In Quebec, bikes are not just a sport but a transport
Life After Oil
Bill Ford Has a Better Idea
The Rail Revival
Car-Sharing in Portland
Motorless in Montreal
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Bicycle usage is so prevalent in Montreal now that one sees intersections with more bikes than cars waiting for the light to change. 'Vélo culture' is so ingrained that the Canadian government is currently building a $250,000 tunnel for an urban bike path to pass beneath a highway, and the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec together just allocated $10 million to extend the city’s bike path system. Montreal is also one of the vanguard cities in North America that require new buildings to designate indoor space for bike parking.
Le Monde’s slogan—'The bicycle: Not a sport, a transport'—is confirmed by Montreal’s bike repair shops that specialize in winterizing bicycles, using old inner tubes to make rubber seals that keep the sand and salt and moisture from getting into ball bearings. Now there are increasing numbers of commuters who put off purchasing a monthly subway pass as November looms because they are equipped (with face mask and so on) for the cold and figure they’ll save money by cycling for another month.
From Orion Afield (Autumn 2000). Subscriptions: $30/yr. (4 issues of Orion Afield, plus 4 issues of Orion magazine, plus membership in the Orion Society), from 195 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230; 888/999-6568; www.orionsociety.org