Tag Archives: ancestral home

Montréal Cargo Bikes

Classic dépanneur delivery bike in Montreal

Story: Copenhagenize.com – Bicycle Culture by Design: Montreal Cargo Bikes.

I lived in the ‘burbs, so there were no dépanneurs like these where I was, believe me.  But in the inner-ring suburbs and in residential areas of the city, they were legion.  And this is how the groceries got to your house.

From googling around, it appears that many of these have been bought out by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.  Who is that?  Just the same Montreal company that owns Circle K among others (mostly in Canada but growing).

Dépanneur in Ville-Émard

Pretty typical small, usually famiiy-owned dépanneur in  Montréal

Here is a fun map.  It barely covers 1 km² yet each red dot is a tiny grocery store.  And many of them deliver.  On bikes. In the winter.

Cloud-based analytics keeps Montreal’s buses full and ridership growing … “The Cloud.” Dog how I hate that term.

It’s all a misunderstanding by marketing people.  Technical people, when explaining network architecture, would always draw the part between the local infrastructure and the infrastructure at the other end as a cloud.  Why?  Because who knows what infrastructure is there?  I don’t.  OneNet knows part of it but only to wherever they peer with the next provider along the line.  After that, who knows?  Anyway, the marketing people seemed to have started referring to “the cloud” not long after Wi-Fi became popular.  I swear they think it’s an actual cloud.

But I digress.

Cloud-based analytics keeps Montreal’s buses full and ridership growing — GCN.

Interesting article just the same.  Not surprised to read that the STM has an 80% pass usage rate given that they’ve had monthly passes for over 30 years.  The app thing is interesting, at least as far as notification of service disruptions goes.  I don’t want offers from vendors based on where I am or what I’m doing, but there are probably a lot more people that do than those of us that don’t.

11,000 parking spots within 200 m of a 3.4-km cycle path …



Even the Vélo Québec guy was surprised at how many spots there were.  Understand that this is one half of the couplet that makes up one of the major commercial/retail/entertainment areas in Montreal, but man, 11k spots.

And yes, this is a year-round cycle path.  There may well be videos online of snow clearing operations …

Road Diet before they were called that

Continuing on the theme of early influences …

The main “east-west” arterial (actually more SW-NE) in the area I was raised was built, mostly, as a 6-lane, undivided boulevard, thankfully with sidewalks (eventually), and with a high school, retail, and multi-family housing (way more now than back in the day).  A good mile or more of it actually went through what we called “the swamp” but would now be recognized as a wetland!

Not very attractive, not especially safe, and, interestingly, mostly under-capacity.  So about a decade or so after it was completed, it was put on a road diet at first with the use of paint.  A two-way (unprotected) bike lane was put along the north edge, taking up the space of about one lane.  Then the city painted a median in the middle of the remaining five lanes.  This allowed left turn bays at intersections as well as some separation between traffic flowing in opposite directions.


That’s a representative view of the road long after (long after) it was put on a diet.  The brick building is a fire station.  The large parking lot to the right of the firehouse was once the parking lot for a hockey arena that has been gone for over 20 years (but that hosted a concert featuring Procol Harum and The Eagles <mumble> years before that!).  I don’t know what the AADT is for this road, but I’m certain it’s much more than it was when it was put on a diet.

Oh, and there are 5 transit routes along here, too.  A local route (30-minute headway 0500-0100 plus extra runs at peak hours) and 3 express routes providing about the same number of buses but that end after the evening peak and that all end at either a commuter train or subway station.  There is a night route that fills in the other hours, so basically 24-hour service.  And this is far out in the ‘burbs.  We had good transit when I still lived there <mumble> years ago –around the time of the diet, actually — but not nearly this good.