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new bike path in Downtown Montreal

Old 05-01-07, 11:41 AM
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GreenGrasshoppr
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new bike path in Downtown Montreal

https://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/st...nbikepath.html

Montreal adds new downtown bike path

The City of Montreal is going ahead with plans for a new bicycle path that will connect Westmount to the downtown's east side.

The $3.5 million, four-kilometre route will run parallel to De Maisonneuve Boulevard between Greene Avenue and Berri Street.

The city will erect a cement barrier to separate motorists and cyclists along the path.

Mayor Gérald Tremblay said he hopes both parties will adjust to each other.

"We have to make sure that the motorists understand that they're not alone anymore, and the cyclists have to understand there are rules and bylaws that have to be respected," he said on Monday.

Construction work on the path will start in the summer and should be finished by October.
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Old 05-01-07, 11:46 AM
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Bravo! I'm originally from Montreal. I'm going back there this summer with my eBike. And maybe even my Tadpole trike if I buy one before then.

I'd love to take a tadpole for a ride on the Lachine trail and the old port.
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Old 05-01-07, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr
https://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/st...nbikepath.html

Montreal adds new downtown bike path

The City of Montreal is going ahead with plans for a new bicycle path that will connect Westmount to the downtown's east side.

The $3.5 million, four-kilometre route will run parallel to De Maisonneuve Boulevard between Greene Avenue and Berri Street.

The city will erect a cement barrier to separate motorists and cyclists along the path.

Mayor Gérald Tremblay said he hopes both parties will adjust to each other.

"We have to make sure that the motorists understand that they're not alone anymore, and the cyclists have to understand there are rules and bylaws that have to be respected," he said on Monday.

Construction work on the path will start in the summer and should be finished by October.
It wasn't easy, but I coaxed Google maps to show the route between Green Avenue and Berri Street along De Maisonneuve Boulevard.

Here is the hybrid view that shows satellite image as well as streets.

I count about 40 intersections with streets along this stretch. I wonder how they're going to manage those, not to mention the intersections with alleys and driveways.
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Old 05-01-07, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I count about 40 intersections with streets along this stretch. I wonder how they're going to manage those, not to mention the intersections with alleys and driveways.
Don't rain on the parade! There will just be a lot of stopping and waiting for cross traffic...
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Old 05-01-07, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
Don't rain on the parade! There will just be a lot of stopping and waiting for cross traffic...
And running over of cyclists.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:23 AM
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More details published today, in the Montreal Gazette
https://www.canada.com/montrealgazett...2-f08d8925862a
At last - cyclists will get their way

The Gazette
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's too bad the city of Montreal couldn't have decided to build the downtown link in the bike-path network in time for summer, but 25 years after cyclists first began lobbying for a safe route through the downtown area, who's going to quibble over a few months?

There's no question the $3.7-million, four-kilometre path the Tremblay administration announced this week will make life safer and easier for the 7,000 commuters who ride their bikes to work downtown when it finally opens in the fall.

For years, the proposed four-kilometre stretch has been the missing link between the West Island and the east end. Safe cycling ended in the west end at Greene Ave. in Westmount and in the east, at Berri St. near the Grande Bibliotheque.

The Tremblay government first promised in 2005 to make cycling in the downtown area safe. Cyclists held their breath, hoping for the best. Safety has not been something cyclists in Montreal could count on. Last year, about about 50 cyclists were killed in accidents in the city, with another 12,000 or so injured.

But the plan for the downtown bike path gives every sign of taking safety seriously. The two-way path along de Maisonneuve Blvd. will be separated from car traffic by concrete walls and in the summer, containers of flowers. New traffic lights will be set up at each of the 30 intersections the path will cross. Bicycle symbols will be painted on the road, warning drivers crossing north or south that cyclists could be approaching from either direction.

Surveys of Montrealers have shown if there was a safe way to commute into the downtown area by bicycle, the number of cyclists would balloon from the current 7,000 to as many as 150,000. Cleaner air, less congestion and a fitter population are a few of the benefits that would flow from increasing the number of Montreal's cyclists.

Montreal will remove 200 parking places along de Maisonneuve Blvd. to make way for the bike path, but that is a small price to pay. Downtown business owners are are not expected to complain about the loss of parking spaces, the city said. There is, after all, plenty of underground parking.

The long delay in creating a downtown bike path has been ascribed to an old-fashioned mindset in the city's traffic department. In an interview with The Gazette's Michelle Lalonde, Suzanne Lareau of Velo Quebec, Montreal's main cycling advocacy group, said city traffic engineers and urban planners are trained to focus on motorized traffic flow and see anything that slows cars and trucks as a negative.

"Other cities have turned the corner to the point where every time they redesign or repave a street they have to look at how it will affect pedestrians and cyclists," Lareau said.

Amsterdam's officials have a completely different attitude. Collisions between cyclists and cars are assumed to be the motorist's fault. The city also carries out kilometre-by-kilometre surveys of places where traffic accidents occur so traffic-flow flaws can be corrected. Most important, Amsterdam officials say, is cutting back on cars.

Well, one battle at a time.
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Old 05-02-07, 10:08 AM
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Yay! Urban sidepaths rock!
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Old 05-02-07, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr
There's no question the $3.7-million, four-kilometre path the Tremblay administration announced this week will make life safer and easier for the 7,000 commuters who ride their bikes to work downtown when it finally opens in the fall.
There's no question a 4km sidepath with about 10 major intersections per km (that's a major intersection every 100 meters) will make life safer and easier for bike commuters???

Of course there's a question! How does funneling any portion of through traffic separately and to the right of right turning traffic at intersections make anything safer for anyone?
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Old 05-02-07, 12:29 PM
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So this thing is essentially a sidewalk for cyclists?
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Old 05-02-07, 12:30 PM
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A bike route alongside Rene-Levesque would be a lot better, because the crossing traffic is concentrated on a few streets rather than being spread out over 30 or more.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
A bike route alongside Rene-Levesque would be a lot better, because the crossing traffic is concentrated on a few streets rather than being spread out over 30 or more.
Rene-Levseque is a parallel street a few blocks away that seems to cross the same streets. Why would it be any different?
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Old 05-02-07, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr
Mayor Gérald Tremblay said he hopes both parties will adjust to each other.

"We have to make sure that the motorists understand that they're not alone anymore, and the cyclists have to understand there are rules and bylaws that have to be respected," he said on Monday.
This doesn't make sense. What adjustment will the motorists need to make? How will they no longer be alone, if anything the intended result is to make them alone.

What rules and bylaws will the cyclist now have to respect? Are they going to be prohibited from using the likely safer road?

Al
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Old 05-02-07, 04:24 PM
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While I tend to agree that concrete-barrier exclusive bike lanes along city streets can be a nightmare (and definitely would be given montreal drivers' aggression and disdain for ROW) - you missed a line in the gazette article "New traffic lights will be set up at each of the 30 intersections the path will cross". In Montreal - that means that there will be a light EXCLUSIVELY for cyclists - motorists will not be allowed to turn or even go straight (most likely). The only cross traffic will be motorists violating a red light signal (on the Island of Montreal it is illegal to turn right on a red, as drivers fail to yield ROW when turning on red).

This is in keeping with the montreal tradition on the larger streets of not allowing cars to move while pedestrians are crossing. Yes - at Cote des Neiges and Queen Mary, peds are encouraged to cross the street (an intersection of two busy six lane roads) DIAGONALLY, while all cars are stopped.

To put this all in perspective 50 cyclist deaths in one year is HUGE - there were FIVE in Toronto in each of 97 and 98 (and most of those deaths are in the burbs, not the downtown where all the cyclists are), and Toronto is a much larger city (about twice as large now that toronto has absorbed many of its suburbs). On a per-capita basis you are almost fifty times as likely to be killed riding a bike in Montreal than Toronto (not controlled for the number of cyclists per capita, but the variation is nowhere near 50%).

Another way to put it in perspective, according to DOT in the US, about 700 some odd americans are killed in bicycle crashes every year. Montreal, even if you include all of its suburban area, is only about 1% the population of the US, so an american as a whole has a 7x lower chance of being killed in a bicycle crash than a Montrealer.

If concrete barriers work to stop the carnage, let them try it - what is happening now is definitely not working.

BTW - I was really surprised to read that figure of 50 deaths, is there another source that can corroborate it? In my experience, I definitely feel that montrealers are very aggressive drivers, but that is a huge number of cycling deaths (particularly considering that it is very nasty in the winter there).
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Old 05-02-07, 04:31 PM
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To put it in another perspective, there were 48 murders in Montreal in 2005 (the average is 70 per year over the last ten years - though that includes a biker war). The cyclist fatality rate is similar to the homicide rate - Toronto would have to have 10x as many bicycle deaths to match its homicide rate. I can't imagine the amount of carnage required for Chicago or New York to have an (upwards) equalisation of cyclist deaths and homicides - you'd need to build new hospitals just for the major trauma!
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Old 05-02-07, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rajman
While I tend to agree that concrete-barrier exclusive bike lanes along city streets can be a nightmare (and definitely would be given montreal drivers' aggression and disdain for ROW) - you missed a line in the gazette article "New traffic lights will be set up at each of the 30 intersections the path will cross". In Montreal - that means that there will be a light EXCLUSIVELY for cyclists - motorists will not be allowed to turn or even go straight (most likely). The only cross traffic will be motorists violating a red light signal (on the Island of Montreal it is illegal to turn right on a red, as drivers fail to yield ROW when turning on red).

This is in keeping with the montreal tradition on the larger streets of not allowing cars to move while pedestrians are crossing. Yes - at Cote des Neiges and Queen Mary, peds are encouraged to cross the street (an intersection of two busy six lane roads) DIAGONALLY, while all cars are stopped.
So does this mean then that while the motorists are moving cyclists must stay stopped at the curb the entire time? I can't imagine that being the system as it would be horribly inefficient to cycle on that road (maybe that's the point though?). More than likely, cyclists will be going straight from behind the barriers while motorists are allowed to turn right, which is how I understand the Dutch system works.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:09 PM
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You haven't driven in Montreal JJ! Seriously, they stop all traffic so that pedestrians can cross without getting killed. It's not efficient at all (as is the no right on red as a general rule) but it's what they have had to do to keep the carnage down.
You might be right about motorist right turns while cyclists go through - but they will have lights so that there is no turning or cross traffic that goes across the cyclists paths. It won't be fast or efficient but that's what I'm betting they will do.
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Old 05-03-07, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr
The long delay in creating a downtown bike path has been ascribed to an old-fashioned mindset in the city's traffic department. In an interview with The Gazette's Michelle Lalonde, Suzanne Lareau of Velo Quebec, Montreal's main cycling advocacy group, said city traffic engineers and urban planners are trained to focus on motorized traffic flow and see anything that slows cars and trucks as a negative.

"Other cities have turned the corner to the point where every time they redesign or repave a street they have to look at how it will affect pedestrians and cyclists," Lareau said.

Amsterdam's officials have a completely different attitude. Collisions between cyclists and cars are assumed to be the motorist's fault. The city also carries out kilometre-by-kilometre surveys of places where traffic accidents occur so traffic-flow flaws can be corrected. Most important, Amsterdam officials say, is cutting back on cars.
Bolded is the key here. You keep on with the same old thinking you get the same old results. Cities all over the world are seeing that they can think differently and achieve different results.

It takes a lot of different things to change the old thinking to the new. Redesigning streets is only one small thing. Look at how they assume motorists are at fault and change traffic flows to correct problem areas for cyclists in Amsterdam. It's not all about the paths. It's about a city's will to make a change and what it really takes to do it.

Good luck Montreal!
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Old 05-03-07, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rajman
You haven't driven in Montreal JJ! Seriously, they stop all traffic so that pedestrians can cross without getting killed. It's not efficient at all (as is the no right on red as a general rule) but it's what they have had to do to keep the carnage down.
You might be right about motorist right turns while cyclists go through - but they will have lights so that there is no turning or cross traffic that goes across the cyclists paths. It won't be fast or efficient but that's what I'm betting they will do.
Sounds awful. I hope cyclists do not lose their rights to use the traffic lanes as a result of this new path.
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Old 05-07-07, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Rene-Levseque is a parallel street a few blocks away that seems to cross the same streets. Why would it be any different?
There is an expressway just south of a section of Rene-Levesque and crossing traffic is concentrated on a few intersections. Also Rene-Levesque has a problem with a very wide outside trffic lane that many motorists mistake for 2 lanes - it would be better if this lane were narrowed to insert a bike lane.
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Old 05-07-07, 09:04 PM
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Let 'em build it. People like that sort of thing.

Just don't let anyone suggest that, now that you have a path, you have to get off the road.

Make motorists share the road. Period.
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