Project Montréal vows to build network of ‘express’ protected bike lanes
Projet Montréal has vowed to build a 140-kilometre Réseau Express Vélo — a network of “express” protected bike routes along seven busy axes. The plan however, announced Friday the 6th of October 2017 by leader ValériePlante, has a lot of unfinished important details such as where the new paths would be put up.
Plante said while standing next to the protected bike path on Rachel St. that she intends to ensure that “the 116,000 people who commute every day using their bikes can do it in a safer way”.“With express bike paths, (we) will make sure there are fewer collisions, and less stress and conflict between different users of the street.”
Projet went ahead to hand out a stylized map of what this network might look like. It features three four east-west routes and north-south routes. One runs from Notre-Dame St. E. to Gouin Blvd., another runs from the borough of Anjou to Décarie Blvd., but it remains unclear as to which streets the proposed routes would take.
Plante further said that the network would be built over a period of four years at a rate of 35 kilometres per annum.
She did not specify a cost implication for the project but said that Projet Montreal would be part of the $25 million per year her party would spend on cycling infrastructure over 10 years.
Projet Montréal’s plan to make cycling safer in Montreal was announced just two days after Clément Ouimet, died after colliding with an SUV on Camillien-Houde Rd. He was the fourth cyclist to die on Montreal streets in three months.
Plante also promised to create bike boxes at 20 intersections every year. Bike boxes aid for safer cycling as an area is reserved in front of cars at stop lights.
AnotherProjet spokesperson said that the $25 million per year being promised would be in addition to the $15 million the city already allotted to cycling, bringing the total figure to a sum of $40 million annually.
In September 2017, Denis Coderre, who is currently running for office of the mayor of Montreal for a second term, announced a plan in the pipelines to spend $30 million annually over the next five years.Coderre’s pledge came as he unveiled a plan which aims to significantly increase cycling in Montreal. About three per cent of trips in Montreal are currently taken on bikes. Coderre’s plan set a target for 15 per cent by the year 2032.
It is reported that Montreal has been adding about 50 kilometres of bike paths to its network on yearly basis, but critics have argued that roughly 85 per cent of the additions are simply painted lines rather than protected cycling routes.
By the end of 2017, Montreal is expected to have 850 kilometres of bike routes.