03/24/2013 01:31 EDT | Updated 05/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Montreal cyclists concerned about potholes, bike lanes

Some Montrealers say they hope the City of Montreal will take a few steps to improve the quality of roads as the cycling season gets underway.

Mike Ayoub, who works at Cycle Technique on Atwater Avenue, said potholes are one of the biggest problems faced by cyclists.

"It doesn't help at all regardless if you have a bike path or if you're riding on the streets. The quality of the roads is poor, to say it politely," he said.

On Friday, Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum refused to hand over a $5-million contract to fill holes in the streets because the companies bidding on the contract were either named by or linked to the province's corruption inquiry.

Applebaum said a shortage of asphalt will most likely mean that once the current contract expires on April 15, the potholes will go unfilled unless one of those companies is awarded a newone.

Ayoub said potholes aren't the only things posing a risk to cyclists' safety. He said the bike path network itself is poorly laid out.

"It's almost broken up into several little networks," he said. "I think connecting those networks of bike paths would be beneficial and I don't think that takes much on the city's behalf."

Richard John, a customer who dropped by Cycle Technique, said the bike paths are generally badly painted and need barriers to separate them from car traffic on the streets.

"Saint-Urbain [Street] is very dangerous, actually. The line is not there. You can see it, but it's very thin. They should probably repaint it," he said.

The City of Montreal has released a survey, asking citizens to vote on whether they want the paving contract awarded or suspended.