Mayor and Community Organizations Partner to Address and Reduce Unsafe Panhandling

August 3, 2018

Adjustable bike lane curbs pilot successful; adjustable curbs to be extended along Bannatyne Avenue

Released: 11:10 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg ran a nine-month technical trial of adjustable bike lane curbs in summer 2017 on existing bike lanes on Sherbrook Street south of Cumberland Avenue, and on a section of Bannatyne Avenue next to Old Market Square. The goal of the trial was to explore the feasibility of adjustable bike lane curbs as a method for installing protected bike lanes.

“I’m pleased that the adjustable bike lane curbs pilot project was a success,” said Councillor Matt Allard, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works. “Using adjustable bike lane curbs will allow us to install protected bike lanes more quickly, and allow us to make adjustments to the design based on public feedback and future adjustments to roadways.”

“It was encouraging to see the feedback from individuals using all modes of transportation in the pilot project area expressing increased comfort,” said Councillor Mike Pagtakhan, Point Douglas Ward. “Being able to a make adjustments to the design based on public feedback is a key strength of the adjustable bike lane curbs, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the future.”

The adjustable bike lane curbs pilot was a success, with information collected during the pilot resulting in modifications to improve their durability and maintenance. Adjustable bike lane curbs allow the City to install protected bike lanes, improving comfort for users, while still allowing for adjustments to the design of the lane.

During the pilot, feedback was gathered from the public through an online survey and was generally positive. In both pilot locations, survey respondents using all modes of transportation (driving, cycling, and walking) reported increased comfort when passing through areas with adjustable curbs. Survey responses and how feedback was considered is now available in a public engagement report on the adjustable bike lane curbs webpage.

In 2018, the City’s West Alexander to East Exchange Corridor project will incorporate adjustable bike lane curbs. The City will continue to collect feedback from stakeholders and the public so that ongoing adjustments can be made to the West Alexander to East Exchange Corridor as necessary.

Goldeyes players visit City of Winnipeg libraries

Released: 11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Players from the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club are teaming up with Winnipeg Public Library to support children’s literacy and the TD Summer Reading Club.

Players will be visiting the following library branches on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:30 p.m. to read stories, meet fans, answer questions and sign autographs:

Space is limited for this event and registration is required. Register online at:

The annual Library Night at the Ballpark at Shaw Park is on Saturday, August 4. Winnipeg Public Library employees will be there to sign up new library cardholders and handout baseball bookmarks. Twenty young readers who won tickets by participating in the TD Summer Reading Club will also be there to cheer on the home team.

Salter Street between St. Anthony Avenue and Hartford Avenue temporarily closed for manhole repairs this weekend

Released: 12:50 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Starting Saturday, August 4 at 6 a.m., Salter Street between St. Anthony Avenue and Hartford Avenue will be temporarily closed until 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 5 for manhole repairs.

Motorists should use alternate routes and allow additional travel time to get to their destinations.

For Transit re-route and schedule information, visit or contact 311.

For regular updates on City of Winnipeg lane closures and to view lane closures of major streets on an interactive map, please visit City of Winnipeg – Regional Lane Closures.

Download and use the Waze app for real-time traffic and incident updates as well as traffic re-route options.

Mayor and Community Organizations Partner to Address and Reduce Unsafe Panhandling

Released: 1:30 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, along with representatives of key community organizations, Mayor Brian Bowman provided an update on efforts to address and reduce the occurrence of unsafe panhandling along with short-term actions and long-term goals. Unsafe Panhandling is defined as panhandling that is occurring along boulevards and amongst traffic.

“As presented in my State of the City address earlier this year, unsafe panhandling is a growing concern for many citizens in Winnipeg,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Today, we are announcing the progress we’ve made on this issue, some short-term actions that will be put into place immediately and the long term goals that will be worked toward.”

Like homelessness, there are many reasons and circumstances that can lead to a person resorting to panhandling. They are both very complex issues to address and require input from many stakeholders. During Mayor Bowman’s State of the City address, he committed to facilitating discussions with key stakeholders in an effort to reduce unsafe panhandling on our streets.

“In early July, I hosted a meeting with key community organizations and we discussed many of the possible underlying problems and possible solutions,” said Mayor Bowman.

The Mayor asked Lucille Bruce of End Homelessness Winnipeg and Stefano Grande of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ to co-lead the group and follow-up with concrete actions recommended by the group.

“I would like to thank the Mayor for convening this group of agencies and organizations to put a focus on collaborating toward reducing unsafe panhandling,” said Lucille Bruce. “Panhandling is a complex issue and I expect this process will provide great insight into how we can address it and at the same time, help those in need by proactively providing access to services.”

“The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is committed to the Mayor’s vision for a safe and tolerant downtown for everyone, and this Unsafe Panhandling Strategy is our local communities’ comprehensive response to the Mayors call to action,” added Stefano Grande.

In addition to Stefano and Lucille, the following organizations were part of the consultation group:

  • Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
  • End Homelessness Winnipeg
  • City of Winnipeg
  • WPS Community Support Division
  • Eagle Urban Transition Centre
  • Main Street Project
  • MNP
  • Siloam Mission
  • West End BIZ
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Osborne Village BIZ
  • Exchange District BIZ
  • United Way
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba and Winnipeg

After the discussion, Stefano and Lucille worked together to solidify the recommendations of the group and then presented them to the Mayor.

The immediate, short-term actions will implement:

  • A Multi-Agency Summer Outreach Pilot Program that will proactively engage panhandlers, develop relationships and make connections that can assist and then assess the results.
  • A Panhandling Employment Pilot Program where fulltime positions will be created with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ to provide panhandlers with assistance in finding permanent employment.
  • An Enhanced Boulevard Safety Pilot Program aimed at utilizing low-cost, physical elements on unsafe boulevards, leveraging better design to enhance safety.

The consensus among the community organizations are that these plans can be put into action immediately and at no additional cost. To be clear, the organizations will be pooling their existing resources toward implementing these plans immediately and will then assess their effectiveness. Once these pilot programs conclude, there will be a much better understanding of what areas should be focused on moving forward.

With such a complex problem with many underlying causes, the short term strategies will focus on minimizing the practice of unsafe panhandling and assessing effectiveness. The group also identified key long term strategies that they will work toward and will be led by End Homelessness Winnipeg. They include:

  • The creation of a public education and awareness campaign to educate the public on the issues of unsafe panhandling, provide alternative ways to give and help and to identify long term solutions.
  • Developing environmental design considerations and standards for new developments.
  • Assessing the results of summer outreach and based on the evidence, identifying key areas to focus on to achieve the greatest results.
  • Organizing Winnipeg businesses and associations to employ panhandlers and citizens affected by homelessness.

“As with many of the problems we face as a community, collaboration is the key that will lead us to better results. By bringing organizations with different insights together, we have developed a plan to move forward, in hopes of addressing and reducing unsafe panhandling by better assisting those in need,” said Mayor Bowman.