Cyclists Using Sidewalks Leaves Blind Woman Scared for Safety:

‘We haven’t met anyone who has apologized . they’re not concerned,’ says Janis Brackman
By Laura Glowacki,
CBC News, June 6, 2016.

A blind woman says she can’t go for a walk without feeling threatened by cyclists zipping past her on the sidewalk in Winnipeg. Janis Brackman lives in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village area. Every time she steps out her front door, she has to be just as on guard for bikes.

Her walks have turned into “worrying about what’s coming behind me or towards me.” “Now that I’ve got to listen for the bikes I don’t concentrate as well on the cane and the traffic sounds,” she said.

The fine for riding on the sidewalk with an adult bike in Winnipeg is $113.10, according to Winnipeg police.

The situation has her husband, Alan Brackman, fuming. “There’s a complete disregard for pedestrians. It’s a public safety issue,” he said. “What I’d really like to do is have them walk down the sidewalk with a cane, blindfolded and have bikes whiz past them.”

Brackman worries one misstep to the left or right could put his wife and a cyclist in serious danger. “If they fall off their bike and they fall on the roadside they could actually get killed,” he said.

The Brackman’s have had little luck politely reminding cyclists of the rules. Adult-sized bikes with a rear wheel diameter greater than 410 millimetres are not permitted on the sidewalk, according to the Highway Traffic Act. “We haven’t met anyone who has apologized . they’re not concerned,” said Brackman .

So far in 2016, Winnipeg police have handed out 11 tickets to people cycling on the sidewalk. (Sarah Penton/CBC).

The couple said they’ve witnessed cyclists – of all ages – using sidewalks in many parts of Winnipeg, from River Avenue to Corydon Avenue and River Heights. “They can be anything from people who might be in their 50s or 60s to younger people in their teens, men and women, some wear helmets some do not,” he said.

Const. Jason Michalyshen with the Winnipeg Police Service said cracking down on cyclists using sidewalks is not a priority for the force right now. “Were not involved in campaigns where we’re targeting people who are riding on sidewalks,” he said. Michalyshen added; however, anyone who notices a trend or repeat offenders should report it to the police non-emergency line. “It’s a concern,” he said when people are not abiding by the Highway Traffic Act. In 2015 Winnipeg police handed out 191 tickets for cycling on the sidewalk. So far this year, officers have given out 11. The fine for the offence is $113.10.

with files from Kim Kaschor

Click on the link below for the CBC interview with Janis

Reproduced from http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/700155971572/