The City of Côte Saint-Luc has designated a bicycle route along an 10-kilometer route in the northern half of the city, as part of an initiative to encourage residents to stay active.

I have advocated for a cycling plan for our City for quite some time and in June 2008 I submitted a detailed plan entitled CSL Cycles and am very pleased that we have finally launched the first phase of a 5-year plan to make cycling fun and safer in Cote Saint-Luc.  This new route will make motorists more aware of bicyclists and along some stretches will create a reserved bike lane.

The route will form a single direction loop that includes Mackle Rd., Blossom Ave., Wavell Rd., and Marc Chagall Ave., and some additional roads. It will also cut right through Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park and Shuster Park. No parking spaces will be lost to the new bicycle route. About 115 chevrons have been painted at 100 meter internals on the road surface to warn motorists to look out for bicyclists. On some stretches of the route, there will be parallel lines to mark the reserved bicycle lane.

The bicycle path is part of the “Vélo CSL Cycles”, a phrase that I coined as a bicycling promotion and safety initiative. In addition to encouraging bicyclists to use the new bicycle route, the city will also be making it safer for bicyclists to use the three underpasses on Cavendish Blvd., Côte Saint-Luc Rd., and Westminster Ave. The city will post signs to advise bicyclists that they are able to ride on the sidewalk in the underpass, but must yield to and dismount for pedestrians.

 We’re making it safer for cyclists who want to use the sidewalk at the three underpasses.  As the council member responsible for public safety and traffic issues it is important that I stress that cyclists must act responsibly and stop and dismount every time they pass a pedestrian. And, without a doubt, all cyclists must wear a helmet.

CSL became the first city in all of Canada to legislate the wearing of bike helmets when I moved this resolution in 1991.  Studies show that 80% of head injuries can be prevented or reduced by wearing an approved helmet.

The next phases of the Velo CSL Cycles plan will call for designated bike lanes on Cavendish to connect with the NDG/Montreal routes that already connect to the De Maisonneuve lane toward downtown as well as the Lachine Canal bike path.  I have also pitched ideas including connecting Westminster in CSL and Montreal West to the Lachine Canal, creating bike paths through the city lanes on the northern strip of the city near Mather and behind some schools and homes such as the school near Blossom and behind the homes on Holland where the Hydro dirt road connects to the Cavendish overpass. We should also create on-street routes in Districts 4 and 5 on the southern portion of CSL and eventually build a pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting the area behind Bialik to Hampstead and the Parkhaven area to the CSL Shopping Centre.

I’d also like to thank Charles Senekal, Manager of the Engineering Department, and Mohammed Ali, Engineer, for their commitment and interest in handling this project with the utmost of professionalism.

For a map of the bicycle path and more information about the bicycling promotion and safety initiative, visit www.CoteSaintLuc.org/en/cslcycles.

En francais:  http://www.cotesaintluc.org/fr/velocsl