A nice bike path network in Montreal’s East End may mean quicker commutes for cyclists but some people with disabilities say it’s making it harder to get around.
Hochelaga-Maisonneuve resident Martin Dion said the two-lane bike path along a stretch of Souligny has led to the removal of three of the area’s five disembarkment points for adapted transit vehicles.
“Cyclists are important but we’re also important,” he said. “We need to be able to safely disembark.”
Residents of an apartment building along the stretch of road, many of which are seniors, said they’re also upset. Giselle Lemay said there’s now no place for cars or delivery vehicles to stop in front of the building without blocking traffic.
“If a person gets off in front of here, they’re blocking traffic,” she said. “People aren’t patient and seniors need time to get out and cross the road.”
Lemay has started a petition calling for a change to the bike path which has so far garnered over 100 signatures. She said even cyclists are agreeing with her.
A spokesperson for the City of Montreal said they’ve made the two remaining disembarkment points larger to accommodate buses and other forms of transit, but Lemay, Dion and others said they’re worried because one of the spots is located across the street from a sidewalk.
Concordia University professor Meghan Joy said cities must view transit through a variety of lenses, including one for people with reduced mobility.
“There becomes this kind of conflict in cities of meeting the needs of residents, of having a lot of bus stops in areas where seniors live and that kind of conflicts with this ‘we’ve got to move quickly, be a competitive city that’s dynamic’ and moving very fast,” she said.