On Monday May 27th, Mayor Valerie Plante revealed the city’s plan for the Reseau express velo (REV) bike path network. The REV was one of her election promises and after over a year of studies and consultations, she shared part of the details for what will be a 184 kilometre network with 17 protected bike routes running East/West and North/South along 17 axes crossing through several municipalities.
Major roadwork will first be required on three of the routes and the network will be installed in transitional phases – with painted lines, bollards, planters and other temporary barriers that will clearly mark the paths and greatly improve safety for cyclists. Where it is required, approximately 200 traffic lights will be updated with separate indications for cyclists and pedestrians.
The REV’s goal is to have more than 15% of commuters in the city on bicycles within the next 10 years – and although Velo Quebec was pleased about the announcement they are still unhappy about the timeline and would like to see it done faster. Many cycling activists feel the city’s administration is moving too slowly in fulfilling their promise and with the reality of severe climate change, commuters need to move faster towards cleaner forms of transportation.
In a statement Mayor Plante said, “It is the first step of a network that will be good for mobility, the environment, health and the safety of everyone… the Reseau express velo will facilitate efficient, comfortable and safe travel, but above all, it will be accessible to users of all levels. It will meet the needs of those who are interested in cycling and have not yet adopted this mode of transit.” She promised that work will begin on 5 of the 17 axes this summer and a little over 31 kilometres of the ‘transitional’ REV will be in place by the end of 2021. Here are the 5 axes:
BERRI-LAJEUNESSE-ST-DENIS: a 10-kilometre north-south route will run from Gouin Boulevard in Ahuntsic along Lajeunesse – and then along St-Denis and Berri Streets to the downtown area.
VIGER: a 7.6 kilometre East-West axis will run along St-Antoine and St-Jacques Streets and on Viger Avenue from de Courcelle Street in the West to Berri Street in the East.
SOULIGNY: an axis will run 5.3 kilometres along Souligny Avenue between Dickson and Hector Streets in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough.
PEEL: a 2.1-kilometre axis where work has already started along Peel Street in the South part will connect the bike path on De Maisonneuve Boulevard to the path at the Lachine Canal through Griffintown.
DE BELLECHASSE: a 6.2 kilometre East-West axis will run along de Bellechasse Street between St-Laurent Boulevard to Chatelain Street in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough.