Bike lane in Montreal residential area continues to cause controversy – Montreal

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A new, bike-friendly version of Terrebonne Street in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district will soon arrive in time for summer.

But some residents strongly oppose this. They met on Saturday to discuss the changes the new infrastructure will bring and prepare to protest its construction.

“It’s going to be a nightmare,” said Irwin Rapoport, the event’s organizer. “We know this because of what happened when they tried to impose a similar bike lane in 2020.”

That cycle path caused such a stir that it was removed after just a few months.

Since then, the city has invested more than $200,000 in research to better implement a similar project.

This makes the street one-way and there are two protected cycle paths.

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It will also reduce on-street parking by more than 60%, with residents only being able to park on one side.

The area is home to several schools, a church and a senior home. Opponents say the project does not take their needs into account, and that the research on which it is based is flawed.

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NDG resident Tom Glowacky says the neighborhood’s population is older than other parts of the city. “Given the population, we shouldn’t socially manipulate people into getting on bikes,” he told Global News.

Still, encouraging active transportation is a primary goal for the council, as revealed last week in its first long-term transportation plan.

In 2018, only 1 percent of commuters in the municipality used bicycles, compared to 10 percent on the plateau.

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Active transportation advocates in the area welcome both the new plan and the bike path. They believe that the municipality should abandon solo driving, both within and outside the neighborhood.

Jason Savard, spokesperson for the NDG Pedestrians and Cyclists Association, said Terrebonne Street is already used by cyclists, but there is general agreement that it is dangerous.

“Those who might be against it [the new bike lanes] maybe loud, but there is definitely a lot of support,” he claimed.

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Savard believes the new infrastructure will make the street safer for everyone, including cars.

“It’s a small residential area, we want to slow down traffic and create a safer space. Cycle paths can do that: they make the street narrower; they slow down cars,” he said.

Opponents disagree and argue that the new cycle path will pose a danger to cars reversing from their driveways and to children crossing the road.

“If a child is taken to school by bus,” said Marie Yvonne Kiely, a longtime resident of Terrebonne Street, “they will have to cross a bike path, and that is a bit of a hazard.”

Global News asked the mayor’s office for an explanation but did not receive a response by deadline.

Opposing residents are organizing a meeting at William Hurst Park on May 25 to further voice their concerns.

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