Tour de l'Ile means detours galore for Montreal drivers
If you’re planning to drive around Montreal Sunday, start planning your route now – 25,000 cyclists are will be taking over the streets for the annual Tour de l'Ile, and with the Tour de l'Ile comes dozens of road closures, detours and parking difficulties.
The 31st edition of the annual event starts and finishes at Jeanne Mance Park. The shorter route goes through the Plateau to Lachine and back through the Southwest borough, while the longer one goes all the way to Ste. Anne de Bellevue, and back along Lakeshore.
This map shows the route for the short ride at this year's Tour de l'Ile.
This map shows the route for the long ride at this year's Tour de l'Ile. See a complete list of closed roads at the end of this story.
For hours, dozens of streets will be closed or have parking restrictions in eleven boroughs.
Organizers at Velo Quebec say they will try keep drivers in the loop on their website with maps and approximate times for road closures and reopenings, and they also have volunteers to help drivers plan their route over the phone.
“We have a website, people to answer the phone, but still people don't get the information and get upset,” said Velo Quebec director Joelle Sevigny.
That may be partially because summer is already a trying time for motorists in Montreal – two blocks away from the starting line, Mount Royal Ave. is closed to car traffic, part of Viger and the Ville Marie Tunnel are down to one lane ths weekend and the Mercier Bridge is once again down to one lane in either direction until Monday.
“We're going to see more and more lane closures at the closure as the summer progresses, and we’re going to get more frustrated phone calls as the summer progresses,” said traffic reporter Lorne Glazer.
Drivers are being encouraged to take public transit, but that will also require some planning – more than 50 bus routes have been modified due to the closures, and so have their schedules.
Sevigny said it's a big day for cyclists that rolls around once a year, and that Velo Quebec is doing what they can to alleviate stress for all Montrealers and those driving through the city.