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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