Bikes: yes, but not in my streets

Les vélos: oui, mais pas dans mes rues

Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
In Montreal, only 11% of respondents believe that there are too many bike trails in its own site in their city, while 49% of them felt that there was not enough.

Residents of large canadian cities generally believe that the cycle tracks separated from automobile traffic are a good thing… but not necessarily in their municipality, reveals a survey conducted by the Institute Angus Reid and released on Thursday.

Montrealers are many to think that there should be more. The opinions, however, are shared in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

The Institute Angus Reid surveyed more than 5,000 Canadians online — whether they are motorists, cyclists or users of public transit in several major cities across the country, such as Montreal, Halifax, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver as well as Toronto and its suburbs.

A large majority of respondents (65 %) believe that the cycle paths separated from the roadway are a good thing. In this respect, Montreal sits at the top of the cities surveyed, with a proportion of 80 %, against 60 % in Toronto, 53 % in Vancouver, 46 % in Calgary and 42 % in Edmonton.


It is the proportion of Montrealers who feel that the bicycle paths separated from the roadway are a good thing.

The case of Vancouver

On the other hand, the opinions differ from one city to the other as to the desirability of providing new cycle paths. In Montreal, only 11% of respondents believe that there are too many bike trails in its own site in their city, while 49 % of them felt that there was not enough.

In Edmonton, 36 % of residents surveyed consider that these bike lanes are already too many, that the rate reaches 37 % in Calgary. In Vancouver, however, considered to be one of the most favourable to cycling in Canada, 30 % of respondents feel that there are too many bike trails.

The opening of Montreal to respect bike lanes as no surprise to Suzanne Lareau, p.-d. g. of Vélo Québec : “The love Montrealers have for the bike is known, and the surveys that we have done over the past twenty years confirm that they want more cycle paths “. But it was hard to understand the results for Vancouver, a city that has deployed significant efforts to develop its cycling network.

Chris Bruntlett, co-founder of the agency provélo Modacity Vancouver, believes that the inclusion of data from cities around Vancouver has been able to influence the results.

“If you talk to people in Vancouver only, you will have different results. People who live outside of the city may also consider bicycle lanes as a nuisance, because they are often in the car, ” he explained to the Duty.

In general, too many cyclists do not respect the highway Code, consider the respondents with a proportion of 69 % across the country. But too many motorists do not give enough attention to cyclists, said 65 % of those surveyed.

In case of conflict between motorists and cyclists, who is to blame ? Cyclists, in a proportion of 67 %, is believed to Montreal. There’s only in Winnipeg that motorists are singled out (52 %) more than cyclists.

“This is an opinion poll. People are clearly more drivers than cyclists in this survey-there, ” argued Suzanne Lareau. She recalled that in 2014, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) had analyzed accident reports and had concluded that in 57% of cases, the motorists were at fault.

“You must be very careful with the reality and the perception. This is a funny poll. There are many elements that are based on perceptions. It’s strange to say that there are too many bike trails. It is here that one realizes that the collective interest does not pass by the satisfaction of individuals, ” she said.

In Vancouver, the former conservative member of parliament Wai Young was recently launched in the race for mayor of the city by promising to remove some of the existing bike paths. Chris Bruntlett does not believe that this position reflects the general opinion. The other candidates are rather favourable to the bike, he argues. Opponents to bike lanes are just more noisy.

According to him, the development of new cycling infrastructures is a must for cities : “moreover, there is a competition between cities in Canada to attract enterprises of high technology who wish that their employees can get to work by bike. We saw it with Amazon […] in Vancouver. “


Asked to compare Montreal and Vancouver as cities of bike, with Chris Bruntlett is estimated that, in recent years, Montreal has been treading water.

“I have not seen a lot of progress in Montreal in the last few years. I think Vancouver has exceeded, in terms of quantity of cyclists. But the mayor [Plant] may be things to say about it. “

Remember that Valerie Plante was elected promising to improve the mobility in Montreal. In may, the administration has also said it would put more emphasis on the quality of cycling facilities rather than on the number of miles added to.

The Institute survey who are Angus Reid has been achieved from 5423 Canadians between 6 and 15 march. The margin of error is 2 % in 19 cases out of 20.