Verdun St. losing half its parking spaces for new bike path

It may not be as dramatic as a finger snap, but a pilot project in Verdun will wipe out half the available parking spaces over a three kilometre stretch of a popular street for two years.

Set to begin later this month, the borough will be testing two types of dedicated bike lanes on Verdun St.: one will run along the sidewalk, the other will run between one lane of traffic and cars parked on the side of the street.

The pilot project will run to the end of October of this year. During the winter parking will be available again on both sides of the street.

It will be implemented again May to October 2020.

Borough councillor Luc Gagnon said the goal is to give the increasing number of cyclists using Verdun St. a safer space.

"We need to serve who decide to go to work actively," Gagnon told CTV Montreal. "There's a very big increase of the use of the bike as a way of going to work and going to school."

According to Gagnon the number of Verdun residents who own a car has dropped slightly, adding it's the only borough in Montreal that has seen the number of cars decrease.

While parking will be kept on the north side of the street, 275 spaces on the south side will be eliminated.

Residents may not be looking to avenge their lost parking spaces but they are not impressed with the decision.

"For my husband and I, it's necessary for him to have a car. He's a mason," Hannah Aubut said. "He has to carry acids and trowels and heavy equipment that you don't want on public transit to and from these jobs."

Police data shows that each year there are at least two collisions on Verdun St. that send a cyclist to hospital with serious injuries.

Officials will be holding a public information session on Thursday at Verdun borough hall at 4555 Verdun St.