment to support healthy living and a cleaner environment.  The proposed changes have been developed in response to the growing number of Manitobans who are choosing bicycles over
gas-powered vehicles.

“The environmental benefits of this trend are enormous and we want to support and encourage the use of bicycles across the province,” Lemieux said.  “We think this proposed legislation will open an important dialogue between motorists and cyclists and increase mutual respect for everyone who operates a vehicle on public roads.”

More information on the proposed amendments is available at: http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/40-1/index.php.

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