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by Mary Soderstrom

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Monday, 18 February 2013

It was cold again this morning--down near -16 C and not far from 0 F with a strong wind that made it seem even colder.  Yet I saw some hardy cyclists out, braving the elements.  There are more and more of them, using their bikes frequently equipped with studded tires to get around.

So I supposed I shouldn't be surprised to learn that the City of Montreal opened a traffic count on one of the bicycle paths in the heart of the city today.  It is set up where Laurier Avenue narrows, where a one way section begins with two bike lanes taking up much of he pavement. 

When the street configuration was initiated a couple of years ago, motorists were not pleased, because it eliminated one quick way to go west in the neighborhood and supposedly made for more traffic congestion.  But the bicycle fans argue that in fact the new safer bicycle path has actually increased the number of individual human beings using the stretch.  A figure of 2,000 a day was bandied about as the number of cars that passed before the changes.  Three times that number of bicycles supposedly took their place. 

The survey is designed to give some real numbers to the discussion.  Will be interesting to see what happens. 

But cycling this cold?  You've got to be kidding.

3 comments:

lagatta à montréal said...

No worse than walking. I don't do it because my brakes freeze at such temps, but some new high-tech bicycles have drum brakes. And also because I hate cycling when there is ice and snow on the curbs, even if the streets are dry. I have a spot of arthritis, and it is a relief when I can put one foot on a curb when I stop. (Those "saillies de trottoir" are great for that).

Speaking of walking, have you been to "Place Laurier" near the northern entrance to Laurier station, since the reconfiguration. It is above all extremely pedestrian-friendly, with a lot of space for people to walk and socialise. It is still rather "mineral" - will be nice to see once trees and other greenery are planted. http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=7297,89053614&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

No, don't walk there today, but it should be a pleasant walk later this week, as the weather should warm up considerably tomorrow.

lagatta à montréal said...

And a machine-translation funny. Since you were a California Girl, this is a good one:

Afficher les résultats de recherche anglais traduits pour:
espace laurier Montréal (Montreal bay area)

Of course they mean "bay" as in bay or laurel leaf...

Inspirational Sayings About Life said...

Great piece of wriing. I enjoy this blog a lot. This post makes me want to visit Montreal and explore these streets and avenues!