A Bike Commute Tips Blog reader writes:
Dear Sir,As a New England native and avid francophile, I love Montréal. I certainly have never intended any slight toward les cyclistes Québécois. Prompted by this thawing correspondent from Québec, I decided to look into the bicycling culture of Montréal, which appears to be very healthy indeed.
I am a frequent reader of your blog...I am in Montreal, a city covered with snow for a good part of the year (over a hundred inches this last winter) and where a lot of people commute by bike year round. The numbers for sure are not as high as Portland, mostly because of the often inclement weather and partly because we lack efficient cycling facilities. Still, for the entire city, cyclists accounted for 1.6% of commutes in 2005. In certain neighbourhoods, such as Plateau Mont-Royal, it is 6.5%. (http://www.veloquebec.info, page 5).
When you write "most bicycle-friendly city in North America", I feel we are left out. The ranking you refer to was established by the US census bureau and solely for the US territory. Of course Canadian cities such as Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal were not considered. But…aren’t they in North America? Best regards and Bonne Route!
The Montreal Mirror reports:
Last May, city hall released plans to transform Montreal into a cycling haven on par with Paris or Lyon, envisioning a not-too-distant future of 400 new kilometres of new bike paths, a self-service bicycle rental system and five times as many bike parking places. The $134-million plan has since gone through 10 public and 10 agglomeration council consultations, and in a few weeks the city will announce how year one will shape up. Vélo Québec, a non-profit cycling lobby group...called it "ambitious." The transport plan is available on the city’s Web site as part of the Reinvent Montreal guide.Like any other hip dynamic city in the 21st century, Montréal also boasts a lively fixed-gear bicycle renaissance, again according to the Mirror. Fixie fans in la Belle Ville even have a website and message board. Many of these fixie riders may be pedaling over to the first ever Artistic Bicycle Exposition.
With more than 2,400 miles of bike trails, Québec boasts the largest cycling network in the Americas, the famed Route verte. Inaugurated last August, the Route verte was recently named the top cycling route in the world by the National Geographic Society.
Most notable, according to the Montreal Gazette:
Montreal plans to be the first city in North America to set up a large-scale "self-serve" public bicycle rental service...Pedalling along the same path as such French cities as Paris and Lyon, where similar systems have become wildly popular, Montreal hopes its project will start by next fall and be fully operational by late 2009. "Montreal wants to be the bicycle city par excellence in North America, and this project will definitely help us get there," André Lavallée, the city executive committee member responsible for transportation, said at a news conference...It's been nearly 20 years since I last visited Montréal (having moved to California in 1991.) I look forward to another visit for a first-hand look at the city's bicycling progress.
Image: Web capture.
Visit: Montreal Bike Fest 2008
Visit: La Route Verte au Quebec
Visit: A bicycle-friendly city is environment-friendly too, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
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