The sharing of lanes between buses and cyclists concerned about the bus drivers montreal, who fear for the safety of all.
Last month, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) announced the phasing in of a new sharing between the bus and the bikes on almost half of the lanes existing on a twenty axes, as well as on four new lanes that will be implemented this year.
The lanes are mainly used by buses in the peak hours, so that they can move forward more quickly. Sometimes, taxis and carpoolers can use. The bus drivers will now have to deal with bikes.
In a letter addressed to the elected municipal representative Marvin Rotrand, the union of bus drivers raises concerns. “We will closely monitor the situation, as we remain very concerned about the impact of such measures on the safety and security of our members, users and cyclists”, said the acting chairman Daniel Leroux.
The width of lanes and the frequency of the buses are key elements in determining where sharing is possible, explained Mr. Leroux, who doesn’t want that sharing to be done in the lines at high frequency.
“Although the historical position of the union is to the effect that the sharing of lanes with the cyclists associated with an increased risk of accident and slows down the service, we move forward cautiously, in a spirit of openness, to encourage alternative transportation to the auto-solo”, one can read in the letter.
Some lanes shared bus-bike have been introduced in recent years, notably on the rue Viau, and “no issue of cohabitation has been identified”, says the chairman of the board of directors of the STM, Philippe Schnobb, in a missive, also addressed to Mr. Rotrand.
He adds that the lanes that have been selected for the corridors, bus-bike are wide enough and that they have “a maximum flow of traffic to ensure the safety of both the cyclists and the performance of the bus”.
“In urban areas, the commercial speed of the bus and the bicycle are substantially the same which reduces the occurrence of the overtaking manoeuvre”, has also been mentioned by Mr. Schnobb.
The channels shared bus-bike must be “on an artery safe with a bus line that is not too busy. Otherwise, it is obvious that it would be dangerous for cyclists and that this would considerably slow down the journey of public transit users,” commented Marc-Antoine Audette, press secretary of the opposition party, All Montreal.
This sharing could slow down buses, making them less attractive for potential users, also considers Mr. Rotrand. “The buses have large blind spots which are hazardous to cyclists”, has pointed out that having sat on the board of the STM. “Someone will be killed eventually”, he warned.
Moreover, “it is not true that by implementing ever-more bike lanes, the number of cyclists will increase at the same time. […] It is a matter of geography and climate”.
The coexistence may be possible on roads not too narrow or too heavily trafficked, judge François Pépin, president of Trajectory, Québec, who wish, however, that it does not reduce the effectiveness of public transport. On the road, in general, the security risk lies in the speed difference, he explained.
“There will be a communication effort to do so that the cyclists can know which lanes are allowed”, also believes Mr. Pepin.