Transportation

Montreal the 8th Most Bicycle-Friendly City

By Jason Leach
Published November 04, 2011

The Copenhagenize 2011 index of bicycle-friendly cities lists Montreal as #8.

Montreal is North America's premiere bicycle city and comes in at number eight. The city has had bicycle infrastructure since the mid-80s, which should embarrass other cities on that continent, and the rebirth of bicycle culture is noticeable across the city. A strong, successful bike-sharing programme has been implemented and a strong advocacy NGO, together with some visionary politicians, make the bicycle's future in Montreal look rosy.

Yes, Montreal - freezing, snowy, hilly Montreal. There's no excuse for Hamilton not to earn a place on the index as well.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

21 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2011 at 11:18:49

With a minimal amount of effort we could surpass Montreal.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2011 at 11:19:18 in reply to Comment 71028

And I might add it would have minimal negative impact on the ability to drive in the city.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2011 at 11:31:38

Paris is #7 on the list. They didn't even start trying to make the city bicycle-friendly until 15 years ago.

The standing reasons for why Paris couldn't ever be bike friendly were a bit different than Hamilton's: the streets are too narrow and everyone lives in six-floor apartments with nowhere to store a bicycle. What's interesting is that the city leadership regarded those issues as challenges to overcome, not excuses to do nothing.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By JM (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 12:11:26 in reply to Comment 71029

but dear god, we could lose valuable lanes on our downtown expressways!!! haha, oh will that ever get old... i hope it does one day. but this is hamilton

go go status quo!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By moylek (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2011 at 12:16:08

"Freezing, snowy, hilly Montreal," you well note, Jason. And also a city famous for it's agressive drivers.

Montreal would seem in many ways to be an unlikely city for any sort of cycling base, but there it is. And if they can do it ... well, surely, we could, too, right? Can I get an 'amen'?

I will note, however, two things that Montreal has going for it in terms of a down-town cycling base ...

  • several downtown campuses with a large student population to go with them
  • cross-town streets which are not expressways

That said, I still think that much of our relative disadvantage is simply political will.

Comment edited by moylek on 2011-11-04 12:17:20

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By banned user (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 13:54:51

comment from banned user deleted

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Brandon (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 14:55:44

It'll never work here. Jason, both you and Ryan used examples of cities where they speak French as the main language. Says it all right there.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By TnT (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 16:43:07

Was recently on Montreal. Oh boy does it do it right. It understands something I didn't for awhile: every major civic project connects flawlessly with commercial, residential, sports, work, etc. It seems here we too often operate in isolation both public and private.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 17:07:44 in reply to Comment 71034

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted November 04, 2011 at 17:52:02 in reply to Comment 71037

According to this, there are over 1,800 buses in their transit system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Société_de_transport_de_Montréal#Bus_services

Comment edited by jason on 2011-11-04 17:52:58

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By banned user (anonymous) | Posted November 05, 2011 at 13:45:16 in reply to Comment 71047

comment from banned user deleted

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted November 05, 2011 at 16:34:59 in reply to Comment 71057

They have the Metro and a whole lot of surface bus routes downtown: http://www.stm.info/english/info/centre-...

In fact, there are buses all over the city in it's busiest and most dense neighbourhoods: http://www.stm.info/english/info/reseau2...

Not that it matters. Making a city friendly and convenient for cycling can happen regardless of whether said city has a subway component to it's transit system or not.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 05, 2011 at 22:33:48 in reply to Comment 71040

From my experience walking, biking and driving in Montreal, there's really only a couple French words you need. Most seem to relate to the church...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted November 07, 2011 at 06:28:24

"If the bike path doesn’t have anything to do with job creation, there is no bike path." Jim Clifton

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2011-11-07 06:41:33

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 11, 2011 at 12:49:51 in reply to Comment 71043

In a completely unrelated note, why does the new bus structure at McNab not have a freaking Timmies?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Cog Burn (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2011 at 08:01:20

The president of the bike-sharing company Bixi has resigned because he can no longer guarantee that taxpayers won’t be on the hook for the company’s deficits.

Roger Plamondon quit on Friday after five years of involvement with financially flailing Bixi, confirmed company spokesman Michel Philibert.

Bixi operates separate organizations in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Plamondon left because of money problems at the Montreal branch, for which he blames the Quebec provincial government, he told the CBC.

In Plamondon’s tenure, Bixi racked up a $108 million budget shortfall in Montreal — $37 million for operations and $71 million to expand its business internationally.

....

More @ http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1086082--bixi-bikes-boss-quits-after-bumpy-ride

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By TnT (registered) | Posted November 14, 2011 at 13:29:34

Well there, that tears it. Bikes are a miserable failure and a financial liability…oh, what? That is just an error by the provincal government mismanaging itself? Shocking! Give me a break with the bike hating already.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 14, 2011 at 23:18:10

Bike contribute to making roads more dangerous IMHO especially during rush hour. I have nothing agains't bikes, have used bikes in the past for transportation to get to school, work etc. but no question they cause problems on roads designed for vehicles. Bikes need specific bike lanes for the safety of all.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2011 at 10:38:43 in reply to Comment 71260

In what way do you think bikes make roads more dangerous? I ask in all seriousness, as someone who commuted by bicycle in mixed traffic year-round for several years.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2011 at 15:25:22

When driving on a narrow road and a cyclist is riding between a car and a curb, and I've done this in the past, you can hit a rut and fall over and cause all sorts of havoc. One can't assume all cyclists are experienced and know the best way to ride in traffic on narrow roads.

I don't have any data but it seems logical to me that the more bikes on the road where there are not specific bike lanes, that this adds to congestion when traffic is high and people are rushing to work in their cars and are thinking about a lot of things at the same time.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2011 at 15:31:46

I haven't read all of this article but noticed this on wiki:

Segregated Cycle Facilities

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregated_cycle_facilities#Evidence_against

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds