Local road-sharing projects enable active transportation in Montreal
The City of Montreal's Pedestrian and Shared Street Program is the 2018 co-winner in the transportation category of FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards.
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Small-scale projects in Montreal neighbourhoods are helping residents walk and bike more, and are adding green space to the urban environment. (Photo: City of Montreal, QC)
How can a large city meet residents' growing demands for active transportation in their local neighbourhoods? The City of Montreal, QC is rising to the challenge with a program that supports small-scale, borough-led street design projects that encourage walking and cycling. The initiative improves public health and safety, and benefits the environment by promoting sustainable transportation and greening urban spaces.
Flexible, phased approach is key to the program's success
Small, local initiatives add up to city-wide benefits
The program supports the City's Sustainable Development Plan, Pedestrian Charter and Transportation Plan. Closing or narrowing traffic lanes or reducing speed limits calms traffic, and eliminating street parking and enlarging sidewalks reduces car dependency. Two streets have been closed to traffic altogether, and a pilot project is underway to evaluate sharing pedestrian streets with slow cyclists in areas where there are no bike lanes. Converting local commercial streets into pedestrian areas helps local businesses by increasing foot traffic, promoting window shopping and improving neighbourhood appeal. Projects also create green space to reduce heat islands by adding urban agriculture and greening impervious surfaces.
Projects enhance Montreal's family-friendly environment
Installing recreational features and urban furniture encourages people to spend more time in the new spaces, benefiting their physical and mental health. Residents can enjoy features and play structures made from sustainable materials, such as obstacle courses, carousels, seating to stop and rest, as well as water fountains and bike repair stations.
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FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards recognize and celebrate sustainability leaders and trailblazers in municipalities of all sizes across Canada.