Bike path to link Montreal's downtown with Lachine Canal, eventually

It looks like cyclists will get their wish: a path that runs north-south from downtown through Old Montreal and on to the Lachine Canal. But it will take a while.

Path will replace bus lane on new Robert-Bourrassa Boulevard once light rail train goes into service

The north-south bike path will take the place of the bus lane on Robert-Bourrassa Boulevard once the new light rail train is in service. (City of Montreal)

It looks like cyclists will get their wish: a path that runs north-south from downtown through Old Montreal and on to the Lachine Canal.

But it's expected to take a while.

The bike path is still in the planning stages, and slated to be completed in four or five years' time.

Richard Bergeron, head of urban planning on the city's executive committee, said it will run along the new Robert-Bourrassa Boulevard, in a lane that will be designated for buses coming from the South Shore until 2020-21, when the proposed light rail train goes into service.

A bike path was not originally part of the revamped boulevard, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.

The bike path will also link up with University Street north of de Maisonneuve Boulevard, said Marc-André Gadoury, who is responsible for cycling in the Coderre administration.

The bike path is part of an overhaul of the area around the Bonaventure Expressway, which was torn down last year and replaced with Robert-Bourrassa Boulevard.

Marc Jolicoeur of Vélo Québec welcomed the commitment, but he said he would have preferred to have seen a bike path in the original design.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's René Saint-Louis