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Robert Silverman

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Robert Silverman is a veteran political activist in Montreal. Sometimes known as “Bicycle Bob,” he has taken part in several campaigns supporting bicycle use over automobiles.

He was a Green Party candidate in 1984 and ran for Montréal Écologique in the 1990 municipal election; in the latter campaign, he led a march to city hall supporting more bicycle lanes and better public transit. Silverman is also a member of Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) and has campaigned in support of Palestinian rights.

During the march, he described the car as “one of the major contributors to world pollution” and expressways as “overrated specimen of so-called progress.” See Andre Picard, “Auto pollution, carnage focus of funereal protest,” (Globe and Mail, 3 November 1990, A6)

In the 1970s, Silverman and his allies would paint bicycle lanes on Montreal streets overnight to pressure city hall into officially approving such lanes. See Josh Freed, “Bicycle Bob was years ahead of his time; now we need a Bicycle Bob for our time,” Montreal Gazette, 22 September 2007, A2.

On one occasion, he dressed as Moses and invited the local media to watch him try to part the Saint Lawrence River to allow cyclists to “escape” the island. Despite the event’s comical overtones, his purpose was to embarrass Montreal’s transit authority into allowing bicycles on buses that cross city bridges; the city later relented, giving Silverman the status of a folk hero in some circles. See “‘Bicycle Bob’ goes to Viet Nam Bikes behind bamboo curtain please anti-automobile activist,”(Toronto Star, 20 March 1989, C2.)


Source: Wikipedia