Tag Archives: cycling

Take a bike tour of Rosemont

The Société de développement environmentale de Rosemont (yeah, I didn’t know they existed either) is sponsoring a guided bicycle tour of the borough’s environmental-friendliness. Perhaps more interesting is that at least one bike shop (Bicycle Beaubien) will be on hand to help you out with any bike needs and there will be some free food, all on the city’s dime.

Route for SODER's bicycle tour of Rosemont

Route for SODER's bicycle tour of Rosemont

The tour starts at Bellechasse and 16th Ave. at 1:30pm on Saturday (Aug. 16). For more information, consult the press release (PDF).

Name at least three things wrong with this picture

Corner of St. Grégoire and Christophe Colomb near Laurier Park

Corner of St. Grégoire and Christophe Colomb near Laurier Park

(At least, from a cyclist’s point of view)

UPDATE: Plenty of people got right answers below.

  1. The most obvious problem is that the bicycle chevrons painted on the road are backwards. Most people ignore them, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine an unthinking cyclist veering into the oncoming lane.
  2. The traffic signs clearly indicate a mandatory left or right turn. Because there is no specific bicycle signage, cyclists are by law required to obey traffic signs and not pedestrian signs, which would make the obvious course technically illegal. Cyclists should not use pedestrian signals unless specifically told to do so.
  3. A cyclist on the other side is blocking the oncoming lane, perhaps confused by the chevrons.

Street sale mania

I pity people who have to drive around downtown this weekend. It’s worse than usual because of all the street closures:

  • Ste. Catherine Street is closed between St. Marc and Jeanne-Mance because of a street sale this weekend
  • St. Hubert is closed between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon because of a street sale
  • The area around Place des Arts on Ste. Catherine Street is closed… just ’cause there’s a giant stage there and no point in moving it between festivals
  • St. Catherine Street is closed between Berri (really St. André) and Papineau for the summer
  • The Latin Quarter (St. Denis and de Maisonneuve and the streets around it) is closed for the Just for Laughs festival
  • Notre Dame was closed last night near de Lorimier because of the fireworks
  • Crescent Street is closed between de Maisonneuve and Ste. Catherine for expanded terrasses and entertainment

And I’m sure there’s plenty I missed. It all adds up to one giant headache for downtown drivers.

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Proposed bike rental system has issues

Stationnement de Montréal is going to spend $15 million to setup a bike rental system downtown similar to the one launched in Paris in July. Except they’ll spend 1/10th the money to have fewer bikes at fewer stations. And they’ll charge 10 times as much. (See correction below)

Whereas in Paris the bikes cost the equivalent of $1.50 a day (plus a $150 refundable deposit), The Gazette reports the Montreal system would cost “as little as $1 per half-hour”.

Perhaps difference in price is meaningless for most people. If it’s necessary to get the system running then I’m all for it.

Then again, as Kate reminds me, there doesn’t appear to be any insurance against bike theft. So if someone makes off with it while you’re doing your shopping, you’re on the hook for that deposit. Enough theft of these easily-identifiable bikes might drive people away.

CORRECTION: I goofed. The Paris system is 1 Euro a day plus the rental fee, at a rate which increases the longer you use it (which to me doesn’t make any sense — it would just encourage people to return a bike and take another one).

Take your bikes outside – the metro doesn’t want them

A letter in today’s Gazette complains about bikes being rejected in the metro. Normally, bikes are allowed outside of rush hours on the first car of every train.


Unfortunately, there are plenty of exceptions. Days when there is, to use an STMism, an “achalandage important” which prevents bikes from being used safely. And looking at the list on their website, it looks like it’s just about every day this summer.

The STM is maybe being a bit over-cautious about safety, but not as much as people may think. On Wednesday, as I took the train to see the fireworks, the human traffic was insane. Tens of thousands boarded trains (some had to be added to handle the extra load), crammed in tighter than during the peak of rush-hour, all headed to Papineau to either get on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge or the parking lot underneath it. All the escalators were set in the up direction (those going down had to use the stairs), and police were called in to handle the crowds.

Imagine having to take a bike on that.

The other concern is that allowing one person to take a bike on the train means you have to allow everyone to take their bike on the train. So events that involve bikes, like the Tour de l’Ile mean they have to ban bikes on those days too, even though other traffic is pretty close to normal. (The STM has since relented slightly on the Tour de l’Ile, allowing some stations to accept bikes but not others).

Consult the list for exact times, but as a rule of thumb don’t count on using the metro during the evening or pretty well at all on weekends until the summer festival season is over.