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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Plenty of parking, no path to get there

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The Mcgill University administration has of late come under criticism for their cycling restrictions in their downtown campus. Scenes of security guards enforcing the rules are now common.  However, despite the on campus restrictions, Mcgill students are fortunate to have several cycling links from the city to their campus.  The Mcgill Ghetto is crisscrossed with  designated bands. The southern and eastern flanks of the campus are served by the Maisonneuve and Park ave bike paths respectively.  Over on the other side of Mont Royal, the University of Montreal’s students are not so lucky. Although there are no restrictive measures in place on the campus, there are absolutely no cycling lanes in the streets that surround the campus. Its quite amazing that the largest francophone university in the country does not have a single lane of cycling paths to connect it to the city that surrounds it.Perhaps change is in the air for the cyclists of UdM.  Outremont has recently announced that there will be a bicycle path on Cote saint Catherine, and the borough of CDN-NDG has presented a comprehensive bicycle network to their citizens. Hopefully these lofty plans will be acted upon.   UdM entrance on Édouard-Montpetit



  1. You are absolutely right!
    We should have bike lanes near U of M!

  2. Don’t worry – this bike lane is planned to pass along Edouard Montpetit by UdeM, and then to continue past Cote de Neige and on down to Snowdon metro. Conveniently (for me), this is exactly the route which I take every day!

    It will be interesting to see what kind of treatment is proposed at certain crucial intersections. In particular Cote Ste. Catherine & Vincent D’Indy, where most people turn left for the UdeM, and Edouard Montpetit & Vincent D’Indy where people make the return movement. Not sure which side of Edouard Montpetit the bike lane will be on.

    Personally, I hate bi-directional bike lanes- they add conflicting turning movements and make it more difficult to go fast.

  3. As a note on bike parking, the University of Wisconsin – Madison has more racks in front of any one given building than McGill has on its entire campus. I’ve been there: I’ve seen it. If we’re going to change to a less car-dependent (if not entirely carfree) culture, we have to start encouraging eco-friendly options and discouraging the cult of practically free parking.

  4. As an UdeM student, I would contest the “plenty of parking” claim. Yes, there are quite a few spots on campus, especially in front of the UdeM metro. However, during the day they are pretty much constantly full, and people still end up resorting to locking their bikes to poles on the sidewalk.

  5. by saying plenty I did not mean to infer that there was too much. I just found it interesting that there are many spots yet not a single bike lane

  6. Yes, there are far from enough, but when I attended Université de Montréal, those bicycle racks didn’t exist (there were a few in front of the social-sciences building but you had to get there early). And I did cycle there every day there wasn’t snow. Indeed the corners where one turns are problematic.

    Bicycle theft is of course the other issue. It might not be quite the problem at UdM that it is at the three downtown universities, but it remains a problem there as elsewhere. I had a bicycle stolen from UQAM when doing research for my thesis at that university’s library – although I had a second-hand bicycle with two locks. Professional gangs target campuses – some travel around with trucks and steal entire racks of bicycles.

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