Thursday, August 24, 2006

New North-South Bike Path Across the Plateau Mont Royal


South direction: St-Urbain south from Laurier Avenue to Sherbrooke street.
North: rue Clark from Rachel to Villeneuve (this is where southbound cyclists on Clark turn west to go south on St-Urbain or Esplanade, or where the IDIOTS just head the wrong way down Clark -it's a one-way street north - when are we going to see some cops on bikes educating these people????)

Anyway, the good news is that you (yes, YOU) can now ride your bike north and south on Saint Urbain and Clark across the Plateau Mont Royal to Sherbrooke street. What’s new about that?

What's new is that now there’s a new bike lane painted on the road. Yes, our own bike lane to ride in. We now own a piece of the road. This is much more "EXPRESS" than the typical bike path in Montreal. To head north take Clark: there are just bike symbols and directional arrows painted on street on Clark Street(not a painted lane), Clark is one block west of St-Laurent.

This is very good news. Especially for anyone commuting from anywhere further north, because now you can get directly across the Plateau to downtown. And do it much more safely. The other bike path further east is slower and less direct.

This another early step by Ville de Montreal in integrating bike lanes on major roads. We should see lots of this in the future. These bike lanes were just painted on the road this week. Lots of cyclists are already using it. The Clark one os more hidden, so I hope we see some publicity/education about these paths. Especially about not going the wrong way on these one way bike paths.

This bike lane connects the Clark Street bike path in Mile end, the Rachel street bike path, and the Milton/Prince Arthur (McGill Ghetto) one-way bike paths.

Room for improvement: There’s one little problem. When they painted the new bike lanes on St-Urbain, they used a machine that grinds off the old painted lane marks. This machine left a one-inch-deep and one-foot-wide trench in the middle of the bike lane! This will be hugely dangerous when rain and snow and ice create slippery conditions in the autumn and winter. Oops.

Summary: a great new addition to "bicycling as transportation" in Montreal.

Connections to other bike paths:

The bike lane actually stops at Milton, which is one block north of Sherbrooke. Milton has a west bound one way bike path to McGill. This gets you to central downtown. to head eastbound you use the street one block north of Milton (i.e. before Milton) which is Prince Arthur. These are the two-direction one-way bike paths that connect the plateau and McGill University campus through the McGill Ghetto.

If you continue south on on Saint Urbain, you get to Sherbrooke street, beyond that you arrive at Place des Arts and a short ride to anywhere! Going a bit further you can turn left (east) on Rene Levesque to get you to the Berri bike path that is a major north south bike path axis. North to Plateau, south to old Montreal, parc Drapeau, and the Lachine canal). At Berri you can also go east on Rene Levesque on a bike path that starts at Berri. This goes to the east end of the island (50km, or continue to Quebec city and the Gaspe) or from here you can take Pont Jacques Cartier if you turn north at Dorion to get to the sidewalk bike path across the the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge.

Thanks to Gerry at for the scoop that the lines were painted.


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