New citizen cyclist group in Parc-Extension
Transport actif Parc-Extension (TAPX) is a newly-formed community group whose goal is to promote walking and biking for all ages, as well as infrastructure aimed at creating safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists.
Walking and biking are important transportation options among residents and visitors: a recent survey found that 35% of trips to shops and restaurants on rue Jean-Talon Ouest in Parc-Extension take place on foot or by bicycle. That number rises to 86% when combined with public transit—where trips to and from stops typically occur on foot.
Despite the prevalence of active transport in Parc-Extension, most intersections lack basic pedestrian amenities like crosswalks and walk signals, and the neighbourhood contains no bike lanes.
The first objective of TAPX is to secure separated bike lanes and safe pedestrian crossings for three upcoming redevelopments in Parc-Extension: the repaving of rue Jarry Ouest, the proposed level crossing for the Parc AMT commuter rail station, and changes to the Beaumont sector near the soon-to-be-built Outremont campus of Université de Montréal.
More broadly, TAPX will work to ensure that pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure is incorporated into all new developments.
“More and more evidence shows that active transportation improves personal health, reduces greenhouse gases and, just as importantly, increases the profitability of local retailers,” explains co-founder and Parc-Extension resident Brendan Rahman.
In addition to general advantages, recent community initiatives have demonstrated growing enthusiasm on the part of residents for walking and biking in the neighbourhood. One example, Culture Vélo, has helped hundreds of residents learn to fix their bicycles. Another, a walking school bus program called Trottibus, has been similarly well-received.
“We need to take advantage of momentum generated by Trottibus and Culture Vélo to push for safer streets for pedestrians,” adds Rahman. “The same goes for bike lanes, where unfortunately we’re starting from scratch.”