Last week in an effort to place Gems on the Pandora Pathway, I decided to bike down Pandora Ave., from Ravenhurst St. to Plessis Rd. This journey was a bit of a struggle, but had its enjoyable moments as bike rides in themselves are great. My trip started off on a nice paved path that weaves around newly planted trees. (Note : I am not sure if this path is meant for bikes or not but I am assuming it is because people bike on it all the time.) This was short lived because as soon as I hit Redonda St the lovely path ends. Now I was forced to make the everlasting choice of people on bikes throughout Winnipeg: do I risk being hit by a car on the road, or look like a pansy on the sidewalk (maybe also a rebel because it’s technically illegal for adults to ride on the sidewalk.) I chose the sidewalk. The sidewalk along Pandora is along the fences of backyards, nestled under trees, and under wires. The first encounter I experienced was with the overgrown trees that I had to continuously duck under. Now I know I am on a bike and really shouldn’t be on a sidewalk, but these were long enough even to bother the pedestrian. On the plus side, when the branches were just right, I felt like I was in a cute faerie forest. Otherwise, It was like I was riding through the Amazon and I forgot my scythe. In addition to the overgrown foliage, further down the path I had to dodge a wire that I think was used to hold up an electrical pole. This was stretched across the sidewalk but was super awkward. I have inserted a picture to the right. I will hope this gets moved or fixed. Maybe it was bent from a storm or something.
The sidewalk then shifts from facing backyards to facing front yards which was much more enjoyable as the trees were pruned. At this point in my monologue I would like to shout out the elderly lady who wished me a good day when I rode past her gardening. You are a lovely soul. I liked this part of my ride because many people were out working on their yards and I felt that community vibe as I was biking. Go Transcona.
Once I made it past the residential stretch, I had to join the Pandora Pathway. This is by the gas stations on Pandora. The funny thing is the Pathway ends/starts at a super weird part. Because it was added to the boulevard it does not line up with any other sidewalk so it just ends/starts at the edge of the driveway to one gas station. Nice. In the picture to the left you can see the sidewalk I am on, the continuing sidewalk by the gas station, and then the awkward Pandora Pathway starting randomly. They should continue this I think down the rest of Pandora Ave. So I now continue my bike adventure down the Pandora Pathway, which goes through Downtown Transcona and passes in front of the CN shops, a major landmark and business in this part of town. The path has two lanes each with an opposite direction and is for pedestrians and active transportation. The lines could use a tune up (bike pun?) as most are faded away , but that is the only thing that I can point out is wrong with the path itself. Remember when I said my purpose of this trip was to place gems? That’s right folks there are now gems on the Pandora Pathway!
So the pathway itself is nice, I give it that. Unfortunately I would deem it relatively useless at this point because it does not connect to much and won’t offer a safe full continuous route for people on bikes or other active transportation to connect to Regent Ave. or Plessis Rd. I would say the only use currently is for recreational biking and running for those who live up and down Pandora. From my counts this is what I have seen most people use the path for. My journey ended with the stop of the Pathway: a weird merge between the path and the sidewalk. You can see this in the picture to the bottom left. The lines just slowly move closer to the sidewalk and the sidewalk juts into the Pathway. I call this the death trap because your biking along and then BAM, the path ends and you are left to your own devices to navigate the intersection and try and join Plessis Rd. or continue on the street down Pandora. The third option is to illegally ride on the sidewalk which is what i would probably do. The end.
Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)
Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.