The city's roads will be completely transformed this summer in response to the health crisis. In an effort to better accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists, Montreal is creating an Active Pathways Circuit. These new temporary routes will allow Montrealers to better circulate around town this summer creating "one of the most important active transportation networks in the world," according to a May 15 statement.
In total, 327 kilometres will be reconfigured to make more room for bikes and pedestrians through projects that were already underway, as well as additional, temporary measures for these exceptional circumstances.
With summer just around the corner, these routes will connect Montreal's parks and neighbourhoods like never before and enable pedestrians to better follow public health guidelines.
"The coming summer risks being very different from the summers we are used to. Since a large part of the population of Montreal will probably remain in town during the summer, it was our duty to offer it a pleasant and safe city that will allow it to move without the hassle and to rediscover all that the metropolis has to offer," said Mayor Valérie Plante.
The first phase of the project will commence in June on boulevard Saint-Laurent, rue Saint-Denis, avenue Christophe-Colomb, avenue de Mont-Royal, and boulevard Gouin.
Phase two will begin later in the summer and will set up pathways along the commercial arteries (rue Wellington in Verdun for example).
During the first phase, Montreal will add five 61-kilometre bike and pedestrian paths "that will connect the Mont-Royal, Maisonneuve, Jarry, Frédéric-Back, and Île-de-la-Visitation parks."
Mont-Royal will be turned into a pedestrian street during its redevelopment.
"The improvements made will support the resumption of commercial activities, promote the cultural and historical discovery of Montreal and will facilitate compliance with the distancing measures with which we will have to continue to contend in the coming months," said Éric Alan Caldwell, Montreal's chief of urbanism and mobility.
#COVID19 : Cet été, nous proposons à la population les Voies actives sécuritaires, qui feront de Montréal une ville… https://t.co/LH7eyiRmIN— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante)1589551611.0
Included in this plan are 112 kilometres of "active safety lanes" in addition to 88 kilometres of temporarily redesigned pedestrian and cycling streets.
In terms of permanent infrastructure, Montreal will proceed with plans to add 24 kilometres to the Reseau Express Vélo (REV), 33 kilometres to the regular bike path network, and 70 kilometres of local bike paths planned by the individual boroughs.
Along with the existing network, Montreal will "have access to over 1,200 kilometres of dedicated lanes to move around in complete safety," the statement concludes.
A street-by-street breakdown of what pedestrians and cyclists can expect this summer is as follows:
Mont-Royal – Rachel: "pedestrianization of avenue du Mont-Royal and creation of a pedestrian and bicycle corridor on rue Rachel in the borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie. These axes will link Mount Royal, La Fontaine, and Maisonneuve parks."
Christophe-Colomb: creation of a "multifunctional corridor" that will link the St. Lawrence River to the Rivière des Prairies.
Sainte-Catherine: rue Sainte-Catherine Est will be pedestrian-only. Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest will also be "redeveloped."
Saint-Laurent: addition of a unidirectional cycle path, as well as space for pedestrians and terraces along Saint-Laurent, pending approval from regional public health authorities.
#COVID19: 112 km of safe active routes will be created. These temporary pedestrian and cycling routes are in additi… https://t.co/Ep5aAdczV5— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante)1589556530.0
Saint-Urbain: a double-wide bike path will allow more distance.
De la Commune – Old Montreal: rue de la Commune will be pedestrian-only and have a bicycle path.
Wellington: there are plans to make parts of Wellington accessible to pedestrians-only.
Camilien-Houde – Côte-des-Neiges – Queen-Mary: Extended weekend hours on the Camilien-Houde bike path and the addition of a pedestrian corridor on the two main arteries of the Côte-des-Neiges.
Stay tuned for more news.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.