A little over a month ago, I noticed a post at Berri-UQAM.ca with the title “pas de bicyclette à Westmount?” – two pictures without commentary suggesting that bicycles had been completely banned from the city.
I decided to take a look for myself. The pictures looked like they might have been taken near Summit Park, so I headed up there with my camera (“up” being the operative word, it’s quite a hike from the bus stop on Côte des Neiges). Sure enough, at the corner of Summit Circle and Oakland Avenue, a small “no bicycles” sign.
I couldn’t quite make out its intent. Is cycling banned on Summit Circle? If so, why? And why aren’t there other signs saying that? Was it put up in error?
A bit down the street, I spotted another, similar sign:
Being one of those curious journalist-y types, I emailed the city of Westmount asking what this was all about. After a few days, and with a standard template for answering citizens’ questions, this email reached my inbox:
In reference to your question, the “no bicycle” sign is not meant for Summit Circle but only for the Jogging path along Summit Circle. The Jogging Path begins at the corner of Oakland and Summit Circle.
I hope that this information is helpful.
The jogging path is that dirt path you see in the second and third photos. It runs along Summit Circle on the north side of the park.
Though it makes sense to ban bikes from this narrow pedestrian path, the signage isn’t at all clear. No words, not even an arrow pointing to the path to give some indication where exactly the bicycles are forbidden. A cyclist passing by there would only look on in confusion, and perhaps go away with the impression that the summit neighbourhood of Westmount is filled with rich, bicycle-hating luxury SUV drivers who want to exclude those who don’t fit on their better-than-thou pedestal.
Because that impression would be false, right?