What Kind Of Mind Rides A Bike On A Sidewalk?


Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

While not a big fan of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s plans for downtown, I do understand the need to temporarily widen the sidewalks during the COVID-19 pandemic. By dedicating half the existing street surface to pedestrians, physical distancing can easily take place.

However, one wonders if a greater health risk than COVID-19 may be the potential for a collision with a cyclist on a main conduit such as Ste. Catherine Street.

However, one wonders if a greater health risk than COVID-19 may be the potential for a collision with a cyclist on a main conduit such as Ste. Catherine Street. The city has clearly indicated that the pedestrian walk is no place for bikes (unless being walked), roller-blades, scooters, or skateboards.  Yet, on a daily basis, the pedestrian zone is inundated with all manner of wheeled, some motor-powered, traffic. What kind of mind rides a bike on a sidewalk or pedestrian walkway?

I know there are many law-abiding cyclists in the city, I see them on other main streets patiently waiting for the light to turn green. Yet on the designated pedestrian stretch of Ste. Catherine, there are too many bikes dangerously breaking the law.

Having police give chase, either by car or on bike, would only exacerbate the danger.

Frustratingly, there is no simple solution. A significant police presence, preferably on foot, might help, but that presumes the scofflaw cyclists will stop when told to. Something I have serious doubts about. Having police give chase, either by car or on bike, would only exacerbate the danger.  Education is our only hope.

Fingers crossed this recipe for disaster will be dealt with before a tragedy occurs. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

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