Friday, November 09, 2007

How to ride a bike in Montreal

St-Urbain's excellent "bike lane on street"

You have several options to ride your bike in Montreal.

You can ride on a a bike path, you can use a bike lane on a road, you can ride on the streets on the side or middle of a lane. You can ride on the sidewalk, which you really shouldn't do.

The very new piste cyclable avenue de Parc avenue bike path. New sidewalk too!

This two-block long bike path has very high bike traffic. It is important to separate foot and bicycle traffic in high use areas. The new design of this path and sidewalk combo separates the walkers and the bike riders.

Parc avenue bike path - watch out for cars when crossing Duluth.

I saw a three-car accident here when taking pictures! THUMP! Be careful out there people.

The rebuilt Parc/Pine (pins) intersection, with new bike path.

This bike path path was not shown on the project's original 2005 architectural model and project-launch publicity photos. It meets the unmarked Hutchinson in the Mcgill ghetto, which is narrow one way uphill towards this path. One and two blocks further are the east-west "bike lane on street " paths on prince arthur and milton. These paths start and go east from Mcgill University campus.

The Main - St-Laurent blvd's year-long rebuilding in progress and in the final stages.

Notice the bikes (plural!) on the sidewalk.

Although the new bike path on avenue de Parc is parallel to St-laurent, it is not designed to permit bike access from avenue de Pins, only from Rachel. People arriving on avenue de parc from the avenue des Pins east (i.e. from the popular Plateau direction) will have to hop on to the sidewalk and ride (illegally) with slower foot traffic. Cyclists do this to avoid cars and ride safer. It's logical. I suggest that it would be a small-effort bit a major safety improvement to extend the avenue de parc bike path to the most east point on the open park area of the pine parc intersection.

While we are at it, how about making it continue up parc avenue for more than just two blocks? This path goes along the edge of exactly half of the 4-block long parc jeanne mance. Hello ville de montreal!

This photo shows cyclist on avenue de Parc bike path

Look closely, there is also a cyclist on the sidewalk that originates from avenue des Pins east. This proves my point about cyclists will use the sidewalk, Montreal needs to build a bike path link here.

The sidewalk cyclist was much quicker than the bike path cyclist I was following!

St-Urbain "bike lane on street" is one-way express to downtown,

In this picture rue Duluth is the street straight ahead. Duluth is an amazing easy downhill ride all the way through the plateau. It finishes at Lafontaine park, which is also a great place to visit (hint: the two lakes).

Rachel bike path's west-starting point (at parc avenue).

This path as it goes downhill through Jeanne-Mance park has been changed at the football field section. Notice the well-marked three-lane design. This new-generation of Montreal bike paths are designed to meet modern bike path safety standards.

Do they always make sense? That's for you to decide.


At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If ever I see pedestrians walking single file on those 3-lane paths to let me pass, I'll fall off my bike from disbelief. p

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legally, if a bike path is available on the street that you are riding on you have to use it.
The bike lane on Park stops at the top of the mountain. Coming from Downtown, if you continue down Park past the Rachel turn off you are risking a fine for riding on the sidewalk.
Also, if you are coming from the other direction, be aware that bus drivers seem to think that the bike lane starts at Mount Royal. It doesn't, but that won't stop them from honking at you.


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