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McGill University plans new bike centre, expansion of bike parking facilities

The facility will help the school reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040

McGill Cycling Club rider
A McGill Cycling Club rider drives the pace in a crit. Photo: Jordan Miller

McGill University in Montreal has ambitious plans to be carbon neutral by 2040, the Montreal Gazette reports, and an integral part of that goal involves the expansion of cycling facilities and infrastructure on campus.

The university’s agenda is part of a larger plan to address climate change on campus, and its details were made public on Nov. 28 through the release of McGill’s Climate & Sustainability Action Plan.

Along with the upgrading of the university’s energy systems, the school will also open an indoor bike centre with showers and locking facilities, while adding 350 bicycle-parking spaces. Slated to be built in a former parking garage on McTavish Street, construction of the bicycle centre—recently approved by the student body through a campus-wide referendum—will commence in summer 2019, pending final approval from McGill, and will feature a student-run bike repair shop.

Student body approval of the plan was announced in Sept. 2016 by the McGill Tribune.

“The proposed bike centre,” said Paul Guenther, a senior campus planner, “would house secure bike parking facilities, shower and locker facilities, and The Flat, the community-run bike collective.” In addition to its role in helping McGill become a more carbon neutral university, the project also aims to expand ridership on campus. Further, the Tribune reported in 2016, the bike centre and its additional bike-parking options won’t come at the cost of the university’s existing infrastructure.

“This proposed bike centre is intended to provide additional bike parking options in the community,” Guenther noted, “and won’t result in any reduction of existing spaces. The intention is to increase the number of riders on campus.”

Construction is scheduled to begin once ongoing construction on McTavish Street finishes in 2018.