Friday, April 22, 2011

Vélo-Quebec says fix the broken bike paths

Gouin boulevard bike path - occasional short sections are new and improved

Gouin boulevard bike path: normal unimproved version - and this wasn't the worst section

Montreal has many different generations of bike paths. Some paths are new, some paths are old, and some are in-between. What many old paths share are sections of bike path that are wildly unsafe and completely inadequate.

Velo-Quebec to the rescue!

Crappy google translation of the news article:

Sections of unsafe Bike Path need replacing says Vélo-Quebec

MONTREAL - Even if the network of bike paths in Montreal is rated as "generally safe" Vélo-Québec believes that "many sections are totally inadequate and should be redone.

The CEO of the Vélo-Quebec, Suzanne Lareau, made this statement Thursday, just 48 hours after the death of a young skateboarder hit by a bus while riding on the bike path, Rachel, in the Borough of Plateau Mont-Royal.

Lareau cites the north-south section of Berri Street between St. Antoine and Viger, Notre-Dame street, in Montreal's east end, and the Boulevard Gouin, in the far north.

"Cyclists are often used on sidewalks with pedestrians. On the bike path on Gouin Boulevard, there are even telephone booths in the middle, "she said.

More bikes, fewer accidents

However, Mrs. Lareau was glad to see that over the past 20 years, the number of cyclists has increased while the number of accidents has decreased.

"Apart from the slight decrease in children, cycling is increasing, while the accidents are down. It is also proved that more bicycle traffic increases, the less accidents because motorists must slow down, "she said.

Safety a Priority

City of Montreal spokeswoman Renee Pageau provides that "the primary objective is the safety of cyclists."

"Our cycling meet standards and are safe. We have implemented a security program and have improved intersections every year, we conduct the rehabilitation of about fifty "problematic" intersections, "she said, recalling that the City of Montreal wants to reduce the number of accidents by 40% by 2020.

"The incident this week will surely trigger a verification process," said Mrs. Pageau.

All hypotheses are being considered for improvement. One of them might be to prohibit parking along the medians located between bike paths and lanes, as parked cars block the view to road users.

It would also be possible to reconfigure some tracks to ensure the safety of all. According to one survey, 54% of Quebecers are cycling at least once a week.

Strangely, we took the Gouin boulevard and Notre Dame east bike paths yesterday in an early-spring ride out to the east end and Point aux Prairies nature park. And we noticed these deficiencies!

Tour de l'East End... or Tour of broken bike paths? Both!

Montreal has bike path along the complete perimeter of the island. Today we checked out the east end. The highlight was certainly the parc nature de Pointe aux Prairies as well as the excellent river views and many parks on the St-Laurence and Riviere des Prairies rivers.

On the plus side, the new (soon to open) A25 toll bridge has a bike path/sidewalk.


At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The east end loop is not the best bike path in the world and the frequent go around doesn't help. I've noticed they spent some money to build "pit stop" locations along the Lachine Canal path, which as already awesome, they could have easily spent that to repave the Gouin stretch or paint some damn lines.

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Velo-Quebec to the rescue!"


Our paths have sucked for years. If VQ were an organization that fought for cyclists, we wouldn't be in this predicament. In reality, VQ is mostly in the cyclotourism business (which is just fine, and their right of course). We need a real lobby group.

Contrast with, say,

At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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