Every Sunday, at mass time, parked cars fill the bike path on rue Filion in Cartierville. Exasperated citizens took parishioners by surprise this weekend by demonstrating on the spot to claim what he considers their space.
Stéphane Grandgirard can no longer wait for the authorities. The father of the family almost had an accident last year in front of the Transfiguration of Our Lord church. The cycle path in front of this place of worship was filled with vehicles of the faithful. His little family had to drive down the busy street and nearly got hit, he said. “I don’t want to wait for a serious accident before something is done. »
He decided to occupy the space this Sunday morning before the faithful come to park with about fifteen other cyclists from Cartierville. A car stopped all the same for a few seconds, the time to disembark someone, during the passage of the Duty. A large rear parking lot can accommodate dozens of vehicles.
“As no one tells them anything, nothing changes,” laments Mr. Grandgirard.
The priest Lawrence, however, multiplies the warnings to his 200 or so flocks. “Until the City and the police make a decision, we are not going to park there”, assures the man before his Sunday mass. “There are two or three people who don’t respect that, at most. »
The hesitation of the authorities causes this misunderstanding, according to him. A few years ago signs appeared prohibiting parking after the bike lane was installed. On the first Sunday, motorists ignored this new regulation and all received tickets. However, they filed a complaint, their ticket was overturned, and the signs were removed. ” [Se stationner et rouler à vélo]both are allowed”, summarizes the priest.
A change in town planning could solve the problem, says Richard Chambers, a faithful who deplores this “escalation” of tensions. Impossible for him to celebrate a wedding or funeral in a church without being able to park in front of the building, he pleads.
“They could have traced the cycle path so that it bypasses the church in the other direction. The other street behind is more suitable for driving”, he points to the Duty.
Beyond this particular case, the organization Vélorution notes that more and more Montrealers are using cycle paths as temporary parking spaces. They promise to support such initiatives wherever cars overstep their bounds.