NDG residents say bike path's good intentions are a road to hell
MONTREAL -- Some residents of NDG are aggravated with a bike path that they say has created more problems than its solved.
The path along Terrebonne Ave. was created two months ago and resulted in the elimination of more than 100 parking spots.
“First of all, we should have been notified,” said Terrebonne resident Larry Soifer. “We were never notified. They just came and put up the signs. What do you do?”
“As a cyclist, it's very convenient, no doubt about it. But if I lived on it and needed to park on the street, I would find this massively inconvenient,” said resident Richard Tanguay.
A group of city councillors is calling for the creation of a working group to study its effectiveness and the implementation of measures to mitigate the path's effects.
City councillor Marvin Rotrand said he voted in favour of the path on the condition it could be changed if the public rejected it.
“The services said 'Hey, if a part of it doesn't work or proves to be socially unacceptable, we're going to change it quickly and we don't need a new council vote,” he said. “Well, guess what? Suddenly (Mayor Sue) Montgomery's line has changed.”
Montgomery defended the path, saying both Rotrand and fellow councillor Peter McQueen “all voted for this. So again, did they vote not knowing what they're voting for?”
The mayor noted the path is a pilot project which is slated to stay in place until November and encouraged residents to give it a chance.
“I will admit I think we could have communicated better when it was being installed, but lesson learned,” said Montgomery.
The path has already been revised once after the English Montreal School Board voiced concerns about parents being able to drop off their children at Willingdon School. Rotrand said further changes are needed.
“When seniors of reduced mobility find it difficult to get in and out of their homes, they can't go shopping,” he said. “When people can't park within four or five blocks of their home, there's something wrong.”