Saturday, May 12, 2012

How many dangers are designed-in to the Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path?

Did you know that the Cote-Ste-Catherine road/bike path follows a pre-contact native-american trail?

Now you do. And now you will be aware that this very nice bike path has a few things we would like to see improved.

Let's start by saying this is an excellent bike path. Excellent design, location, construction. It just seems that there are a few details they forgot, neglected, or that some members of the city transport department really hate cyclists and cycling related infrastructure and some safety features are being actively prevented.

1 No cycling-path oriented signs. At all. Of any sort.

2) The bike path is cleaned once in spring then again in the next year’s spring. The street beside is cleaned weekly. Apparently bikes can go f*** themselves. Leaves making slippery mess of the bike path in autumn? Not cleaned. Blocked drains making the bike path into a lake? Not fixed. Debris washed into the bike path after a rain? Not cleaned. Weekly cleaning please. Please?  PLEASE?

3) the bike path is used as a parking lot by any and all service vehicles, causing bikes to detour into the race-course that is the car traffic on chemin Cote-Ste-Catherine.

4) When the path was built several intersections were rebuilt in an narrow, no-space-for-bikes, "Bikes? What are bikes? On streets? What? Bikes? On streets? I don't understand the question" design (We are discussing the Laurier and Villeneuve intersections here)

5) Light cycles at several T-intersections actively prevent bikes from crossing safely to the bike path (Laurier and St-Joseph intersections)

6) Construction holes remain unrepaired, dirt and pothole-filled, and unmarked as a danger (not a single orange traffic cone ever) wipe-out traps for several months after the repair is completed (202 it is at the Laurier intersection where this game for cyclists is happening)

7) the Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path stops inexplicably two blocks from Mont Royal avenue, resulting in all sorts of bike rider craziness for those two blocks full of extremely heavy traffic that is often car-driver-as-street-racer style of traffic.  The east end (Villeneuve intersection) receives bonus points for the horizontal deflection that juts out into traffic and forces cyclists into the high speed car lane. Surprise! Aieee!

8) Light cycles with built-in walk signals as part of the traffic light cycle were changed to press-button-to-cross. The problem is that the button is as much as 35 feet from the corner and inaccessible for cyclists to activate (Laurier and St-Joseph intersections)

9) The path is overrun with runners who ignore the wide, good condition sidewalk beside the bike path, and instead run on both sides and the middle of the bike path with and against bicycle traffic, sometimes in pairs or groups completely blocking the safe use of the bike path by cyclists. it is illegal for runners to be on the bike path and there is no enforcement or education to change the situation. Also the runners are often wearing their headphones and are in their own little Ipod heaven and don't hear bicycle bells or other warnings that a bicycle is about the pass them.

10) the steep downhill part of the path has a completely ignored red light at Rockland

11) several residential complex access roads that cross the bike path have no stop signs for the cars exiting the residential complexes to stop, look, and yield the right of way to cyclists legally using the bike path

12) The bike path does not continue to the west and instead takes a big hill climb to an alternative street.

13) the borough of Outremont took the initiative and built the bike path along chemin Cote-Ste-Catherine, but the city of Montreal is against the bike path and did not permit it to continue either east to Mont Royal avenue nor west to avenue Cote-de-Neige or to Decarie blvd.  Why does Ville de Montreal hate cyclists and building safe continuous active-transportation infrastructure?

14) The car traffic speed is 40 km/h. Cars commonly go 60 km/h and frequently 80 km/h on this "sporty road. Slow down the cars with speed indicators and police enforcement.

15) The walk-signal part of the traffic light cycle (either automatic or manually-triggered) are technically illegal to use by bicycle riders. This is completely insane.

16) Red lights and the priority of pedestrians and other users with the right-of-way crossing the intersection and bike path is completely ignored by the majority of cyclists. Would some educational-type signage help? It sure couldn't hurt in the educational effort to get cyclists to realize/learn that there are few road safety laws that need to be obeyed, even by cyclists. 

17) This path is the link that then connects to the northwest of the island (st-Laurent and beyond) via McEacran and Rockland streets in Outremont, to and through Graham in TMR and St-Croix/O'Brian in St-Laurent. Both TMR and Ville-St-Laurent are constructing a safe cycling route along this axis but Outremont completely ignores the fact that Rockland/McEacran streets are THE bike route axis to the northwest side of the island. (OK, not completely ignored, Outremont did remove the No-Bikes sign from the Rockland autoroute-style overpass a couple of years ago)

Ride safe!


At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, good job!


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