Cyclist safety in Montreal: What are municipal parties proposing?

Bicycle safety has become a topic of debate in the Montreal's municipal election campaign. Separate bike lanes and limiting vehicle traffic on the mountain are some of the ideas being proposed.

Here's how Équipe Denis Coderre and Projet Montréal say they will improve bicycle safety in the city

Montreal on Sept. 26. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The death of a young cyclist on Mount Royal this week has reignited calls for the city to introduce measures to protect cyclists on Montreal's streets.

Hundreds of cyclists rode up the mountain in a silent memorial on Friday to remember Clément Ouimet, 18, who was killed after colliding with an SUV that made an illegal U-turn on Camillien Houde Way.

Cyclist safety is a longstanding issue in Montreal and it has now become a major topic of debate in the city's ongoing municipal election campaign.

Here is what the main municipal parties have proposed.

A young cyclist died after he collided with an SUV on Camillien-Houde Way on Wednesday. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Équipe Denis Coderre

Denis Coderre, who is running for re-election as Montreal mayor, said he's putting together a working group to look at the idea of limiting through traffic on Mount Royal.

That could mean vehicles would be able to reach the belvedere lookout or certain places in Mount Royal Park, but not use Camillien-Houde Way as a shortcut to get over the mountain.

Coderre said only letting buses use the road as a thoroughfare may also be an option.

​The working group will include the city, cycling advocacy group Vélo Québec and les Amis de la montagne, among other groups.

Unveiled last year, the city's Vision Zero plan includes measures such as lowering speed limits in certain residential areas and near schools, better road signaling, and refurbishing intersections deemed dangerous for cyclists.

Coderre has also said he wants cyclists to be able to more easily cross the Turcot Interchange.

Mayor Denis Coderre says a working group will look into ways to make Mount Royal safer for cyclists. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Projet Montréal 

Projet Montréal mayoral candidate Valérie Plante said a low speed limit could make Camillien-Houde Way safer.

She has proposed separating the bicycle path from vehicle lanes on Mount Royal.

​Plante has also promised to develop a 140-kilometre, city-wide bicycle network that will be separated from vehicle traffic.

She said 35 kilometres of bike lanes could be built annually over a four-year period to complete the project.

Plante has also proposed holding public consultations to look into making underpasses and overpasses safer for cyclists. That could include making bike paths one-way in the direction of vehicle traffic, she said.

Projet Montréal has promised to build a 140-kilometre network of bike paths across the city. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

With files from Elysha Enos and Radio-Canada