Biking in downtown Montreal can be super dangerous, for both cars and the cyclists themselves. Not only that, but it can be really annoying for everyone to try and circulate in the same space.
The laws about who has to follow what rules have always been a little bit up in the air, and there are constantly disputes about who has the right of way.
I'm sure anyone who bikes around downtown Montreal will be pleased to hear about this new development. Not only will it be safer for the bikers, but I believe it's a step in the right directions in terms of sustainability. Giving people more reason to hop on a bike rather than a gas-guzzler is always a plus in my book.
Montreal's Le Plateau has been planning this for a while and it's finally happening. They are transforming a part of St-André Street into bike-first "velorue" between Cherrier Street and Laurier Avenue West.
Basically, cyclists will have the right of way and can bike in the middle of the street rather than sticking to the sidewalks.
This is the first time this is happening in Montreal, but it's a pretty normal thing to have in Europe. The official plan is going to be announced in May according to Plateau mayor Luc Ferrandez.
Unfortunately, it won't be completely car-free, but the number of vehicles will be kept very low to ensure that cyclists can circulate as they please. Parking will also still be available.
They're saying that streets were too hastily changed during the Drapeau-era to accommodate cars. But now, they are taking advantage of upcoming street construction to undo this and increase the streetscape. They will be widening sidewalks and planting more trees.