In Montreal, there has been a significant level of opposition to the introduction of bike-friendly infrastructure in the Parc-Extension and Saint-Michel neighborhoods. This opposition has manifested in the form of organized protests by groups of residents, as well as reports of various incidents by law enforcement, such as acts of mischief, armed assault, and the obstruction of civil servants or peace officers during some of these demonstrations. The city has been increasing its cycling infrastructure quite a bit in recent years, and has received international praise for it.
Removal of parking
The borough of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension is currently undergoing a comprehensive redesign of several streets to implement a network of protected bike lanes. As part of this initiative, approximately 250 on-street parking spaces are slated for removal in the Parc-Extension area.
However, some residents in this densely populated neighborhood have expressed concerns that the reduction of parking spaces will negatively impact their ability to move around and access essential services.
Tension dans Parc-Extension lors d’une manifestation contre un projet de pistes cyclables dans le secteur.
« We want parking! » disent-ils pic.twitter.com/r3hCXiq1Y7
— Mélissa François (@melissa_francoi) October 3, 2023
According to a report in the Globe and Mail, people have also noticed vandalism in the bike lanes. Xavier Richard, a local resident, reported seeing hundreds of thumbtacks in the cycle track. “The climate is tense,” Richard said He wasn’t sure how they got there, but suspected it was not an accident. “There’s animosity that’s particularly brought on by opponents of bikes or the bike path.”
Le soutien pour les infrastructures cyclables dans Parc-Extension est bien visible. pic.twitter.com/LgFPgVwJAW
— Jean-François Rheault (@jfrheault) October 3, 2023
Sia Spanoudakis, a local resident, believes that removing the parking spots was a mistake. Her parents live in the area and rely on their car for transportation. “No one is against secure bike paths,” Spanoudakis said. “The point of contention is why does this need to be done with the removal of 250 parking spots, which is going to impact the quality of life in the neighborhood?”
Plans still going ahead
Borough Mayor Laurence Lavigne Lalonde recognized that the removal of parking spaces might pose an inconvenience to…