Pedestrians and cyclists asked to respect each other while on Ste. Anne’s bike paths
By John Jantak
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
A pedestrian walks along a bike path alongside Chemin Ste. Marie near the Ecomuseum Zoo in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Mayor Paola Hawa is reminding cyclists and pedestrians to be respectful when approaching and passing each other on the multi-functional paths which are meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone.
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is reminding it citizens and everyone who uses its extensive network of bike paths throughout the city that they are not for the exclusive use of either cyclists or pedestrians – they are multi-functional paths and can be used by all its residents including people who walk and jog.
The issue was raised by a resident during question period at the start of the monthly council meeting on March 15 who requested the city reiterate its stance and clarify that the paths are there for the enjoyment of both cyclists and pedestrians alike.
The resident stated if the paths are indeed for the use of both bikers and people who stroll, jog or walk their dogs then everyone needs to be courteous to the others who use the path. Cyclists were asked to be respectful of pedestrians and slow down when approaching them. And pedestrians were asked to be considerate by moving over to the side and shortening pet leashes.
‘A matter of common civility’
“We call it a bike path but it is a multi-purpose path,” said Mayor Paola Hawa. “It’s a matter of common civility. If a pedestrian sees a bike coming they should move to the side. And it’s the same for a person on a bike. When you see a person walking in front of you, move to the side. If we have to put up signs to remind people then we’re going to look into that.”
The mayor noted that the arrival of warm early spring weather has resulted in more people using the paths than normal. “I won’t walk the bike path and not see a soul. It used to be deserted. With more and more people using it, it brings up issues like who has the right-of-way. It’s strange that we have to put up a sign to remind people to be civil,” said Hawa.
License plate scanning
Another resident asked what the city is doing with license plate information that is being scanned and collected by at least one public security vehicle equipped with an Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) system. Concerns were raised about how the city is using the information and since when, who has access to the data being collected, and how long the information is being kept.
Mayor Hawa said the ALPR was merely a high-tech way for the city keep track of and make sure people respect the time limit when parking their vehicle in public spaces with time limits. “It replaces the old chalk system where a patrol would go around and put a chalk mark on a tire and come back later to see if the person had moved. This system works the same way except it’s more high-tech,” said Hawa.
No personal information collected
The ALPR scans a license plate and if the plate is comes up again during another scan after the time limit has expired, then a parking ticket is issued. As newer license plate numbers are scanned, the system automatically erases the prior data that was collected.
“After 24 to 48 hours, that information is purged as more data is added,” said Hawa. “It’s not something that we keep. We also don’t have the license plate information from the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). All we have is the license plate number. We don’t have anyone’s name or any other confidential information.”