Home Canada Bike path data show that Montreal’s new bicycle network is a hit

Bike path data show that Montreal’s new bicycle network is a hit

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Bike path data show that Montreal’s new bicycle network is a hit

Cyclists travelling on the Réseau express vélo (REV) bike path along Saint-Denis Street, near the Des Carrières bike path. PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, LA PRESSE

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Early Newspaper

By CLARA GEPNER and KHAOULA CHEHBOUNI, La PresseLaPresse Torstar

Wed., June 16, 20214 min. read

MONTREAL – The enthusiasm for Montreal’s new Réseau state vélo (REV) bicycle network has been confirmed by data peaceful on bike paths around the city and analysed by La Presse. The selection of cyclists on the main north-south axis of the network, along Saint-Denis, Berri and Lajeunesse streets, is nearing the ranges seen on Clark and Saint-Dominique streets, beforehand essentially the most popular north-south axes.

The REV’s popularity spiked around mid-May, even passing the popularity of the Clark Facet road bike path, according to the analysis of data peaceful by the REV’s bicycle counters from Jan. 1 to June 6, 2021. The counters are located near Rue de Bellechasse and the Des Carrières bike path. 2021 is the first year that the Saint-Laurent–de Bellechasse counter, standing between Clark Facet road and Saint-Dominique Facet road, does no longer take the gold medal, said Jean-François Rheault, CEO of Vélo Québec.

On Wednesday, June 2, 6,220 cyclists passed the REV counter, almost 200 more of us than on Clark Facet road, La Presse learned. It was the busiest day of 2021 so far, according to data published by the city.

The counters, supplied by Éco-Compteur, depend passing cyclists at several key locations on the city’s bike paths. La Presse analysed the tens of thousands of data entries published on June 9 by Montreal’s urban planning and mobility department.

Return to a pre-pandemic normal

Rheault said that this listing utilize of the REV bike paths represents a return to a pre-pandemic normal. “In 2020, for the first time in Montreal, the busiest days were principally weekends, which was unheard of. Normally, it was principally on weekdays,“ he said.

A similar phenomenon was seen extra north, near Sauvé Facet road. Data from Jan. 7 to June 6, 2021, show that the REV path there is more popular than its predecessor, the Christophe-Colomb Avenue bike path. The counters on this part of the REV detected 3,454 cyclists on Monday, May 24 (National Patriots’ Day), 1,100 more of us than on Christophe-Colomb Avenue on the same day.

The city considers the REV a success. It estimated that a depend of 4,000 of us per day on the Berri-Lajeunesse part of the north-south axis can be exceptional utilize.

“The north-south REV is a new bike route, comparable to the path on Clark Facet road that has lengthy been part of the daily shuttle of several thousand cyclists, a outing tranquil anchored in of us’s habits,” Marikym Gaudreault, press secretary at the mayor’s administrative heart, wrote in an email.

“The constant increase within the selection of cyclists for the reason that start of spring lets us earn that more and more Montrealers are the utilize of it for his or her commutes,” she added.

Considerations among merchants

The advance announcement of the REV bike paths sparked many complaints from merchants on Saint-Denis Facet road.

“The work accomplished for the REV, it caused complications for the companies, and now many clients are complaining about having much less parking,” said Hamza Benameur, of the Kofi Crêpe restaurant on the nook of Saint-Denis and Avenue du Mont-Royal.

Mourad Fhal, who owns the restaurant L’Évidence, applied for a special allow from the city to expand the restaurant’s patio onto the REV path.

“Since they finished the REV, I glance more and more of us coming to Saint-Denis by bike,” Fhal said. Nevertheless, he wonders how the bike paths will affect traffic after the summer season.

“I assume the patio can assist us this summer season,” he said. “But for the winter, I don’t know the way it’s going to be, with the snow and much less parking. Are of us going to continue to arrive by bike?”

“We’ve been waiting for this for a very lengthy time”

On these sunny June days, the large selection of cyclists on the REV paths is a testament to the new network’s popularity.

“The REV in Saint-Denis is very loyal, we have been waiting for it for a very lengthy time,” said Yvon Dinel, a cyclist who takes the REV paths to earn to work.

“Sooner than the REV it was considerable for cyclists, we rode near the cars and there was the danger of (car) doors opening,” he added.

“When it comes to safety for pedestrians and cyclists, with the protective measures, we assume that there will be fewer collisions and presumably fewer deaths,” said Rheault. This is simplest the start of the REV and habits take time to make a selection, added the ragged director of Éco-Compteur North America.

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The REV, a separated bicycle highway with unidirectional lanes 2.3 to three metres wide, is definitely price the detour, said cyclist Chantal Bouchard. She added that the paths are more efficient, safer and more comfortable than a regular bike path, and they earn her to work faster.

“The more bike paths the better. The more there are, the safer it is for cyclists,” she said.

– In collaboration with Thomas de Lorimier and Myriam Boulianne, La Presse

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Bike path data show that Montreal’s new bicycle network is a hit