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.
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.