For years, bicycle footrests have been a normal part of travelling by bike in the City of Copenhagen. We were pleased to see that the Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough in Montréal began piloting a similar design last summer, starting with the intersection of Boyer and Bélanger streets.
Footrests may seem like a superfluous add-on to a basic, functional bicycle network, but in fact, they serve an important purpose: besides making the travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable for bicycle users, they also help to reduce the number of bicyclists who run red lights by offering a reason to stay. In implementing bicycle footrests, the City of Montréal joins a small number of other forward-thinking North American cities, including Chicago and Seattle. Footrests and other add-ons are of course complementary to, rather than a replacement for, protected, safe infrastructure; however, they remain an essential part of normalizing the bicycle as an everyday mode of transportation. We hope to see other boroughs and cities follow in Montréal’s footsteps.