A new Probe Research poll commissioned by CAA Manitoba shows fewer Winnipeggers are using alternative modes of transportation over driving.
The poll found in the past four years, cycling, walking and travelling by bus had all dropped in the city.
“No doubt, participation in these transportation activities was largely influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic and its encouragement of isolation for the past two and one-half years,” says Probe Research.
Pollsters found biking was only regularly engaged by 15 percent of adults, which is down 21 percent from June 2018. CAA says this drop can be attributed to poor infrastructure, maintenance and bad behaviours by drivers towards cyclists.
“Winnipeg’s continued inability to develop a bicycle network that meets the needs of people’s daily travel requirements prevents a growing number of people from opting for their bikes,” said Mark Cohoe of Bike Winnipeg.
“There is substantial potential to grow the number of people biking to their destinations, but cuts to the walking and cycling budget made over the past four years have kept many people off their bikes.”
CAA Manitoba cites vehicles passing too close, distracted drivers, car doors opening into cyclists’ paths and being cut off by vehicles as the top concerns for cyclists.
On the other hand, CAA says drivers are annoyed by cyclists who don’t stop at lights or stop signs, the difficulty of passing cyclists safely, bike riders who can’t be seen in the dark and cyclists who pass cars stopped in traffic.
Aside from infrastructure issues and poor attitudes towards cyclists, CAA says bike theft is another concern, despite Winnipeg police data showing it’s actually dropped.
“Bike theft appears to be more common than reported,” said Elisha Dacey, communications manager for CAA Manitoba.
“We hear stories daily of people whose bikes are being nabbed, tossed in the back of pickup trucks and they’re gone in the space of two or three minutes.”
The poll also found a lack of maintenance and snow clearing as a preventative roadblock to cycling safely in Winnipeg.
Only 11 percent of respondents say the city is doing a good or very good job of clearing snow from bike paths, and only 16 percent say the same about the city maintaining path surfaces.
Probe Research surveyed 600 adults living in Winnipeg between September 8-18, 2022. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points and a 95 percent certainty rate.
See the full survey below: