One Montreal borough is taking action to ensure things don't go back to normal. Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie has announced a pilot project to reduce car traffic and give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. The pilot project begins this summer.

The borough will establish nine "pedestrian-priority living environments" where only local traffic is permitted, "allowing local streets to offer more safe spaces for active users," according to a statement.

It likens the project to the famous "superblocks" of Barcelona.

"This will make it easier to wander freely and safely through the neighbourhood, on foot and by bicycle, to take advantage of parks, schools, services, and essential businesses located within 500 meters of one's home."

Planners also hope that the elimination of through traffic will encourage residents to engage in more free play.

The borough will deploy signage along the targetted streets to "promote safe cohabitation for all users."

It also promises "other innovative and safe measures" to "facilitate active travel and encourage the use of public space by residents, while respecting the rules of physical distancing."

Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie residents will also see an additional 50 kilometers of bike paths take shape.

Protected paths will appear on rues Bellechasse and Saint-Zotique Est and other lanes will roll out on rues Saint-Urbain, Masson, Laurier, and Dandurand "to improve the flow of bicycle traffic to the trip-generating centres and other neighbourhoods."

In other boroughs, similar initiatives to give more space to pedestrians have sprung up in response to the need for social distancing.

These "hygiene" or "pedestrian corridors" have seen sidewalks temporarily expanded by eliminating parking spaces on major commercial streets.

This additional room, officials have said, allows residents to go out for essential services while following public health guidelines.

The corridors make it easier, for example, for passing pedestrians to avoid long lines in front of grocery stores and pharmacies.

Stay tuned for more news.


This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.

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