Every city that's ever considered removing auto parking to make room for a protected bike lane has been, understandably, nervous. North America's best city for biking wasn't immune.
But when it was planning its signature downtown bike projecthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Maisonneuve_Boulevard#Claire_Morissette_bike_path in 2005, Montreal got past those concerns with a very simple tactic. Instead of counting only the change in parking spaces on the boulevard De Maisonneuve itself, a measure that might have led to headlines and perceptions that "half of the parking" was being removed, it counted the total number of auto parking spaces — public and private, on-street and off — within 200 meters of the project.
The district, it turned out, had 11,000 parking spaces. Converting one of the corridor's two auto parking lanes to a protected bikeway would remove 300 of them, or just under 3 percent.
"The effect on the debate was suprise," said Jean-Francois Pronovost of Vélo Québec http://www.velo.qc.ca/, the bike advocacy and planning nonprofit contracted by the city to study the issue. "No one estimated that there was that number of car parking [spaces] available."
Even worried business owners were calmed, he said, when they saw the proposed changes in context.
*Read full article*: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/how-montreal-built-a-bike-lane-by-d...