Friday, September 15, 2006

Montreal City bike maps - latest changes

Do you want a Montreal area bike map with the latest changes and improvements?

Do you want to use your bike to go somewhere (instead of using your car), and want an up-to-date map of bike paths in Montreal, so you can choose the safest and most bike-friendly route?

A new school season has started and thousands of students are biking from their homes to school, shouldn't they expect that the city and the number one bicycle lobby group in the city and province would want them to have the map information to help them take as safe a route to school as possible?

Do you think one of the great advantages of the internet is the speed and ease and cheapness of publishing updated information? The speed of information on the internet is amazing. This is especially true when compared to the traditional publishing method where printing a new and updated edition of a map took lots of money and so it was done infrequently.

Unfortunately, all these reasonable expectations aren't evident in Montreal. The city's official bike map is from 2004. Click here to go to Ville de Montreal's map webpage. It's a good map and a good website, but the info is just a bit old.

Hello? Anybody home? Wakey Wakey!!!

Let's try Velo Quebec.

It's the same map here. Out of date. Click here for Velo Quebec's map page for Montreal. It's a great webpage, it's just that the bike path network has expanded since the map displayed here was published.

I accept that the changes to the real-world bike path network were just done in summer 2006 and the city and Velo Quebec are probably working on the new map. But I don't accept that it would take months and months (and months) to get an updated map up on the web.

Does anyone work at internet speed in either of these two bureaucracies? It's called getting up off your duff and putting a morning's work into getting the new maps on the web.

Wouldn't ville de Montreal want to bask in the glow of good press from publicising these new transportation alternatives? Don't forget that replacing a car trip with a bike trip reduces downtown gridlock, cuts pollution including local smog and greenhouse gas emissions, and even causes healthier citizens.

Anyway, maybe La Presse will print up an article soon with a new map. It's a great paper and has excellent local coverage. It was there that I read about the summer's new bike path activity of the city after years and years of delay.

There have been a lot of very good changes, improvements, and expansions of the bike path network. It shouldn't be up to bloggers like moi to publicise this news to the world. The city actually employs P.R. people after all, entire hordes of them.

Beyond my desire for having the latest info in the online bike maps, there's the issue of giving all citizens information (i.e. motivation) about the city bike path network.

Every montreal address should receive a Montreal island bike map in their mail box every year. This map should have the "rules of the road" and other safety and bike operation information printed on the back. Every school child should get one on the first day of school.

Every child should have bike safety education as part of his gym class. (And wheelie lessons too!)

But thats a different blog story for the future.


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