Montreal earmarks 17 million for its bicycle network

Montreal is allocating 17 million euros to create and improve some forty bicycle projects for the summer season, including the start of the Réseau express vélo (REV) on the Henri-Bourassa axis, in the municipality of Saint-Laurent. In total, the city plans to “upgrade” nearly 36 kilometers of tracks, a target deemed insufficient by the cycling community.

Posted at 12:16 PM

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vezina
The press

“During our first mandate, we made tremendous progress on the bike. We will continue to do this. And we are aware that there is still a lot to do,” active transport adviser Marianne Giguère said on Thursday.

Plante’s administration begins this year with “the start of the roll-out” of its Express Bike Network (REV) on Henri-Bourassa Boulevard, with a first section between Pitfield and Félix-Leclerc streets. This “important gesture will significantly transform active mobility in the sector,” said giguere. The Viger/Saint-Antoine/Saint-Jacques du REV axis will also continue to develop, while De Champlain Street will be redeveloped between the Sherbrooke East and La Fontaine axes, with the addition of a cycle path.

In rue Saint-Denis, the REV will also be the subject of a new pilot project for continuous monitoring to remove as many “obstacles” as possible in the lanes reserved for cyclists. “This is a longstanding request from the cycling community. […] The Mobility Agency will step up its interventions around the cycle path and intervene in illegally parked vehicles. We can even do towing,” promises transport and mobility manager Sophie Mauzerolle. “We are starting with the REV St-Denis, but there is a real desire to expand to the whole network. †

Montreal also plans to extend the Grenier cycle path in the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue sector to allow cyclists to explore the Natural Parks of Bois-de-Saraguay, Bois-de-Liesse, Anse-à-l’Orme, as well as the future Grand Parc de l’Ouest, which is still under development by the municipality.

In the rue Villeray, the cycle path is “extended” to 24and Avenue, between boulevard Saint-Laurent and rue Boyer. This track will now be five kilometers long, from east to west. “It will really become the backbone of the municipality’s cycling network,” says Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, Mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension.

“We have to go faster,” Vélo-Québec . replies

The president of Vélo-Québec, Jean-François Rheault, welcomes “the government’s will” to do more, but warns that it will be necessary to go “faster”. “With 20.5 km of new tracks and 15 km of upgrading, one cannot speak of a large amount. At the current rate, it will take 40 years to finalize the cycling plan,” the latter warns.

“Unfortunately, we are still a long way from our goals of the Climate Plan in Montreal and the modal share of 15% of cycling trips that the city wants to achieve. [d’ici 2027] “, added Mr Rheault, calling on the authorities to develop “cycling education programs” in municipalities such as Saint-Léonard or Montreal-North, where there is “a lot of potential” for cycling as well. “We are not building cycle paths for cyclists, but to to give the opportunity to cycle to people who do not choose it,” he sums up.

The medical chief of the environmental health team at the Montreal Regional Public Health Department, Dr.r David Keizer, second. “We have to have guts if we want to fix the flawed aspects of our urban planning. The future of the city depends on active transport,” he recalls.

At the City, alderman Mariane Giguère replies that 17 million euros for a bicycle program “is still quite ambitious”. “What we answer to them is, watch how we go and don’t lose faith,” she says, before sending a thinly veiled attack on the former Coderre government. “It is certain that there were other administrations that came up with more miles, but it was a lot of paint on the road. We really do quality projects. †

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