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Mixed reactions on plans to expand, improve Cote-des-Neiges—NDG bike paths
Published Sunday, June 23, 2019 4:47PM EDT Last Updated Monday, June 24, 2019 12:27PM EDT
The borough of Cote-des-Neiges—NDG has plans to improve its cycling network, but not everyone is on board.
“We want a cycling network that is so safe that people of all ages and abilities will feel comfortable leaving their car at home to get around the neighbourhood,” explained city councillor Christian Arseneault.
The plan would add new bike paths, including one on Upper Lachine Road and securing existing ones, like on Grand Boulevard.
Jason Savard of the NDG Pedestrians and Cyclists’ Association is in favour.
“I think it’s important in this time of climate emergency really to promote cycling or active transportation versus driving around,” he said.
Not everyone agrees, however, because some say it’s hard enough navigating local streets as it is, not to mention finding parking.
“The de Maisonneuve bike path is a success because it was well planned out. The idea of just putting bike paths anywhere usually impacts on residents and merchants and doesn't necessarily increase cycling,” said city councillor Marvin Rotrand.
“This claim that we're going to lose hundreds of parking spots, that's plucked out of thin air. I think if we plan this properly, yeah, we're going to lose a few but it won't be unreasonable,” he said.
Plans haven't been publicized, said Rotrand, who said residents don't even know about them.
“Here is something major that impacts our population (and) nobody has been told about it,” he said. “They're trying to sugar coat this by telling people, oh yeah, we’ll study it after we get the permission to do this, at which point it will probably too late for people to object to it.”
Ridership data will be gathered this summer, said Arseneault, who said he also plans on consulting with residents.
“For the existing network, NDG network, to secure that, I definitely want to talk to residents because again, depending on the street, there are a lot of people that will be impacted by this,” he said.
The borough will need to request approval from city hall to undergo the work. Council will vote on whether to go ahead with that request on Tuesday.