Monthly Archives: March 2012

DE MAISONNEUVE THE SAFEST EAST-WEST CYCLING ROUTE

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS FROM THE WESTMOUNT INDEPENDENT FEB 28, 2012

bike path is safe

In a recent letter, the Westmount Citi- zens for Safe Cycling association has ad- vocated that the bike path be moved to St. Catherine St. or Sherbrooke St. because de

Maisonneuve is too narrow or has too many stop signs for the path to meet the ideal bike path design best practices (“‘Everything is political’ is a tired excuse,” January 17 issue, p. 6).

However, that association is ignoring the most important safety factor for cy- clists. Since almost all serious cycling in- juries and deaths result from collisions with motor vehicles, locating a bike path on a low-traffic street is far more impor- tant than the actual path design.

One need only consider the causes of fatal cycling incidents in Montreal over the past year: collision with a speeding vehi- cle, a bus, a truck and a door.

As experienced cyclists will attest, the Westmount segment of the de Maison- neuve bike path is one of the safest in Montreal because of the low traffic, no parking beside the path, etc.

The absence of serious cycling inci- dents along de Maisonneuve over the past several years is testament to its safety. What’s more, the low traffic volume means a healthier air quality.

So, as the city attempts to promote cy- cling by providing a network of safe bike paths, as part of the Traffic Master Plan, de Maisonneuve will, even in its current con- figuration, remain by far the safest and healthiest east-west cycling route.

Dan Lambert, Lansdowne Ave. and member of Westmount Walking and Cycling Association

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UPDATE ON WESTMOUNT WALKING AND CYCLING ASSOCIATION

The WWCA has several priorities this year.  A major one is to be  involved in Westmount’s Master Traffic Plan.  We have spent many hours developing ideas for the plan and have given our work to Genivar, the company who is doing the plan for the city.

We have been and will continue to be involved in the MUHC construction process as it concerns active transport.  A the moment there is a great emphasis on cars with a large amount of space dedicated to parking at the site.  We want to see cycling and pedestrian access  front and foremost as means to get to the hospital.

We would like to work closely with the NDG Cyclist and Pedestrian Association.  A major project for both of our groups is to have a protected bike path along Côte St Antoine linking both cities with downtown.

We continue to support winter cycling through Westmount and we continue to argue for keeping the de Maisonneuve bike path open as the safest way of crossing the city.

A more thorough update will come after our next monthly meeting the end of March