Plateau doubling bike lane network

The Plateau borough is reducing the speed limit on all streets and is doubling the size of its bike lane network in a bid to make streets safer.

Speed limits will be reduced on all streets

The borough will add 20 km of bike lanes by 2015, and fix 22 dangerous intersections. (Radio-Canada)

The Plateau borough is reducing the speed limit on all streets and is doubling the size of its bike lane network, in a bid to make streets safer.

The speed limit on main arteries will be reduced to 40 km/h and the limit on all other streets will be reduced to 30 km/h.

"It will be with speed bumps. It will be with narrowing the street with bike lanes. In certain cases it will be with light synchonization. So all of these little details will [ensure] that you cannot go over 30 km/h," said Plateau-Mont-Royal mayor Luc Ferrandez.

The borough will add 20 kilometres of bike lanes by 2015 and will create two "cycle streets" — where bikes have priority — on Mentana and St-André streets.

"Cycle streets are streets on which cars are permitted but they cannot transit through ... So you should have only the people who live there who are in cars, and it has to be really really clear that the priorities are for the bikes," Ferrandez said.

The borough also plans to fix 22 dangerous intersections.

"The borough has five times more casualties per square kilometre than the average in Montreal and it is time for a paradigm shift: we are going to stop reacting to the last accident and start preventing the next."

Side guards for trucks

Ferrandez said the borough will also outfit all of its municipal trucks with side guards, to try to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from slipping under the wheels.

Ferrandez said he plans to work with the Montreal Police to make sure the city's truck-driving routes are followed.

"There is a plan de cammionnage — streets on which the truck can be — and it's not respected," Ferrandez said, adding that he would like to deter truckers from using arteries in the Plateau to avoid congested highways.

"These poor guys are working — they are making deliveries, they are on a schedule. And if it cannot go through Décarie, at a certain point they can have the reflex to say, 'Look, I'm going to ... go on St-Denis. We have to help the guys by giving them big fines and telling them 'Not a good idea!'"

Ferrandez said new bike lanes will be added immediately, and plans to have all the other measures in place within two years.