Montreal

City plans to move bike path in La Fontaine Park onto the street by September

In an effort to reduce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough is moving the bike path out of La Fontaine Park and onto the adjacent street. That means traffic along Parc-La Fontaine Ave. will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

That means traffic along Parc-La Fontaine Ave. will be reduced to one lane in each direction

A bike lane has already been created southward on Parc-La Fontaine Avenue because of construction on neighbouring streets. (Benoît Chapdelaine/Radio-Canada)

In an effort to reduce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough is moving the bike path out of La Fontaine Park and onto an adjacent street.

That means traffic along Parc-La Fontaine Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction once the bike path is completed.

According to documents from the City of Montreal's executive committee, the path will be ready by September.

The Plateau-Mont-Royal borough is responsible for planning and carrying out the work.

The borough wants to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians who cross there, said Coun. Marianne Giguère, who's responsible for active transit on the executive committee.

"It's not easy for everyone to understand that the path is a bike path, so there's a lot of conflict, crashes and frustration," Giguère said.

La Fontaine Park is a 34-hectare park in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. (Radio-Canada)

"By putting it on the street, it will certainly minimize or even solve the problem."

Every day, approximately 3,000 cyclists use the stretch of bike path that borders the park, and that number reaches 8,000 on some summer days, Radio-Canada reported.

At peak hours, about 600 vehicles are on the street near the park, according to a survey conducted by the city in May 2017.

The borough said it doesn't think reducing car traffic to one lane will result in more congestion.

"We aren't afraid," Giguère said.

Part of plan to revitalize park

The move is part of a 10 to 15-year plan by the Plante administration to revitalize the park.

Pedestrian groups lauded the plan to move the bike path when it was first announced in March.

"It's a space where cohabitation with pedestrians is not always easy," said Jeanne Robin, the spokesperson for Piétons Québec, at the time.

"Giving a reserved space for cyclists on Parc-La Fontaine Avenue will improve the situation for everyone."

The city also plans to renovate and reopen the park's théâtre de Verdure, which has been closed for three years. It will also refurbish the pond in the middle of the park.

Translated from Radio-Canada

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