As summer-like weather arrives in Montreal, the last dregs of snow are being washed away by several days of rain. Flowers will soon start to bloom, overcoats will be replaced with shorts and sandals, and a sense of relief at having made it through another winter will descend on the citizens. Oh, and just like the old Pac-Man arcade game, the installation of Bixi stands (public bicycles that can be rented) and sidewalk terraces will eat up parking spots. Montreal, like any city of a certain size, has a shortage of parking spots. This is exacerbated during the summer not only by Bixi and terraces, but by the many street closures for construction or festivals.
Many of Montreal’s much-loved terraces straddle the sidewalk and road. The metered parking spots that are taken up by the structure are paid by the establishment. The city loves these things as they are guaranteed the maximum return on the parking spots, but if you are looking for a place to park it can be extremely annoying!
Bixi bicycle stands also take up many parking spots – five in the photo above – the revenue from which one assumes is made up in rental fees. But again motorists are left out of the equation. Montreal in the summer certainly cannot be called a car friendly city.