Darin Kinniewess, Not Forgotten
Darin Leon Kinniewess died almost two weeks ago while riding his bike in the Pleasant Hill neighbourhood. According to news reports he was struck by a vehicle at the corner of 19th Street W and Avenue P South on the evening of Wednesday, September 6. He succumbed to his injuries early the next morning. Police are investigating, but these meagre details are all we currently know about the tragedy.
Since his death, we’ve learned more about Darin, the person. His sister Erica, as reported by CBC News, “said Darin was great with his children, was always helpful, loved being outside and biking, and was very funny. She said many people will miss him.”
“‘He was a whole lot of shy. But man, when you got to know him … he was there for you,’ she said.”
Our city has not forgotten about Darin. Saskatoon Cycles and other members of the community have reached out to the family for their consent and support to honour Darin in different ways, while recognizing that not all families desire large public reminders of their loss. The media have not forgotten, and the issue of cycling safety remains rightfully in the spotlight as the community still reels from the death of Natasha Fox less than four months ago, on May 24th. (see links below) And of course all of Darin’s family, friends, and loved ones will not have forgotten him; his death creates an emptiness in their circles that is gone forever.
We believe that no matter the circumstances in this tragedy, it is long past time for the City of Saskatoon to implement changes to improve safety for its more vulnerable, active transportation road users. Everyone knows that not every traffic death is preventable, but a responsible city implements infrastructure changes that can reduce the likely harm that stems from problematic design. And yet, as Phil Tank of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix wrote on Sept. 12:
“… every time safety for cyclists in Saskatoon is raised, the cost outweighs all other considerations for some, and the issue is portrayed as some kind of critical battle in a culture war.”
To the City of Saskatoon’s credit, one intersection at Avenue P and 19th St. W does have a lighted crosswalk, showing an earnest attempt to improve safety. However, the system offers no indication (sight or sound) to the user that it’s actually working, and the street sightlines, especially when impaired by parked vehicles, are poor to say the least.
One block to the south, the City of Saskatoon is completing another section of the brilliant West-Central Multi-Use Corridor that will connect a good portion of the Pleasant Hill area to Idylwyld Drive. It’s an excellent example of one type of infrastructure that can be blended into a cohesive network of safer paths that can keep both active transportation users and motorists happily co-existing without mishap.
The question is, will the city prioritise more of this type of infrastructure, and keep connecting neighbourhoods in a way that offers users a safer choice in their route? As Mr. Tank continued:
“The voices of those who value human life need to be louder than the grumpy folks and political opportunists who oppose bike lanes.”
Let us all honour Natasha and Darin by being those louder voices.
Nuit Blanche Glow Roll – Saturday, Sept. 23
It’s back for a third year in a row… Nuit Blanche Saskatoon’s popular Glow Roll!
We’re thrilled to team up with Nuit Blanche to lead a Glow Roll through the entire NBYXE festival. Light up your bike, make some new friends, cycle the streets of Saskatoon safely, and experience all the installations and performances that Nuit Blanche Saskatoon has to offer.
Many of the festival’s streets are closed to vehicle traffic, making our cycling route even safer this year.
The Glow Roll is free to join, and all are welcome!
The NBYXE + Saskatoon Cycles Glow Roll schedule:
- Gather at St. John’s Cathedral, 816 Spadina Crescent East.
- 6:30PM – arrive if you want to adorn your bike with some spoke lights (for sale on site) or other festive lighting and colors. BE A PART OF THE ART!!!
- 7:00PM – welcome announcement and route overview.
- 7:15 – *prompt* departure for tour!
Want to cycle NBYXE, with or without the GLOW? Download the recommended cycling route here.
*Please wear a helmet and bright/ reflective clothing.
*Bring a lock; some exhibits will require you to leave your bike.
*Cyclists must abide by all traffic laws.
Ride For Refuge – Saturday, Sept. 23
This year’s fundraising for Global Gathering Place is getting close to its goal. Help us help out this very helpful organization by contributing to our cycling team here. All donations over $20 receive a tax receipt through the Ride For Refuge campaign.
We’re also looking for a few good folks to help staff the Bike Valet for the Ride. If this sounds like a volunteer job for you, please see the list below.
Bike Valet: Mission Almost Accomplished!
Our 2023 Bike Valet season has almost come to an end, and it’s been a great year: thousands of bikes parked, dozens of enthusiastic volunteer valets, and lots of good memories (and yes, that includes a windy, rainy Canada Day!). Only two more venues remain, and we’d love to have you take a shift to help us close things out with a bang.
- Ride for Refuge – Saturday, September 23, 2023
- Cameco’s Step Up for Mental Health – Sunday, September 24, 2023
Remember, every volunteer this year gets one of our exclusive blue Bike Valet T-shirts, and you want one; they’re super comfy and stylish. If you haven’t grabbed a shift yet this year, this weekend is your last best chance. Click on one of the above links and come park some bikes for us.
Third Annual Cathy Watts Memorial Slow Roll
Thanks to everyone who gathered on Friday, September 8, 2023 to honour the late Cathy Watts, a long time cycling and walking advocate, quiltmaker, grandmother, community organizer, and past co-chair of Saskatoon Cycles.
If you couldn’t make it out, let our short, highly edited video (above) give you a taste of the night.
Our group of dozens toured a number of public art installations and learned about the artists, the meaning behind the works, and how the pieces fit into the local landscape. We like to think Cathy would have been pleased with the itinerary, which started at the pocket park by d’Lish by Tish Cafe.
Thanks to everyone who participated, with special appreciation to the tour organizer and guide, Erin.
Help Us Find The Gaps! Still!
Last month we asked you to help us with “The Gap Finding Project”, our project to identify missing or broken links in existing active transportation infrastructure in Saskatoon. The response was encouraging, so we’re again seeking community input to better understand and identify:
- what obstructions you currently see on your active travels
- what infrastructure improvements would increase your likelihood or duration of active travel
- where current infrastructure encourages active travel
- where to prioritize improvements
Our end goal is to influence the city toward building, expanding, repairing, and/or better maintaining a fully interconnected active travel network for all citizens to enjoy, one that actually supports the city’s stated goals of:
- MORE walking and cycling
- SAFER walking and cycling
- More PLACES for walking and cycling
- Build a CULTURE for active transportation
- ENCOURAGE other forms of active transportation
We’ve created a form for interested participants to submit their suggested “gaps”, which can be accessed by clicking on this GAP FINDING SURVEY.
We would love to have you, and any other interested contacts you might know, contribute to this database. Please provide as much information as possible for each submission, and please submit as many suggestions as you feel you can.
Your donations give us the resources to press toward a Saskatoon where cycling is a viable, year-round mode of transportation that is safe, convenient, and comfortable for all ages.
We want your kids and their grandma to simply hop on their bikes to go grab an ice cream and enjoy the beauty of Saskatoon. For you or your partner to pick up groceries or a library book. And we really want you to be able to commute to work and back safely and conveniently.
Your donation helps us work on these three ‘pillars’ of cycling development for Saskatoon:
- Infrastructure – A safe, convenient, comfortable and well maintained cycling network throughout the city that allows cyclists to go from every neighbourhood to key destinations
- Ridership – Educate, encourage, and promote cycling so more people choose bicycles as a convenient and safe transportation option year round.
- Culture – Educate, encourage, and promote diversity in ridership with respectful inclusion of all modes of transportation.