12 things Montreal wants to change about Quebec's laws for cyclists
If the city has its way, cyclists won’t have to stop at stop signs.
It’s one of several new measures the city is recommending as
the province revises its Highway Safety Code to improve cyclist safety.
Transport Minister Robert Poëti is expected to outline the new measures in
the fall session of the National Assembly.
On Monday, the city of Montreal unveiled its recommendations for how the
code should be changed. The general thrust of its suggestions would give
cyclists greater mobility, while working to prevent serious accidents, like
dooring, when a driver opens a car door and hits a cyclist.
Dooring is a serious problem, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said, accounting
for about one fifth of all major injuries to cyclists in the last year.
While Ontario has upped the fine for dooring to $1,000 plus three demerit
points, the penalty in this province is $30.
“We need to protect the most vulnerable,” Coderre said. “When one fifth of
accidents are because people open their doors, and there’s only a $30 fine,
do you think that’s enough?”
He said even if the city’s requested changes would legitimize common
illegal behaviour among cyclists, such as going through stop signs, they
will have to be responsible.
“We have to be sensitive to the reality, but cyclists also have to follow
the rules,” Coderre said, adding that cyclists will have to watch out for
The new proposed rules were welcomed by Montreal Bike Coalition
spokesperson Daniel Lambert.
“We made a few recommendations to the transport minister, and these support
our position, so we’re happy about that,” Lambert said.
Marianne Giguère, the Projet Montréal spokesperson for cycling issues, also
welcomed the city’s position, but said along with new rules, the city must
improve markings on the streets and signs on the road to give more place
for cyclists. She said more bike boxes
be painted on the roads, so cyclists have a safe place to stop at
Here is the list of rules the city would like to see changed:
*1. Introduce the principle of prudence. *Put the onus on drivers to watch
out for cyclists. This is to recognize that cyclists are more vulnerable
than motorists, so motorists should take this into account when sharing the
*2. Allow ‘Idaho stops’ for stop signs. *Idaho stops, named after a measure
first adopted in the northwestern state, allow cyclists to treat stop signs
as yield signs, obliging them to slow down or stop for people crossing in
front of them. If there are no people crossing, cyclists can merely slow
down and continue without making a full stop. However, the city is opposed
to allowing this practice at red lights.
Cyclists should also be permitted to cross at walk signals when there is a
red light for cars.
*3. Reduce the risk of dooring. *Remove the obligation for cyclists to ride
on the extreme right side of the road. This allows cyclists to ride where
they feel comfortable, and also reduces the risk of dooring. Dooring should
be included in the province’s definition of a road accident, and stiffer
fines should be imposed on drivers who hit cyclists with their doors. The
rule for passing should change to require cars to leave at least one
metre between them and cyclists. The current rule merely says there should
be “a safe distance.”
*4. Permit cyclists to ride between two lanes of traffic, and even on
sidewalks in some cases.* Young children should be permitted to ride on the
sidewalk, and cyclists should also be allowed when there is construction on
the road, or when there is an underpass that is considered unsafe for
cyclists to ride on the road. Cars turning right should yield for cyclists
going straight in the same lane. Cyclists should be permitted to ride in
reserved bus lanes when space allows.
*5. Stiffer fines, but no demerits for cyclists. *Increase fines for
cyclists, which are currently in the $15 to $30 range. However, cyclists
who break the law should no longer be issued demerit points, because not
everyone has a drivers’ licence, and that is an arbitrary and unfair
*6. Define the term bicycle. *That term should exclude scooters.
Skateboards, in-line skates and electric wheelchairs should be permitted on
bike lanes. The city already tolerates these modes of transportation in
*7. Prohibit the use of cellular phones and earphones while riding.*
*8. Prohibit riding a bike under the influence of alcohol or other
*9. Permit cyclists to ride side-by-side when space allows.*
*10. Do not require cyclists to wear helmets.* Such laws in other
jurisdictions have resulted in fewer overall cyclists on the road.
*11. Revisit the law on reflectors and lights to make cyclists more
*12. Change the rule on brakes.* Currently, the law requires a brake on the
back wheel. Other types of braking systems should be considered, like those
on fixed-gear bicycles, which connect the gear to the back hub of the wheel
so that the bike stops as soon as the user stops pedalling.
On Friday October 9th, Bike Winnipeg <http://bikewinnipeg.ca/> will be
putting on a fundraising concert featuring Winnipeg artists the Dirty
Catfish Brass Band and Slow
Proceeds from the performance go to Bike Winnipeg in support of our
ongoing advocacy efforts to provide people on bikes with safe,
comfortable and convenient ways to get around our city.
Over the past three years the Dirty Catfish Brass Band
<http://www.dirtycatfishbrassband.com/> (DCBB) has been bringing the
sounds of the Bayou north while building a strong reputation as one of
Winnipeg's most explosive live bands. Featuring some of Winnipeg's top
instrumentalists, this horn heavy ensemble fronted by an explosive brass
section presents the best of New Orleans second-line, funk and soul.
Supporting act Slow Leaves <http://slowleaves.com/> has garnered a
reputation as much for his honest lyrics and stirring voice as his
intimate stage performances and confessional storytelling. His
country-tinged folk music is deeply rooted in the genuine and honest,
rich in melody and sung from the heart of downtown.
In addition to being treated to two of Winnipeg’s premier musical
artists, concert goers will also have the opportunity to learn about and
comment on Bike Winnipeg’s ongoing advocacy work, including:
* Recommendations for Winnipeg’s Downtown Protected Bike Lanes
* Recommendationsthe Arlington Bridge and accompanying protected bike
* Plans for the rehabilitated Pembina Underpass and Southwest RT
Corridor Bike Routes
* Recommendations for a new Northwest Hydro Corridor Greenway
The concert will take place from 7:15 pm to 11:00 pm at the West End
Cultural Centre <http://www.wecc.ca/>. Tickets can be purchased for $15
from the West End Cultural Centre (586 Ellice), Music Trader (97 Osborne
St.), Into the Music (245 McDermot Ave.), or online here
We'd love to see you there, but if you can't make it, please consider
spreading the word to anyone you think might be interested in attending.
Note this free webinar coming up on Monday, Sept 21st. We are not able to
host a group viewing at the EcoCentre as I'm travelling this week, but it
looks like a good one you could register for and watch on your own.
WEBINAR WATCH: STUDYING VANCOUVER’S PROTECTED INTERSECTIONS
Protected intersections are hot. A free one-hour webinar
<https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8761710562780325634> this month
will walk you through the ins and outs of the first one in North America.
The presentation by an active transportation manager and a street engineer
from Vancouver, B.C., will start at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Sept. 21.
Vancouver has moved faster than any other city in the U.S. or Canada to
build new protected bikeway networks over the last few years. According to
the description by the webinar hosts -- the National Association of City
Transportation Officials -- the presentation will "provide an overview of a
variety of protected intersection treatments that Vancouver has been
implementing over the past 5 years including its first fully protected
intersection at Burrard and Cornwall."
***Friendly reminder regarding tomorrow afternoon's AT webinar***
Green Action Centre and Bike Winnipeg invite you to join us for a local
viewing of the following APBP webinar: *Shared Streets, Slow Streets*.
Should be a good one.
The webinar viewing takes place in the EcoCentre boardroom (3rd floor, 303
Portage Ave) and will be followed by group discussion of local
RSVPs appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
** * * * **
Shared Streets, Slow Streets
*Wednesday, Sept. 16th, 2-3pm, EcoCentre
- Understand the theory behind Sustainable Safety, which has driven
widespread adoption of 30-km (20 mph) zones in the Netherlands
- Identify the principal elements necessary to design successful 30-km
- Examine how design standards might be revised to allow for new spatial
forms in North America
This webinar explores the Dutch theory of Sustainable Safety (similar to
Vision Zero) and the engineering and design principles underlying 30-km
zones that permit different modes to share the streets safely. The session
includes examples of shared street projects in North America, where these
design principles have been adapted to local contexts.
Sustainable Safety is a safe systems approach used in the Netherlands to
prevent serious crashes and severe injury. This approach has reduced fatal
traffic crashes by 30 percent between 1998 and 2008. As the details of
Vision Zero initiatives are being developed, North American planners can
learn from the mistakes and successes of the Dutch.
The presentation introduces the underlying principles of Sustainable Safety
and focuses on the design and engineering tools used to create streets
where different modes can mix at speeds safe for all users. Case studies
with both good and bad examples of 30-km zones are included; presenters
also discuss examples of shared streets in North America.
- Dick van Veen, MSc. Eng, MSc. Arch, Mobycon BV
- Brice Maryman, Senior Landscape Architect, SvR Design
*Beth McKechnie* | Workplace Commuter Options
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/>Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3772 | Find us here
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a member
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/become-a-member/>. Donate at
Speed limits drop to 30 km/h on some residential streets
Limit falls to 30/h in bid to make streets safer for pedestrians
New signs are going up and speed limits are going down in parts of old
Toronto and East York starting today.
Many residential streets are seeing the top speed drop to 30 kilometres per
hour, down from 40 km/h.
A total of 387 kilometres of roads in East York in the old City of Toronto
will make the switch starting today. Some 4,400 new 30 km/h signs will be
going up on residential streets.
One resident told CBC News he's happy to see the speed limit reduced.
"There's children all over the place here and you have to be careful," he
Toronto and East York community council unanimously voted for the change in
June at a cost of $1.1 million. This followed the 2014 death of Georgia
Walsh who was hit and killed
a van at Millwood and McRae in Leaside.
Her death created a groundswell of support to bring down the speed limit.
Critics of the change say bringing down the speed limit also requires
greater enforcement on local roads.
Toronto Star (June)