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The borough of Verdun is launching a two-year pilot project to test dedicated bike lanes on Verdun St.

From May until the end of October, in 2019 and 2020, one lane of street parking will be eliminated along Verdun St., while parking will remain on the north side of the street.

In total, 275 parking spaces will be eliminated.

The centre line of the street will be shifted, and dedicated bike lanes will be in place on either side of the street. One of the bike lanes will be between vehicle traffic and the parking lane.

In the fall and winter, the bike lanes will be removed and vehicle parking will be allowed on both sides of the street.

Borough councillor Luc Gagnon said that traffic levels have changed in recent years, meaning the way the street is used has to be altered to accommodate more bicycles.

"There's a very big increase of the use of the bike as a way of going to work and going to school," said Gagnon.

Many of those cyclists ride to Verdun metro station, located on Verdun St.

Each year there are two crashes on Verdun St. that leave cyclists with serious injuries, and the borough hopes the bike lanes will reduce that number.

 

Residents not impressed

To accommodate drivers who need a place to park their cars, borough officials are pushing residents to agree to permit parking.

"There's a little diminution of the number of car-owning [residents] in Verdun. It's the only borough out of 19 that actually has a decrease," said Gagnon.

But Hannah Aubut is among those who said her family needs its motor vehicles, and that taking a bicycle or public transit is not feasible.

"For my husband and I, it's necessary for him to have a car. He's a mason. He has to carry acids and trowels and heavy equipment that you don't want on public transit to and from these jobs. He builds the city and he needs to be able to park his vehicle and enjoy the city that he builds," said Aubut.

The first public information session takes place Thursday evening at Verdun borough hall (4555 Verdun St.)

The borough said if feedback from the pilot project is positive, after two years the paths will stay. If not, they could disappear.