A cyclist uses the sidewalk as he make his way north on St Charles Blvd. on Saturday near the Highway 20 overpass in Beaconsfield.
Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette
Cyclists are now allowed on the sidewalks along a section of St-Charles Blvd., near Highway 20 in Beaconsfield.Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said the move is designed to make it safer for cyclists to travel along the busy St. Charles Blvd. corridor without having to share the road with vehicles.“Because of the heavy traffic, it’s very hard for people on bikes. So this is an exceptional situation and the only place in Beaconsfield where the city has allowed the cyclists to use sidewalks.”But the mayor noted there is still an onus on cyclists to be mindful of pedestrians.Bourelle said cyclists using the sidewalk “must travel at a safe and reasonable speed and always give priority to pedestrians.”“When approaching a pedestrian, the cyclist has the obligation to reduce his speed to ensure that the pedestrian is aware of his presence and to pass beside the pedestrian only if there is enough available space, the mayor said. “Failure to comply with these rules could result in fines.”Bourelle said there are certain obligations on the part of cyclists. “A cyclist using the sidewalk must travel at a safe and reasonable speed and always give priority to pedestrians.”“We obviously don’t want cyclists bulldozing pedestrians off the sidewalk,” the mayor added. “They are there to use it in partnership with the pedestrians.”Last year, François Durocher, head of the Beaconsfield Cycling Club, told the West Island Gazette there was a glaring lack of north-south cycling corridors in the West Island, especially when it came to to crossing Highway 40.Bourelle said recent modifications to the Highway Safety Code allow municipalities to let cyclists use sidewalks “where designated lanes for cyclists are not feasible and when cycling on the roadway is considered to be too dangerous.”The city recently installed signs informing road users that cyclists are now allowed on a section of St. Charles Blvd. sidewalks, from near the Highway 20 interchange and then north towards the city limits with Kirkland.Cyclists are still not permitted on sidewalks on the southern section of St-Charles Blvd. near Beaconsfield Blvd.For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.orgRelated