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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.

Read the case study to learn more about this project. Download our guide below to get started on a similar project in your community.  

Photo of a shared pedestrian and bicycle street in the City of Montreal, QC.
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

The local projects focus on redeveloping streets near public gathering-places, such as shops, schools, museums or markets, to encourage walking and create more shared public spaces. Rather than applying a one-size fits all solution, project teams take a flexible approach, testing different options and improving proposed measures over two years before installing more permanent infrastructure in year three. This gradual transformation gives residents and businesses time to adapt to the changes, and allows for community input. This approach provides valuable insights that are being shared with boroughs across the city.
Between 88 to 96 per cent of users surveyed were satisfied with the local initiatives.

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.

Want to develop a similar project in your community?

Download our project guide to learn more about award-winning strategies and use the guiding questions to kick-start your sustainability initiative.

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FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards recognize and celebrate sustainability leaders and trailblazers in municipalities of all sizes across Canada.

Page Updated: 01/05/2018