Safety for Cyclists and Pedestrians on Manitoba Highways

Although it is legal to do so, cycling and walking are not recommended on the provincial highway network due to the high speed and high volumes of traffic – this includes large trucks. Cyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable when involved in collisions with motor vehicles. The use of designated cycling and walking facilities, such as sidewalks and trails, or low traffic volume and low speed roads, are recommended for cyclist and pedestrian use.

However, it is recognized that cycling and walking are beneficial to the health and wellbeing of people and the environment. Furthermore, it is recognized that alternative cycling and walking facilities may not be available to provide connections for cyclists and pedestrians. As a result, cyclists and pedestrians may choose to use provincial highways.

The map provided is intended to improve the safety awareness of cyclists and pedestrians who choose to use the provincial highway network, and to aid in their decisions, with respect to planning and selecting a route.

In some cases, trails, including the Trans Canada Trail, may run adjacent to a provincial highway. However, in these instances there will be a separated trail either in the ditch or on the back slope of the highway. Where trails cross the highway, please ensure it is safe to cross before proceeding.

Please note that the following conditions increase the vulnerability of cyclists and pedestrians to collisions with motor vehicles, and should be considered when planning and selecting a route:

  • Most provincial highways operate at posted speeds between approximately 90 and 110 km/h; at these high speeds, cyclists and pedestrians are very vulnerable in the case of a collision. In such cases, reaction times are reduced and collision impacts are very severe.
  • Highways with higher traffic volumes present a greater risk to cyclists and pedestrians than highways with low traffic volumes. Note that the traffic volumes shown on the map are daily averages – the actual traffic volume at a given time may vary significantly throughout the day, week or year. For example, certain highways have the highest traffic volumes on weekends in the summer, while lower traffic volumes occur in the winter on a weekday. A highway traffic volume of more than 3000 vehicles per day translates to at least two vehicles per minute. However, during peak seasons and times (for example, beach traffic on a summer Sunday afternoon), vehicles per minute could increase considerably.
  • Paved shoulders provide space for cyclists and pedestrians, while allowing motor vehicles to pass; however, paved shoulders do not protect cyclists and pedestrians from errant vehicles and the natural swaying of large trucks. For cycling and walking, paved shoulders 1.2 m or more are preferable to narrower shoulders.
  • Cyclists and pedestrians should be aware of traffic and shoulder conditions on constrained bridges and structures. Constrained structures include bridges, overpasses and other structures that have a shoulder of less than 1.2 m and do not have a sidewalk. On constrained structures, there is no safe refuge for cyclists and pedestrians, creating additional risk for all highway users (see image below).

Constrained bridge - shoulders are from 0 m to 1.1 m, and do not provide a refuge for cyclists or pedestrians
Constrained structure - shoulders are less than 1.2 m
and do not provide a refuge for cyclists or pedestrians.

Safety for Cyclists and Pedestrians on Manitoba Highways Map

The Safety for Cyclists and Pedestrians on Manitoba Highways Map (PDF, 8.6 MB, revised June 27, 2018) outlines safety considerations for cyclists and pedestrians on the provincial highway network.

Although steps were taken to ensure the accuracy of this map, not all conditions are reflected. In the case a discrepancy is found, please contact Manitoba 511. Visit Manitoba 511 to identify other conditions that impact cyclists and pedestrians’ safety, such as weather and construction activity

Other Resources

Guidelines for Construction of Recreational Trails (PDF)