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As gas prices soar, Montreal’s bike culture seen as a model for rest of the country

As gas prices soar, Montreal's bike culture seen as a model for rest of the country

Cyclists make their way down the REV — Reseau Express Vélo —on St-Denis St. during the morning commute in Montreal on June 2, 2022. Montrealer…

Sunday, Jun 05

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Cyclists make their way down the REV — Reseau Express Vélo —on St-Denis St. during the morning commute in Montreal on June 2, 2022. Montrealer Olivia Collette sold her car in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. Article content

Collette, a communications consultant living in central Montreal, said getting around using a bicycle, a car-sharing service or a transit pass has not only saved her money, it’s often more enjoyable.

“When it’s sunny and warm, it’s really pleasant,” Collette said of her bicycle commutes. “It’s a really pleasant way of going from A to B.”

Collette said while getting around Montreal isn’t difficult without a personal vehicle, she’s not sure doing so would be as easy in many other Canadian cities. And with the spiking cost of gasoline and new vehicles, urban transit experts say the rest of Canada should look to Montreal for lessons on how to boost cycling culture.

Stein van Oosteren, spokesperson for a Paris-based cycling association, says the time is right for Canadian cities to make big gains in changing the way people move around. Article content

Van Oosteren, who grew up in the Netherlands before moving to France, said the rise of cycling in both countries was partially driven by high gas prices.

At the beginning of the 1970s, “the Netherlands was like Canada today: a car-centric country, where the car was the foundation of transport, and it was very unpleasant and dangerous to travel by bicycle,” said van Oosteren, who was in Montreal this week to speak at […]

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