Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TMR/Outremont Rockland road Overpass now legal for bicycles

the Rockland road TMR-Outremont overpass, aThe critical bicycle transportation link between south and east Montreal and north and west Montreal, is now legal for bicycles in both directions.

Previously, and for all known history, this overpass had a "No Bicycles" sign on the northbound direction. (They should put signs this big and visible on Prince Arthur pedestrian street where bicycles are banned, and the very discrete "Walk Your Bicycle" graphic signs are both hard to see and hard to interpret, and where police gleefully hand out $34 tickets.)

The safety problem that exists with the northbound lanes of overpass is that at the north end of the overpass the right lane is "Right-Turn-Only" and any bike riding in the far right side of the road can be hit by turning cars. At the north end it is important for bicycles to move into the middle of the road between the two lanes of northbound traffic. And to be aware of what the cars around you are doing, and are intending to do (i.e. defensive driving).

Previously to travel north cyclists were supoosed to use a wildly ill-conceived and impossible-to-do crossing of two opposite-direction traffic lanes without a ped crossing, in order to ride the bicycle on the sidewalk. ALso, there is a sidewalk on only one direction (typical suburban anti-pedestrian planning idiocy). Plus, when you use the sidewalk, at the north end there is the little problem of the end of the overpass: you are supposed to ride off the sidewalk into high-speed oncoming traffic.


My conclusion: this is a positive development for anyone using a bicycle to travel around the city--one of the best ways to travel. "Good Work" to who-ever the nameless bureaucrat who made this happen is.


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