Montreal is making investments to bolster the popularity of cycling in the city. On Friday, the executive committee member responsible for transportation in Montreal, Aref Salem announced increased funding to cycling in the city. The five-year plan will direct $150 million towards cycling projects, and is intended to make the city a cycling leader in North America.
The goals of the plan are to offer more connectivity for cyclists in the downtown core, increase the availability of bike parking, and promote cycling as an effective, comfortable and safe way to get around.
Today, approximately 2.5 per cent of trips in Montreal are made by bicycle. By 2032 the city hopes that number will rise to 15 per cent.
Over the next 15 years, investments of $15 million per year will be added to the amount already committed to the development of Montreal’s cycling network brining the total investment dedicated to improving the city’s bike system to $150 in the next five-years.
The announcement of the cities plan came one day after the death of a 61-year-old women at the corner of Avenue des Pins and Parc Avenue. She was struck on her bicycle by an empty school bus. A 24-year-old was also seriously injured when he was struck in Ville-Marie by an 18-year-old driver with a learner’s permit a reported by CBC.
With municipal elections scheduled for Nov. 5, Montreal major Denis Coderre’s main opposition Projet Montréal who are strong advocates for urban cycling criticized the major despite the announcement.
Plateau-Mont-Royal mayor Luc Ferrandez, a member of Projet Montréal, said the mayors announced plan is just talk, “We want Coderre to say, ‘I don’t care about cyclists, I don’t care about deaths, I’m not interested.’ That he say that because that’s what he’s doing behind closed doors,” Ferrandez said.
“In June, to the executive committee, Denis Coderre personally intervened to block a cycling route project proposed by his experts on Avenue des Pins at the exact site of yesterday’s death,” Ferrandez wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.