Sunday, August 31, 2008

A couple of new bike paths

A couple of new bike path developments caught my eye.

In the Bellechasse area southeast of Quebec City a new, paved 74 km bike path will be finished later this year (the mayor promises!).

This will add another great day ride to the south of Quebec City, a city that is becoming better than ever for the outdoor-sports funhog.

The other news is that the city of Montreal has decided what places will get 2008's 100 new kilometres of bike path.

  • Cote Sainte-Catherine road between Parc avenue and Copte des Neiges.
  • The zigzag few-block detour in the Rachel street bike path around Papineau will be replaced with a bike path straight along Rachel (eliminating the detour)
  • The cycling network will be extended east to Anjou (it's not clear what path will go east, maybe Rachel or St-Zotique?)
  • The cycling network will be extended west to Lachine (I think this is an extension of the de maisonneuve bike path)
  • Saint Laurent has an extended and improved bike path along Thimens
  • Ile Bizard will receive some new bike path.
  • Rue Viau will receive a bike path between Sherbrooke and boulevard Rosemont. This is a new north-south axis for bicycle travel in Montreal.
  • The city will be changing certain intersections to better accommodate bicycles and cars together and make the flow of the two traffic streams safer.

For more information, both the RouteVerte and the Velo-Quebec websites have excellent information for cycling in Montreal and Quebec. These are the french links, but both have english sides to their website.

For a map of the greater Montreal area's bik epaths, (montral, laval, south shore, and other points in the region, go to this link for the big picture, er, cycling path (piste cyclable) map. (current as of May 2008)

This list is the first 100 km of the promised 400 kilometres in new bike path network improvements in Montreal.

Montrealers are still waiting for the north-south axis for safe bicycle travel parallel to Decarie boulevard and autoroute. And one day, maybe this century, Cavendish will go all the way north to Saint-Laurent.

A this-year improvement has been painting a bike lane on St-Urbain all the way south to the de Maisoneuve bike path. Which I guess we should start calling it the Claire Morrisette bike path, but we are a fan of bike path names (and autoroutes) that have a geographic component in their name, so you know where you are are or where you are going!

This is the first year of use of the the de Maisonneuve/Claire Morrisette bike path since it opened last november on the eve of the snowiest winter the city has ever experienced.Most people believe that it is a huge improvement to the Montreal bicycle travel network.

The ClairePath is busy with both cars and pedestrians. This can be a safety problem, and it exists on many bike paths.

You can avoid or minimize problems with pedestrians by using a loud bicycle bell (Dring!).

The other best-practice is for you the cyclist to SLOW DOWN when you see a pedestrian on or beside the path ahead of you. A pedestrian is like a rattlesnake of the bicycle path, you never know when it is going to suddenly strike, and when it does, it hurts a lot and can send on an ambulance ride (hint: this really isn't a good thing) . Seriously, pedestrians are a serious hazard and a loud bike bell makes a big difference. Most people realize, when they hear the bike bell, that they should get off the path or unblock the intersection when the bike has the green light.

Because it is our experience that most people are decent and have a good sense of civisme.

Getting back to our story... The Laval Courier has an interesting article discussing bike paths in Laval at this link.


At 2:57 PM, Blogger Jean-Fran├žois said...

I've heard on the news that they will (want to) extend the St-Zotique bike path all the way to Anjou.

Only minor changes are planned for Rachel, like eliminating the detour through Parc Lafontaine to reach Parc Maisonneuve.


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