Saturday, November 24, 2007

Montreal's Winter Bike Paths

The Rachel bike path - Closed for the winter

Berri bike path, plowed, but icy enough to skate on!

Winter bike parking at the Grande Bibliotheque

Looking downtown on St-Urbain bike lane - where's the bike lane?

There's been a big hullabaloo about Montreal keeping some bike paths open all winter long.

Since winter arrived this week (a bit ahead of schedule), we decided to take a tour of some bike paths to see how things are going with this new cycling objective.

Our basic ride was from starting point Parc/St-Joseph. We rode down St-Urbain to chinatown. Then up St Laurent to de Maisonneuve. On de Maisonneuve we rode the "new downtown path " over to the Grande Bibliotheque superlibrary at the corner of Berri. Then it was north on the Berri Path to Roy and on streets north to St-Joseph again, with a final zig-zag to Le Fromentier for some bread and cheese for supper.

Then it was back west on St-Joseph to our starting point.

The bike paths we took were:
St-Urbain on-street bike lane (south)
De Maisonneuve downtown bike path east, from St-Laurent to Berri
Berri Bike path north to Cherrier
by-passed the closed and snowy Rachel street bike path
The best on-street choices are the wide streets, like St-Joseph and St-Hubert.

The St-Urbain on-street bike lane south was COMPLETELY USELESS. Icy, slushy, and full of parked cars.

In WInter many cars parked far, far away from the curb, seriously cutting into the side-of-the-road used by bikes. This is a allegedly a ticketable parking violation, but one that Montreal NEVER ENFORCES.

The de Maisonneuve bike path was either icy or hyper salted:

These pedestrians think the de Maisonneuve bike path is the sidewalk

The Berri bike path is plowed, sometimes-salted on the hill only, full of street-cleaning debris.

The flat part of the Berri bike path was "plowed" but extremely super-icy. Notice the piles of snow at intersections!


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