New barriers go up to make campus safer
By McGill Reporter Staff
A pilot project at the Milton Gate has been launched in an effort to get cyclists to walk their bikes instead of riding through campus.
New gates on the two sidewalks flanking the parking kiosk, along with longer gates across the roadway, are designed to enforce the “walk your bike” rule that is routinely flouted, said Robert Couvrette, Associate Vice-Principal (University Services).
“We want to make the campus safer,” Couvrette said. “That’s the only purpose of this project.
“I know for sure we will make some people happy and some people angry. After the fall period, we’ll re-evaluate the project.”
The barriers, which do not have counters or other means of collecting data, are simply an effort to get people off their bikes, Couvrette said. “This is the only purpose of this project,” he said.
Signage indicating the purpose of the project that should have been installed at the same time as the barriers will be posted soon, Couvrette said.
Comments on Twitter have already brought sharp criticism from those who disagree with McGill’s longstanding effort to persuade cyclists to walk instead of ride through the campus. The issue regularly prompts heated debate between cyclists and pedestrians who have experienced bicycles being ridden through crowded roadways at high speed.
McGill has recorded at least four incidents of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in recent years and anecdotes about close calls are numerous.