Busted in the bus lane; this ticketed cyclist says the city should change an obscure bylaw
A Montreal cyclist said she and nearly a dozen others have gotten ticketed for violating a bylaw that they weren’t aware existed.
Maryon Bouchard said she was taking her normal route to work along Sherbrooke St when she was pulled over by police and handed a $128 ticket for biking in the far-right bus lane.
“It was definitely a ticket trap, that’s for sure,” she said. “I don’t know how many people they arrested that morning but it was a lot.”
Bouchard said she and several other cyclists were told by police to not use the bus lane and instead ride in the center lane. But Bouchard said she feels doing that would make cyclists less safe.
“When you’re on a bike, you can’t go on the sidewalk, you can’t go with the traffic. Well, what do you do? You use the lane where there is no car for your own safety,” she said. “But according to the police officer, I wasn’t supposed to use that lane. I was supposed to be with the cars and not crossing the lane, just being with the car in that fast-moving lane.”
Bouchard said she plans to contest the ticket.
A spokesperson for the Montreal mayor’s office declined to comment, as did Montreal police who referred the matter to the city.
According to city bylaws “On a lane reserved for buses, no person may drive any other type of vehicle except to reach or leave a private lot or to turn right at an intersection and some bus lanes allow taxis.”
Bouchard said that Mayor Valerie Plante’s administration, which has often touted itself as being bicycle-friendly, should reconsider the bylaw.
“It makes no sense, it’s an insult for any cyclist,” she said. “It means that we’re not welcome on the main streets. Until they have something better to suggest, they shouldn’t be doing those ticket traps. I don’t see the point and the purpose of doing that, I don’t think it’s doing anything constructive or useful aside from making people angry.”