The City of Montreal is proposing changes to Quebec's new road safety code to give cyclists greater mobility.
It wants cyclists to be able to yield rather than have to make a full stop at stop signs and be able to turn right at red lights with caution.
Both, they say, are widely accepted in other large cities and what's referred to as an ‘Idaho stop.’
“It's a practice that is generally used and it's safe to do so,” said the Montreal city councillor responsible for active transit, Marianne Giguere.
The city administration believes the moves would also change the culture of cyclists to make more eye contact with motorists at intersections and give priority to pedestrians.
Giguere explains what it would look like:
“Slow down and make sure that no one is wanting to cross. No pedestrians are already engaged on the street. And if it's safe, if it's not scaring anybody, if it's not cutting anybody's road, then the cyclist can go on without having to make a real stop and putting their foot on the ground as it is now by the code.”
The city is also asking for sideguards on heavy trucks in Montreal and it wants "dooring" to be recognized as a motor vehicle accident by the SAAQ, so victims can be compensated and better statistics be kept on the problem.
These recommendations come just days after the city announced plans to restrict traffic flow over Mont-Royal.
Rosemont resident Alexandre Laflamme pressed the mayor on whether the city was favouring cyclists.
“I think she wants to prioritize bicycles in Montreal and I think that ideally it's a good idea but technically, right now, the cyclists in Montreal are not respecting the others, the other people on the road,” he said, adding that cyclists are already doing the Idaho stop.
“Every day I see cyclists not doing their stops, doing dangerous manoeuvres just to get from A to B as quickly as possible.”
The city is confident, however, that the reforms would make roads safer for everyone.
“Yes we are pushing on vision zero. We are asking Quebec to join us,” said Giguere.
So far the province has not said if it will take on the city’s suggestions.