Nathalie Garcin recently had a close encounter with a motorist.
She was riding her bike east on the Notre-Dame-de-Grace Avenue bike path and was almost hit by a car travelling in the same direction.
“Came up right behind me on the bike path to try to urge me to go forward more quickly,” she says. “But we’re at an intersection.”
It happened near Old Orchard during morning rush hour, and she was forced to get off her bike to deal with the situation.
“I gave the man a piece of my mind,” Garcin tells Global News. “And told him that it was unsafe, and that I was a mother too and that it was not fair what he was doing.”
She says it’s common to see impatient drivers cut off cyclists here. It is a major artery and narrow.
During morning rush hour, there are parents who also stop to drop kids off at the various schools in the area. That adds to the congestion and drivers lose patience.
“So people will often veer into the bike path in order to get around the cars,” Garcin explains.
Garcin is happy that there are so many bike paths in the borough but with so much congestion, she says something has to be done.
“I don’t know if it would be putting in green posts to prevent people from veering into the bike path, but something could be done.”
Other cyclists like Nathan O’Brien say it’s the congestion that is the main issue — not erecting more barriers to protect cyclists.
“I think that if there’s greater fluidity for vehicles, even the ability to turn right on a red in this city, that would accelerate traffic patterns,” he says.
He thinks doing so will help drivers be more patient.
But whatever is done, Garcin says both cyclists and motorists need to learn to share the road. It’s a lesson the driver who almost hit her, learned as well.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,'” she laughs. “I think that he felt bad.”