Cycling into the Centre of Montréal

from the West


Web post date: 2005-06-20
Last updated on: 2005-06-20


When approaching a city as a touring cyclist, one faces a quandary as to which road to use.      
  Your research may have uncovered a cycling map on the Internet or a hard copy.  The map may be useful in outlining a quite way for cycling into the city or may only show some intermittent, unconnected cycling facilities.    
    Usually, entering a city means finding the least crowded major streets and hoping that you won’t arrive during rush hour.  
      If the information is not the most useful, then a decision may be made to just avoid it all and bypass the city, the frustration with cycling in heavy traffic, the uncertainty of where to go, the annoyance of finding accommodations, and points of interests.
The loss for not continuing into the city will be the city’s, as touring cyclists are purchasers of services and goods from the local economy which tends to employ significant number of people in jobs requiring less skills.       
  Now, the cyclists may be from afar (nationally, continental, or global), or from within the province, or from the region.  Some may be people living in one municipality wishing to explore another municipality within the GVRD.    

Too much frustration of where to go, too much uncertainty, the prospect of facing traffic.

The decision may be not to go at all.



Central Valley Greenway

The Central Valley Greenway (CVG) provides such an opportunity for an easy, continuous, low motorized vehicular conflict ride into downtown Vancouver or to the other municipalities that it passes through, if designed to induce people to cycle.  Also, the CVG could then be the start for extending it into the Lower Mainland to Hope and to the US Border.
For the CVG to become a path that will draw touring and other cyclists to Vancouver, it will need to be designed to attract families and younger children to cycling.     
  It will need to deliver the features that touring cyclists, from day trippers to long distance tourists, look for in planning routes and recommending cycling areas to other cyclists.  
    It will need to be designed right from the onset, avoiding developing a negative reputation to cyclists.


Cycling to Montreal

Early June (2005-06-08) I enjoyed the cycle into Downtown Montréal.  Well, actually the experience started on Tuesday at Morrisburg located about 170 km to the west in Ontario.  As a comparison, that is the same distance as cycling from 20 km east of Hope, BC into Downtown Vancouver.

From Morrisburg, at least half of the cycle was on off-road bike paths and on-shoulder bike paths.  Then, for some of the way there was a mixture of on-road bike lanes, on-road physically separated two-way bike lanes, on-sidewalk two-way bike lanes and bike routes.

On-road cycling with either a paved shoulder of varying width or with no paved shoulder only accounted for about 30 to 50 or so kilometres.  Then, about 14 kilometres of that distance was on a very low used service road to the very busy MacDonald-Cartier Expressway (Hwy #401).

From Morrisburg to Montréal the base infrastructure of a very cycling friendly approach to the city is in placed which would attract one to cycle there.  Hopefully, with time the infrastructure will be expanded so that the full distance to the city will be with cycling facilities and preferably with bike paths.

(List of cycling facilities entering Montreal from the west)

Bike Paths (Off-Road and On-Shoulder)
Bike Lanes (On-Road)
On-Road Physically Separated Two-Way Bike Lanes
Bike Routes
Paved Shoulders
Signage (Destination, Direction, Distance, Information, Warning)
Maps – on Paths (Cycling Route)
Maps – Hard Copy and Internet (Cycling Route)
Major Route Shortfalls for Cyclists


List of Cycling Facilities into Montreal from the West

From to Cycling Facilities
Morrisburg Chrysler Farm Park Bike lanes primarily in country
Chrysler Farm Park Long Sault On-road cycling with paved shoulder of varying width or with no paved shoulders
Long Sault Cornwall Off-road path
Cornwall   Off-road path
Cornwall Lancaster Bike lanes with rumple strips
Lancaster Provincial Line No paved shoulders
Provincial Line to La Riviere-Baudette Paved shoulders
La Riviere-Baudette Soulanges Canal Bike Path Two-Way Bike Lanes physically separated from traffic lanes
Soulanges Canal Bike Path Hwy 20 and Bridges on to L'Isle de Montreal On-road biking, no paved shoulders
Hwy 20 - First Bridge   General traffic lane reassigned and physically separated for cycling
Hwy 20 between Bridges   Wide paved shoulders - 3 metres plus
Hwy 20 - Second Bridge   On-sidewalk walking or cycling unless very confident cyclists, then on-road.
From Hwy 20 through Beaconfield and Pointe Claire Combination of Bike Route, Bike Lanes, Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road, and on-Road Cycling with no facilities
Lachine Montreal Off-Road Bike Path


Cyclists Forward

Cyclists Back


Bicycle Facilities and Design - Encounters on My Trips

Cycling as a Transportation Option

Copyright web page
Higher image quality available on request.