Advancing the bicycle urbanism conversation in Montréal

On Nov. 29, members of our Montréal and Brussels offices got together to hold an inaugural event in our new Montréal office space. With Clotilde from our French office in town to collaborate on client projects in Québec, it was the perfect opportunity to do a talk on bicycle urbanism in frenglish, or franglais, incorporating examples from both European and North American contexts. With dozens of local bicycle advocates, transportation professionals, elected officials, and interested citizens in attendance, we engaged in lively discussions with Montrealers on why Montréal is North America’s most bicycle-friendly city, and what progress is left to make.

It’s true that Montréal already has over 700 kilometres of various types of bicycle facilities. However, what participants repeatedly referenced in the discussion was that many facilities and streets feel unsafe to bicycle users, discouraging many but the confident or fearless rider from biking for transport in several neighbourhoods. There was a strong consensus in the room that what Montréal needs now — in order to keep improving and increasing its bicycle modal share — is protected infrastructure on arterial streets. Discussions on the future of Montréal’s bicycle network are more relevant than ever, as consultations just ended for the City’s proposed Réseau Express Vélo. We are hopeful that the City will listen to the local and global consensus — and the outcomes from the consultations — by building a better bicycle network to increase future mobility in Montréal.