West Island park keeps bike ban to stop Montreal cyclists, pedestrians from bickering

·2 min read
West Island park keeps bike ban to stop Montreal cyclists, pedestrians from bickering

Much to the chagrin of cyclists looking to get out and make the most of this sunny weather, a city in Montreal's West Island will continue to enforce a ban on bikes at its largest park until the end of the summer.

Dollard-des-Ormeaux has kept the rule in place for Centennial Park throughout the pandemic.

Crowded parks have been common in the last two years, with people looking to get out of their homes and get some fresh air. According to DDO's mayor, however, Centennial Park was so jam-packed that it led to conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.

"Arguments have come about and accidents have also happened and the city is always asked to get involved to try to resolve it," said mayor Alex Bottausci.

Kwabena Oduro/CBC
Kwabena Oduro/CBC

"With the influx of new users to the park, we felt that if we were to add the bikes back, it would further jam things up and potentially cause further accidents and arguments between our residents."

Bottausci also said he's heard pedestrians complain about cyclists riding too fast and coming close to colliding with children.

Vanessa Laredo understands why the ban is in place, but she points out that the park is often empty, and suggests there are times during the week when the ban could be lifted.

WATCH | Cyclists openly defying ban at suburban Montreal park:

"On weekends, I understand it can be dangerous for people who are walking or running," she said. "But during the week, when it is empty, it would be nice to have access to it."

The ban is not expected to be in place forever. But before welcoming cyclists back to the park, the mayor said there needs to be a plan to help cyclists and pedestrians "cohabit safely."

The plan could include having some paths dedicated to either cyclists or pedestrians, the mayor said.

For now, cyclists can hop off their bikes and walk alongside of them as soon as they get to the park. The mayor also says the city has several bike paths that can be used to get around.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting