Confusion and danger surround Notre-Dame-de-Grâce’s Grand Blvd. bike paths

Click to play video: 'NDG bike path irks cyclists and drivers' NDG bike path irks cyclists and drivers
WATCH: Safety concerns and confusion surround a popular bike path on Grand Boulevard that runs through NDG. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, cyclists and drivers can’t agree on a solution – Jul 24, 2018

At first glance, seeing Jason Savard riding up Grand boulevard in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, one might think he is cycling on the wrong side .

In reality, he is following the rules of the road cycling in one of two lanes. Savard of The Association of Pedestrians & Cyclists NDG says many people — drivers and cyclists alike — do not know that.

READ MORE: Montreal police launch road safety campaign for cyclists and motorists

Savard says cyclists will often cross the street to be in the clearly-marked bike lane because markings for the northbound lane are faded.

“If you’re not a resident, you will take this way, too,” Savard said. “Anybody would assume it’s the natural way.”

The problem area is an 800-metre stretch of Grand Boulevard between De Maisonneuve Boulevard and Monkland Avenue.

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“You can’t fit two cyclists going northbound and southbound with a car and parked cars on both sides,” Savard said.

“It’s an impossible feat,” he added. “One has to compromise; you have to weave between parked cars, creating an even more dangerous situation.”

The narrow one-way street has parking on either side of it. The city says the faded marked bikes lanes were supposed to be repainted, but heavy rains in the beginning of the season caused them to push back their timeline.

“If it was done in the time it should have been done, it would be less of an issue because you would see the painting on the street, ” said NDG spokesperson Catherine Lavarenne.

READ MORE: Silent bike ride honours Clément Ouimet, cyclists who were killed in road accidents

Drivers have to cross over the bike lane to park. The Association of Pedestrians & Cyclists NDG want a safe route through the borough. They have suggested either a protected bike lane with poles or clearly-marked lanes on either side.

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Removing parking on one side of the street to fit a bike lane is the ideal solution for Savard.

“There is a lot of drive ways so that shouldn’t be too difficult,” Savard said.

“If you’re going to take away my parking places , its hard enough to find parking as it is,” said Joel Yanofsky, a Grand Boulevard resident of 19 years.

Bicycles have complicated things, Yanofsky said, particularly since the bike paths came in.

He says they are hard to see when exiting his drive way.

The city says the are aware of the situation and are presently looking at all options to correct the issue.

“There are other options and removing parking is not one of them,”  Lavarenne said.

The situation is a priory for the borough. Officals said the street will be repainted, but they did not say when.


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