Bike routes: Accessible to bikes and cars alike

Last updated May 19, 2024
Reading time: 2 min

In Montréal, several streets have been developed so that cyclists can use the full width of the roadway while maintaining access to cars. Learn more about bike routes.

What is a bike route?

A bike route is a type of street configuration where cyclists share the roadway with vehicles and specific traffic rules are in force.

Traffic rules

For cyclists
  • Cyclists have the right to ride side by side across the entire width of the street, in front of drivers of vehicles.
  • Cyclists are not required to squeeze to the right in order to let vehicles pass.
  • When a signage allows traffic in the opposite direction, cyclists must ride inside the bike lane, on the right side of the road, and ride one behind the other.
For vehicle drivers
  • Drivers must adapt to the speed of cyclists and never exceed 30 km/hour.
  • If the cyclists occupy the entire width of the roadway or if there is not enough space to pass cyclists, drivers must remain behind them.

What a bike route looks like

Traffic signs

Panneau de signalisation des vélorues

Bike routes are indicated by signage and markings on the road.

The signs are yellow and diamond-shaped. They show two cyclists riding side by side.

New signage

Research shows that current bike route signage is poorly understood. New signage is currently under review and includes the following elements:

  • Standardized traffic signs
  • Green stripes on either side of the pavement
  • White and green icons painted on the roadway
Îcone de seuil des vélorues

The new signage is being tested on Rue Villeray between Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Rue Saint-Denis and on Avenue Laurier between 2e Avenue and 10e Avenue. 

A Polytechnique Montréal research team is evaluating the effectiveness of the new markings to determine whether they should be improved before using them on all Montréal bike routes.

This project has been made possible through the government of Québec’s road safety funds program.

Why bike routes?

Bike routes have many advantages. They help to improve the safety and comfort of cyclists, regardless of their age or skill level.

They can also be adapted to their environment. They offer a safe solution on streets that are too narrow to have separate bike lanes. 

Traffic diverters are sometimes installed to reduce through traffic and limit the total number of vehicles travelling on a bike route. 

Where to find bike routes

Montréal currently has nine bike routes in several different boroughs: 

  • 1re Avenue from Rue Bélanger to Avenue Laurier 
  • 39e Avenue from Rue Bellechasse to Boulevard Rosemont
  • Avenue De Chateaubriand from Boulevard Rosemont to Rue des Carrières
  • Rue Chabot from Rue des Carrières to Rue Dandurand
  • Rue de Bordeaux from Boulevard Rosemont to Rue Dandurand
  • Avenue Laurier from 2e Avenue to 10e Avenue
  • Rue de Mentana from Avenue Laurier to Rue Cherrier
  • Rue Saint-André from Avenue Laurier to Rue Cherrier
  • Rue Villeray from Boulevard Saint-Laurent to Rue Saint-Denis