- On Saturday afternoon, a memorial for Montrealer and cycling pioneer Robert Silverman was held in the city’s Plateau district.
On Saturday afternoon, a memorial for Montrealer as well as cycling pioneer Robert Silverman was held in the city’s Plateau district.
Hundreds of people attended the event honoring a Montrealer who fought for active transportation.
Robert Silverman, an avid cyclist as well as co-founder of “Le Monde à Bicyclette,” was known for instigating colorful, theatrical, and assertive action in the fight for bicycle access in the city.
“After his first wife died, he realized cycling was a great way to get around the city,” says Zvi Leve, Silverman’s longtime friend, and Project Manager at RuePublique.
“He truly believed that this was a way to change social relations in cities.” He continues. Many people at Saturday’s memorial took the opportunity to share their favorite memories of Silverman. Whether they’d only met him once or twice or if they’d known him for a long time.
“His fights were all about justice,” Leve says. “Back then, you couldn’t get to the south shore by bicycle in the winter, or for that matter, at any time, because you couldn’t ride a bike on the Jacques Cartier bridge.”
‘Le Monde à Bicyclette,’ his group, was recognized for staging dramatic scenes that he dubbed “cyclodramas.” While the battle for bike lanes on bridges, Silverman dolled up as Moses as well as proceeded to ‘part’ the St. Lawrence River so that bikes could cross at one point.
Séverine LePage, spokesperson for Vélo Phantôme, says, “He’s someone we look up to.” “Thanks to people like Robert Silverman and also what he did, and also all the amazing theatrical, poetic militant behavior they did in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, we now have stuff like the REV.”
Silverman is also in charge of allowing bicycles on the Métro.
“They did demonstrations that you could bring a ladder on the Métro, that you could bring all kinds of things on the Métro, and that it was fine.” “But not a bicycle,” Leve says.
Everyone agrees that Montreal would not be the most cyclable city in North America if it weren’t for Silverman.
“Without his struggle, without their prodding, without challenging the status quo… “There wouldn’t be as many cyclists in Montreal if he hadn’t done that,” LePage adds.
On the corner of St. Denis and Roy, a sign was erected honoring him by naming a section of the REV after him.
Source: Global News
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