Officials and construction crews in Montreal are hard at work to make the city better for bikers. Honestly, such infrastructure improvements are long overdue.
With more and more cyclists on the roads, an ever-expanding public bike-share system, and electric bikes on the way, municipal authorities and planners have needed to rethink the way the city accomodates the popular mode of transporation.
Bike lanes are not only good for the environment, they're also good for cars. Clear demarcations and barriers on roads keep everyone safe. And studies show that narrower lanes for cars make drivers more vigilant and discourage people from speeding.
But in one recent case, the city was a bit too eager to intall a special avenue for bikes.
Rue Clark, which stretches from the Old Port to the Mile End, has long been targeted as a possible thoroughfare for bikes. With only one lane of traffic in varying directions, the street is largely avoided by motorists. Underused by cars, Clark would be perfect for bikes.
That's if planners and construction crews hadn't messed up construction of new bike lanes.
After months of work to install a new concrete medium to separate a wider bike lane from the lane for vehicular traffic, construction crews have left too little room for large cars.
As Clark is now organized, ambulances and firetrucks are unable to pass through. That poses a serious danger to people along the mostly residential street. More troubling, perhaps, is the inability of garbage trucks to fit in the narrow lane. Things could get messy.
Now crews will have to resume construction on the street once again. The conrete medium needs to be reduced by thirty centimetres along the entire stretch north of Ave. Laurier.
The project has already costed millions. There's no word about just how much the fixes will cost taxpayers.
The old joke about construction never ending in Montreal is becoming a little bit too real.