Bike congestion causing problems for Montreal cyclists
Vélo Quebec says bike path traffic five times higher than two years ago
The cycling advocacy group Vélo Quebec says traffic and congestion are not just a problem for people driving cars.
During peak hours on popular routes such as the de Maisonneuve bike path, the group says it is not uncommon to see more than twenty bikes lined up at red lights.
Vélo Quebec president Suzanne Lareau says there has been a spike in the number of people biking to work and that is causing more congestion.
More than one million people use the de Maisonneuve path each year and Lareau says some paths are seeing five times more traffic than they did just two years ago.
She says more bike paths in the city would help ease the congestion.
"We have to build another axis north-south or east-west because it's not enough what we have at the moment," she says.
When Eric Freeman started biking to work from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, he thought his days of dealing with gridlock were over. Now he says the crowded bike paths are slowing him down.
"It's just awful," he says. "You'd think about not driving on it if you didn't have to."
Cyclist Keena Trowell uses the de Maisonneuve path and says new bike paths would help.
"When I'm biking westward, I do sometimes just go on the road just to get around the traffic," she says. "If there was a parallel [path] on Sherbrooke or on Ste. Catherine going in the other direction, I think that would help a lot."
Vélo Quebec says the Saint Urbain, Brébeuf and Rachel bike paths are seeing traffic jams too. And she says detours created by construction or summer festivals also add to the congestion.