Opposition voiced over new cycling highway through Ahuntsic-Cartierville

Click to play video: 'Ahuntsic-Cartierville bike lane raises concerns'
Ahuntsic-Cartierville bike lane raises concerns
Anger is rising as more than 100 spaces are set to be removed from a busy street in Ahuntsic-Cartierville. Residents are furious with their elected officials as the parking spots will disappear to make room for new bike lanes. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines takes a closer look – Mar 7, 2023

A newly announced bike path network in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Que., is being met with growing opposition from residents who fear the loss of parking spots.

More than 160 residents who live along Legendre Street Ouest have signed a petition against the new bike path.

“They are imposing (this) and when you feel a government on you like that, it’s not a good sign,” resident Silvana Cosentino said.

In February borough council unveiled plans for a three-kilometer cycling highway that will travel through sections of the borough.

According to the city, 980 meters of the new lane will run along Legendre Street between de l’Esplanade Avenue and Lajeunesse Street.

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More than 100 parking spaces will be removed from the area to make way for the two-lane bike path.

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“There are schools, there are churches, where are the people going to park? It’s absolutely outrageous. It’s a concealed tax,” said resident Marie Barbeau.

Residents claim the highly dense neighbourhood is already dealing with limited parking. They worry the removal of spots will force drivers to use side streets and clog up the residential area.

“It’s going to create more frustration on the adjacent streets. There are going to be a lot of complaints,” said resident Tatiana Hollerich.

“We are here to make a safer neighbourhood – not just for people using bikes but for people walking, for young families and everyone. It’s a win-win,” city councillor Julie Roy said.

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The city says they are following the vision zero plan.

Roy said the implementation of the bike path will make streets safer by reducing the speed of cars and will also help businesses in the area.

Roy said the borough conducted traffic studies on Legendre street. Connecting two schools and two neighbourhoods, the street is a central artery that needs to be opened up to active transit users, Roy said.

“We will keep working on the people that are affected, but in the end, the trade-off is a safer neighbourhood for everyone,” Roy said.

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While not a part of the grand REV bike network the new cycling lanes will be connected.

The city of Montreal is pledging to spend $30 million per year for five years to vastly expand the network of secured bike paths.

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Projet Montréal says promoting cycling is vital in the fight against climate change.

The residents say they feel the borough is not listening to the citizens.

They disapprove of the use of online council meetings claiming voices are easily silenced on issues such as the bike path.

Hollerich said it also creates a barrier for an aging demographic.

“They should be in touch with the people in our area because we have a lot of elderly people – they should have a say about this because it’s going to affect them.”

Roy disagrees, claiming online forums have proven to bring in larger audiences, making it easier for parents with young kids and people with disabilities to attend.

“We definitely understand that this is a change for residents but we are working to find solutions,” Roy said.

Vignette parking is something the borough says they are considering but have yet to finalize.

The borough will be holding an online information session March 9.

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The new bike path is scheduled to be installed by late summer or early fall.

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