Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Recent Bike Path improvements in Montreal

Lots of rain this week, during my VACATION!

Here are some recent Montreal Bike Path improvements

Bridge to Nuns Island (between Verdun and Nuns Island) - Sidewalk Bike path across river is widened by about two feet, it is now wider and safe for two bicycles meeting each other to pass, I had seen accidents here before, so this is a great improvement for anyone wanting to expand their local bike path repertoire. This bridge connects the mainland (accessible by going south from lachine canal bike path south at atwater OR eastern end of excellent Saint Laurence river bike path of Lasalle/Verdun) at Verdun Canadian Tire store. You can tour Nuns Island or cross Saint laurence on Estacade (ice bridge) just upriver from Champlain bridge and ride beautiful bike path on saint laurence seaway between Pont Jacques Cartier and Saint Catherine Quebec.

Nuns Island traffic circle(s) - traffic circles have well identified and signs identifying priority for pedestrians and cyclists crossing stop-sign-free trafic circles. People actually stop for bikes, well, some people anyway, the nice ones.

Montreal north-south (Plateau Axe-Berri) bike path has improvements at intersection of De Breboeuf and Laurier at Laurier Park to separate pedestian traffic and Bike traffic, a very useful redesign! This separation of feet and bike traffic is needed in many places!

Bike Parking at Bibliotheque Nationale. Additional bike parking has been added in front of building (de maisonneuve entrance). Note: there are lockers inside at the back entrance to hold your coat/helmet etc that you don't want to carry around inside the library, remember to bring your own lock. The Berri Axis bike path goes right past the library. But be careful on bike because the bike path is between the sidewalk anbd the streetside car parking and car people just don't look when crossing the bike path. LOOK OUT!!!

Clark street bike path now connects to Parc Jeanne Mance. This path used to stop mysteriously and frustratingly at Saint Joseph. It now connects via Villeneuve street to Parc Jeanne Mance. Please follow the painted symbols on the street showing which direction of traffic travels on which side of the street. So many people can't figure this out!!! This path follows one-way streets so it is essential to be on the correct side of traffic to ensure a safe flow of traffic. Don't be an idiot! The arrow shows which side to travel on.

A safety tip: For gods sake, don't go down one way streets the wrong way. The next street over is one way in your direction, take the 30 seconds and make life safer for everyone!

Jean Talon Market redesign. With the completion of a permanent pavilion on east side of Marche Jean Talon there is now a large amount of bike parking at every side of market. Remember to lock your bike well. Thieves are here. I saw one get caught! Otherwise, this is a very good market to bring your bike (and backpack) to.

Clark Street bike path - now has redesigned crossings on Bernard street.

Rachel Street bike path bike-stop-lights: The city is removing the Bike-green-lights from this path, they only permitted 15 seconds of bike crossing, and were a major source of conflict between cars and bikes, as well, as you probably know, 94% of bike riders ignored them because well, there's a lot of idiots, and people who are "smarter" than the stop lights. Be careful on this bike path, there are 17,000 possible deadly accident posibilities here with so much car, bikeand foot traffic conflicts, and each one is trying to kill you.

Plateau to McGill through McGill Ghetto: Streets of Milton and Prince Arthur now have one way bike paths. Please don't be an idiot (how many times do I have to say this?) and follow the correct street's path for the direction you are travelling in. This also provides a safer bike path route to get to downtown core than before.

Pine-Park interchange: Coming soon! The completion of the Pine-Parc intersection redesign (from 1960's highway traffic underpass/overpass cloverleaf to urban intersection) will bring with it a connection to the clark street bike path. (it's a separate thing, but Duluth street now offers a safe pedestrian crossing of Parc Avenue to access Parc Mont Royal, before it was blocaded in the interests of public safety and no traffic light.

Recent NO BIKES signs:

-Overpass between Outremont and TMR going north. This one can use the sidewalk on west side to travel north. Reason: right turn only lane at north side of overpass, if you take roadway north, ride in middle of two lane to cross at light. WATCH out for cars doing stupid things. No turn signal does not mean car isn't turning, and also, a car in turning lane doesn't mean it is turning!

-Overpass of Autoroute 40 and Cote Vertu
WHen commuting west on autoroute 40 and taking cote vertu west to go, for instance, to Canadair or Air Canada or CAE or Autoroute Cote de Liesse westbound, there is a new no bikes sign when entering merge to access overpass. OK, it is tricky to enter traffic and smoothly and safely cross the overpass, because it is designed for cars to travel at high speed but bikes have right to use the overpass also, but as with bureaucracy everywhere, prohibiting something completely solves the problem right? Wrong. SO be careful when crossing the overpass and merging with cars. REMEMBER ALWAYS YIELD to the cars, don't die!!!!

Do you have any news about bike path improvements or any "NO BIKES" signs? email me or leave a comment.

Ride safe!


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