October 26, 2022

Improving Moncton’s Bikeway Network

September 2022 marked the first time I went back home to Moncton in over three years. During this time, I borrowed a bike from my friend Joel and managed to do a 30 kilometre loop around the city on Saturday, September 10. Given last Wednesday’s cyclist fatality which happened near Connaught Avenue and Wheeler Boulevard, let’s review the loop and identify ways Moncton’s cycling network can be improved.

The Rabbit Brook Trail provides a parallel route to Wheeler Boulevard from Mapleton Road to Connaught Avenue. Unfortunately the trail is isolated and could use some connections. At the western end, the Mapleton bike lanes need to be extended south across Wheeler Boulevard to at least Plaza Boulevard where that trail begins. A further extension could bring them all the way to the roundabout next to the CN Sportsplex. Another gravel trail exists behind Plaza Boulevard between Mountain and Mapleton Roads which could be improved and better serve the busy shopping area.

A slide, shelter, and bike rack along the Rabbit Brook Trail

At the eastern end, the existing Killam Drive bike lanes should be extended east across Connaught Avenue, Morton Avenue, and Mill Road. Doing this would help connect key trip generators such as the Moncton Hospital and Université de Moncton; not to mention prevent future deaths such as last week’s one. The fact no bike lanes or trails exist next to this post-secondary institution deserves a serious head shake.

After braving Connaught and Morton Avenues to McLaughlin Road, I come across another problem. The existing McLaughlin bike lanes are so narrow you can’t fit a bicycle symbol in it. At that width, they should be identified as edge lines instead. In Toronto and elsewhere, bike lanes must be at least 1.5 metres wide.

Unfortunately, another car sewer exists at the intersection of McLaughlin Road and Elmwood Avenue below. In addition to extending the bike lanes to Lewisville Road, another bike route is needed along Botsford Street, Lewisville Road, and Paul Street. This would help provide a connection to Downtown Moncton, Humphreys Brook Trail, and Champlain Place.

Humphreys Brook Trail provides another challenge. A trail crossing is needed at Lewisville Road to help those biking eastbound to get on the trail. Alternatively, the nearby traffic signal could be used and the trail could be extended eastward to that intersection.

The Humphreys Brook Trail is gravel, but is pretty nice. It takes you past Pump House Brewery and has a nice lookout not far from the eastern terminus at Harrisville Boulevard.

Some benches and even a few washrooms are provided along the trails, but I would suggest improving wayfinding signage and replacing the old information signs at both ends of the trail.

Another trail could be used along Harrisville Boulevard to connect with existing bike lanes on Shediac Road and the Caledonia Industrial Park. A further extension to Champlain Boulevard is warranted given a trail exists south of there (which I didn’t check out).

These wayfinding signs are needed on a lot more of Moncton's trails

The Shediac Road bike lanes are wider than those I have seen on McLaughlin and Killam, though Moncton needs to consider protected bike lanes on this street and elsewhere. Especially given the 60 km/h speed limit and similarly sized cities such as Sudbury have them. An annoying gap also exists near Glengrove Road which could be fixed by removing the centre turning lane.

Back on the Riverfront Trail, I found some nice murals including at LaBikery; Moncton’s version of BikeSauce or Bike Pirates. If you don’t have a bike, you can stop by there to rent one.

As discussed before, the bike lanes on Vaughan Harvey need to be upgraded with protection, though at least a signalized crossing is available to get onto the Northwest Trail. That trail connects to Centennial Park, the Moncton Coliseum, the Moncton Industrial Park (and bike lanes on Edinburgh Drive), and goes almost all the way to Magnetic Hill.

If there is one main commercial road that should be considered for bike lanes, it’s Mountain Road. Unfortunately, a portion had been installed in 2018 only to see it removed. Another bike lane extension is needed along Gorge Road to connect with Crandall University, while Downtown is sufficiently serviced by the Riverfront Trail.

Some suggestions to improve Moncton's bikeway network before I read their active transportation plan

Since my time in Moncton, I found out an active transportation plan which Alta Planning helped develop was approved earlier this year. It addressed many of the gaps I identified in this post, but many of the projects are not expected to be done before 2033.

Given the global climate crisis and recent cyclist death – as well as the fact Mayor Dawn Arnold is a cyclist – I encourage her and Moncton City Council to accelerate the implementation of their active transportation plan. They should also take inspiration from the Town of Ajax which got their extensive bikeway network thanks to former Mayor Steve Parish who’s a cyclist. Creating bike friendly cities – whether big or small – require champions and a lot of political will.

Ghost bike near Connaught and Wheeler (via Calvin Martini)

Two events in Moncton are being planned to help demand action. A Critical Mass ride will be held on Friday, October 28 (5:00 PM) at City Hall, while a vigil for the Connaught Avenue Tragedy will be held on Saturday, October 29. Saturday’s vigil will gather 11:00 AM at West Lane and Noel Street, which will then ride to the crash site. If you live in Moncton, please attend these events if you can and help spread the word.

Thanks Brian Branch for sharing this Critical Mass ad


  1. Great blog post Robert. I recently moved from Toronto to Moncton and am struggling to deal with the inadequacies of biking in this city. Luckily there is an organized grassroots group called the Active Transportation Coalition of Moncton that is putting pressure on the city government to ramp up its rollout of bike infrastructure. It pains me to see how far behind Moncton is on bike infrastructure compared to Toronto. It's like stepping back in time 10 to 15 years from what we've been seeing in bigger cities. Like you mentioned, the mid 2030's timeline for the Phase 2 plan is too slow and we need to act faster. Thanks for writing about these issues and building awareness.

    1. Thanks Kevin. I heard about that Active Transportation Coalition and spoke with a few of the folks when that cyclist got killed by Connaught and Wheeler last year. There are smaller cities such as Sudbury that have raised cycle tracks and I'm confident others such as Moncton will get them soon enough. Heard they finally got their first protected bike lanes on Killam and Vaughan Harvey recently.

    2. Yeah the group is a great bunch and I've been to a couple of council meetings to hear their presentations. Now that Moncton has the ball rolling with protected installations, I'm hoping we'll be able to get the city to increase the budget for AT projects significantly to exceed the original Phase 2 timelines.