100,000 Bixi users in 2009
L'actualité magazine reports that there have been 100,000 users of the Bixi in this first year of operation.
Now, if all 100,000 of these Bixi users had bought their own bike... But we digress.
Read the article here.
Cycling inside and outside Montreal.
L'actualité magazine reports that there have been 100,000 users of the Bixi in this first year of operation.
We are heading down to the Parc Mont Megantic area this weekend to explore Mont Gosford. Gosford is the highest summit in southern quebec, and has both hiking and biking trails.
Ther autumn is when nature dresses up the trees. Get up and leave the city tomorrow. Go north, east, west, or south, it doesn't matter. Just go. Cross a bridge (or two) and get some fresh air.
There's a new bike map in town, pardners, pedalmontreal.ca. It shows bike paths and bixi stations in a google-maps sourced map engine.
Hunting Season Trail closure dates
from 26 September to 9 October
from 31 October to 15 November
from October 10 to October 30
after 16 November
The gazette's Michelle Lalonde wrote a great piece about Montreal's urban cycling revolution. She said to stop shouting at one another and gave several really practical tips so everyone can sahare the roads safely, both car drivers and bicyclists have to give a little and do a few things for safety's sake.
Do your share in cycling revolution
Montreal is experiencing a cycling revolution - a "vélo-rution" if you will - and no revolution is easy.
Nobody has any overall numbers yet, but it is clear to anyone who travels Montreal's streets on a regular basis that the number of cyclists in this city has shot up over the past couple of years.
First, the city's recent efforts to add more bicycle infrastructure (bike paths, painted lanes, bikeways, bike stands, etc.) has obviously persuaded a lot of Montrealers to give cycling a try. Second, the city's new short-term bicycle rental service, Bixi, has attracted 10,000 members and 98,000 casual users since it hit the streets last May.
The city of Montreal has automatic bicycle counters at five different points in the city. While they can't give the overall picture, these counters can give us a hint at what's happening. For example, a daily average of 3,186 cyclists used the Berri St. bike path between Ontario St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd. over a 42-day period in the summer of 2008. This past summer, over the same 42-day period, the daily average at that spot was 4,129. That is an increase of 30 per cent.
Yet, instead of celebrating the fact that more Montrealers are choosing a healthy, non-polluting mode of transportation, a steady backlash seems to be growing among car drivers who resent the intrusion into what they consider their space.
The horrific incident in Toronto last month that left one bike courier dead and a former Ontario attorney-general facing criminal charges has pushed the issue of conflicts between cyclists and motorists to the fore in that city and beyond. While nothing so headline-grabbing has occurred (yet) in Montreal, recent public debate here seems to focus on the irresponsible behaviour of many cyclists.
My theory on this issue is that there are idiots in about equal measure among motorists and cyclists. But as the numbers of both cyclists and cars on Montreal's streets keep going up, it's clear that everybody has to get smart about sharing the road.
Vélo Québec's director Suzanne Lareau said this fall is a good time for drivers and cyclists to get a grip on the new reality.
"Everybody is noticing the increase in cyclists... and there is frustration among drivers because the city is becoming congested with more and more cars. When you are stuck in traffic all the time, you tend to burn red lights and you get mad when you have to slow down for cyclists."
The long-term solutions to these problems have to come from politicians, she said. We need better public transit to entice people out of their cars. We need changes in traffic laws, public policy and city planning to discourage unnecessary car travel and favour public transit, car pooling and active transportation (i.e. walking and cycling).
But the short-term adjustments will have to come from cyclists and drivers themselves. Here are some tips from Lareau to help drivers and cyclists avoid conflicts and collisions.
Tips for drivers
- Change your attitude and give cyclists rroom. Cyclists have a right to their space on the streets. Think of each cyclist as one less car on the road and be glad they are there. Slow down to pass and wait until you can do so without getting too close. "Some drivers are in their bubble and just don't realize how close they come. It's really infuriating when a car brushes you, and puts your life at risk."
- Look before you open that door. It is thhe driver's legal responsibility to make sure the coast is clear before opening a door into the roadway. Always assume a cyclist is coming along. Proceed with caution.
- Slow down. Driving in a densely populateed city is tricky. Assume there will be cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers, all going too fast and doing stupid things. Speeding can lead to a collision, which will not only slow you down, it could scar you for life.
Tips for cyclists
- No speed training in the city. "If you aare cycling at 30 kilometres an hour, you won't have time to stop when pedestrians, cars or other cyclists do something unpredictable. Keep speed to 15 to 20 kilometres, maximum."
- Stay about a metre from parked cars. A ccar door opening suddenly can be deadly. Ride about a metre from those doors, even if it means you are closer to moving traffic. Cars can see you better if you are not weaving in and out between parked cars, and will pass you when it's safe to do so.
- Get lights - white in front, red in backk. "It's fall. It gets dark earlier. Only about 15 per cent of cyclists in Montreal use lights. I think this is aberrant," Lareau said. A third of cycling accidents happen at night, even though only about 2 per cent of all cycling happens at night. You can buy lights for under $5.
- Position your bike in front of cars at iintersections. At stop lights, don't sit beside or behind a car if you are going straight. A driver may turn right into you, without seeing you. Cyclists should pull right up slightly in front of the car, staying to the right, so the driver has to let you go before turning. Make eye contact with drivers at intersections before proceeding.
- Follow the arrows on those bike lanes annd bikeways. Many new bike paths and bikeways in Montreal have arrows painted on the roadway. If you aren't going in that direction, get off the route and find one going in the right direction. Don't crowd out your fellow cyclists, putting everyone in danger.
- Stop at red lights. It may be unrealistiic to expect all cyclists to make full stops at every stop sign on quiet streets, but red lights are non-negotiable. Traffic lights are generally placed at busy intersections. As for stop signs, Lareau said, cyclists need to use common sense and be polite. Slow down, look both ways, and if there is nothing coming, proceed. If a car, or another cyclist, gets to a four-way stop before you, stop and let them proceed.
- Stay away from buses and trucks. "These large vehicles have huge blind spots," Lareau said. Stop behind them at intersections, not beside them. If they turn right unexpectedly, you can be crushed without the driver noticing a thing.
It's time to get some lights on your bike.
Montreal has 533 km of bike paths, and the region (laval, south shore, monreal, north shore have hundreds more. But we don't have an up-to-date regional (and online) map.
Montreal has 533 kilometres of bike path, said Mayor Tremblay this morning on the radio.
September mornings mean a gradual reappearance of our cool-weather cycling apparel collection.
Sunshine means one thing, you should be outside riding your bike.
We learned a long time ago that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn't true. The lottery and promises made by politicians during elections are two good examples.
La Press has learned that the City has allocated two million dollars to remove a good portion of the highway on Mount Royal.
Within a few months, traffic will be prohibited on two lanes that connect Côte-des-Neiges to the top of the mountain, the section passing by Beaver Lake. (chemin Remembrance road)
The closed lanes will be completely dedicated to bicycles and pedestrians.
Motorists up and down and will share the remaining leg, that is to say, the side that runs along the cemetery.
We will shrink the automobile's part of the road from four to two lanes.
That's some translation, courtesy google translator robot.No news on what will be done to reduce the rush hour traffic across the mountain, which is supposed to be a park, not an autoroute. One option is to stop the cross-mountain traffic, cars on the east could come and go on the east side only, and cars from the west could come and go on the west side only. We support this idea.
Yes, it is time to think about your 2010 goals, some of which may require spending some time in the gym this winter.
Velo Quebec offers two safety tips. PAY ATTENTION.
Conseils de Vélo Québec pour un automne en sécurité
Vélo Québec tient à rappeler quelques conseils de sécurité pertinents en cette période automnale qui suit la rentrée scolaire.
"Jusqu'à la fin novembre, il y a beaucoup de cyclistes qui sillonnent les rues, rappelle Suzanne Lareau, présidente-directrice générale de Vélo Québec. C'est pourquoi nous souhaitons rappeler aux cyclistes deux conseils de sécurité."
La nuit tombe vite. Vite un éclairage actif !
À l'automne, il est très fréquent que les cyclistes se fassent surprendre par la noirceur. Il est obligatoire, et surtout plein de bon sens, de posséder un éclairage actif sur la bicyclette, soit un feu blanc à l'avant et un feu rouge à l'arrière. Au Québec, seulement 15 % des cyclistes roulent avec un éclairage actif le soir.
Les accidents survenus en soirée sont surreprésentés : 29 % des accidents de vélo ont lieu le soir, alors que cette période de la journée représente seulement 2 % des kilomètres parcourus. "Lorsqu'on sait qu'un jeu de lumière ne coûte que quelques dollars, pourquoi des cyclistes prennent-ils autant de risques ?", se questionne Suzanne Lareau.
Il y a une direction à respecter sur les bandes cyclables
Les bandes cyclables ont fait leur apparition il y a quelques années dans les rues de Montréal. La bande cyclable est une voie réservée aux cyclistes, aménagée à même la chaussée. Elle se distingue de la piste cyclable du fait qu'elle n'est pas séparée physiquement de la circulation automobile. Elle se démarque des autres voies par des éléments visuels : symboles (pictogramme vélo, losange de voie réservée et flèche) et ligne de séparation ou revêtement de couleur différente. La bande cyclable est toujours unidirectionnelle.
"Trop souvent, il nous arrive de rencontrer des cyclistes qui circulent en sens inverse de la direction donnée par les flèches, indique Suzanne Lareau, ce qui représente un danger pour les deux usagers qui se rencontrent. Or, ce qu'il faut retenir, c'est que sur une bande cyclable, on suit la direction indiquée par les flèches, tout simplement !"
Visitez la page Sécurité à vélo sur le site www.velo.qc.ca
Use lights when riding at night. Otherwise you are invisible, which is not a good thing. When the car driver says "I didn't see the cyclist..." is this how you want to die?
There is a direction to Bike Lanes that you MUST respect. Look at the arrows painted on the ground. That is the direction you must be riding in. Yes, you must obey the painted direction. There is no "I'll think about it." option going on here. The rest of us thank you for noticing.