One Space For Cars, Twelve For Bikes

St. Viateur St. near Waverly

In just the past few years, Montreal has made some pretty big steps forward in developing its bike infrastructure. The new bike lane on Maisonneuve might have caused a crack in the street that threatened to pull the whole of downtown into a giant sinkhole, but it’s otherwise pretty snazzy. The counterflow bike lanes and sharrows in the McGill Ghetto are pretty cool. The new bike racks being installed on parking meters around town are a vast improvement over the old ones.

What I really like the most, though, are the seasonal bicycle parking lots installed on commercial streets in the Ville-Marie and Plateau Mont-Royal boroughs. In busy areas, like on Ste. Catherine St. near UQAM, in front of the Plateau library on Mount Royal Avenue, or next to the Mile End YMCA on Park Avenue, a car parking spot is removed and replaced with space for two-wheeled vehicles. It’s reminiscent of the approach taken in European cities like Paris, where entire blocks of parking space are given over to bikes and mopeds.

Each one of these bicycle parking areas is a reminder that at least a dozen bikes can fit into the space occupied by a single car. That’s twelve people arriving on two wheels instead of one or two arriving on four.

Ste. Catherine St. near St. Denis

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Wednesday October 17 2007at 11:10 pm , filed under Canada, Public Space, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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