Montreal — The city of Montreal has announced that it will phase in a series of “velorues.”
The pilot project is designed to turn residential streets into more cycling friendly zones.
In these areas, cyclists will be given priority over motorists.
City officials are hoping that a combination of reduced speed limits and traffic calming measures will discourage motorists from deviating from the Plateau’s main arteries.
Watch: Bike safety changes in Montreal
Montreal borough councillor Marianne Giguere told Global News that there was a need for dedicated bike streets in the city.
“[The bike lanes] are overcharged, there are so many cyclists that simply extending the lanes isn’t enough,” she said.
The city would like to accommodate all types of cyclists, she explained. She said she believed that “velorues” would give the chance for everyone to enjoy cycling safely.
While motorist would still have access to these streets, speed bumps and large medians to narrow the road would be installed to discourage speeding.
Mentana and St. Andre Streets are said to be among the first to undergo the biker-friendly transformation, with more to come at a later date.
In lieu of the recent cycling tragedies, like the death of 33-year-old Mathilde Blais, Giguere stressed the importance of getting these measures introduced quickly.
“We need to act fast, we have been given examples that these velorues are needed and will be put in place as soon as possible,” she explained.
Girguere also noted that the velorues are part of a bigger vision for the Plateau Mont-Royal borough, stating that they had other initiatives in the works to improve cyclist safety.
In addition to the new velorues, borough Mayor Luc Ferandez said that he plans to add an additional 20 kilometres of bike paths.
The project is set to be introduced in the summer of 2015.
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