Equitable and available to everyone, active transportation is a vector of social participation. Walking and cycling are healthy habits that promote a long and healthy life. They are simple and inexpensive ways to get around, they are viable solutions for short-distance travel, and contribute towards the reduction of greenhouse gases and efforts of sustainable mobility.

In Montreal, as elsewhere, all types of active transportation compete with automobiles that dominate our cityscape. For many activist groups of citizens in favor of active transportation, a new distribution of urban space appears essential.

In recent years, facilities that promote safe and efficient practice of cycling have proliferated in Montreal, resulting in a significant increase in traffic in all seasons. At the same time, amenities that are conducive to safe and convivial transit for pedestrians are popular, giving meaning and life to our neighborhoods, while encouraging the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits.

Proportional to the increase in traffic, more and more areas of conflict emerge between these two modes of transportation: at intersections, at public transit stops, or along streets, where bike paths and sidewalks are contiguous and at the same level, for instance. These conflict zones are particularly problematic for vulnerable users, such as seniors and people with disabilities, who do not have the same ability to see, hear, understand or get around.

What is the preferred treatment for pedestrian-cyclist coexistence zones to avoid conflicts, while at the same time meeting the needs of cyclists and pedestrians (including the most vulnerable pedestrians)?

This question comes up in every development project of the public domain. The answers given are subject to the representations of each group and to the arbitration of the responsible authorities. Since pedestrian amenities and cycling facilities are generally treated in silos, there is little room for discussion to find solutions that are suitable for both groups.

It is in this context that was launched our project Towards a consensual proposal for pedestrian and cyclist friendly urban developments, a conversation between various Montreal actors representing pedestrians and cyclists.

Société Logique has succeeded in creating a discussion space among supporters of walking, cycling, seniors’ mobility and the mobility of people with disabilities. Taking part in three half-day meetings in February and March 2018, 18 participants representing 10 organizations took the initiative to break silos, share their experience, clarify each group’s issues and needs, and propose on a consensual basis optimal improvements suitable for all users.

We are pleased to share online the final report of these pedestrian-cyclist conversations, which you can read and download on our Publications page. (French language only)

The foundations for a common understanding are now in place, both in terms of knowledge and collaboration. Once again, we would like to thank the City of Montreal, without whom this project would not have been possible. We are working on a follow-up of this project and will keep you informed of developments in the coming months.