February 19 2013

A New Bike Coalition in Montréal, Canada

Bike counter in the Mile End neighbourhood

Bike counter in the Mile End neighbourhood

Montreal is awash with bicycling advocacy groups. In recent months another group has formed: the Montreal Bike Coalition, an initiative of the Mile End neighbourhood community organization “Ruepublique” (literally, public street). The Bike Coalition aims to connect all the grassroots cycling organizations and citizen cyclists, with a focus on utilitarian cycling, while not replicating the work already being undertaken by groups in various neighborhoods of the city.

The Coalition was born in a Café Citoyens, a consultation event organized by the Comité des citoyens du Mile End (The Mile End Citizens Committee), a group that works on neighbourhood revitalization, bicycle and pedestrian friendly urban design, and promoting a sense of community. After a conflict between cyclists and drivers in the neighbourhood surfaced at a committee meeting, members sought innovative solutions to advocate for safer streets and more space for cycling.

Modeled on the bike coalitions in Vancouver, Portland, and San Francisco, “the coalition wants to see Montréal continue to embrace, recognize, and respect cycling as a practical form of sustainable urban transportation.” This mandate differs from the already very active cycling advocacy group, Vélo Québec, that advocates for cycling routes throughout the province and promotes all forms of cycling, not only cycling for transportation.

Street in the Mile End neighbourhood

Street in the Mile End neighbourhood

The group also differs from other advocacy groups in that it is a meeting place for these groups to discuss their projects and plan strategically to improve cycling in the city. While concrete plans for future activities have yet to be determined, there will likely be some kind of public cycling forum organized for the spring.

Does a bike coalition exist in your city and has it been successful in promoting the rights of cyclists to use the road safely?

Credits: Photos by Devon Willis. Data linked to sources.

Devon Paige Willis

Devon Paige Willis is a native Montrealer and recent graduate of McGill University where she did her B.A. in Environment and Political Science. She discovered a passion for urban and transportation planning in her final year, during which time she attended UC Berkeley’s [IN]City introductory urban planning program and completed her honours thesis about cycling in Montreal, specifically measuring bikeability and understanding what affects cyclist satisfaction. She will pursue a Master of Urban Studies called 4Cities starting in September 2013. The Masters takes place in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid and focus on European Urban Planning. She will be focusing on sustainable transportation and is especially interested in urban planning and transportation in suburban environments. She has her own urban planning blog at iliveinthesuburbs.wordpress.com.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 9:13 am and is filed under Environment, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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