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Montreal North residents ride for more bike paths

Click to play video: 'Montreal North residents ride for more bike paths' Montreal North residents ride for more bike paths
WATCH: The Association for Safe Mobility of Montreal North wants more bike paths in the borough. A small demonstration was held Sunday morning before residents and organizers went on a seven-kilometre ride through the streets. Elizabeth Zogalis has more – Jun 12, 2022

The Association for Safe Mobility of Montreal North wants more bike paths in the borough. A small demonstration was held Sunday morning before residents and organizers went on a seven-kilometre ride through the streets.

No protected bike path has been developed in Montreal North for more than 40 years. Cycling advocates say that needs to change.

“Everywhere in the city they are building bike paths,” said Jean-Francois Gagné, a spokesperson for Montreal North Secure Mobility Association.

“Downtown and Ahuntsic, on Gouin in RDP but here they didn’t build anything.”

Gagné added that habits have changed and far more residents are opting for two wheels instead of four.

“There are a lot of more cyclists but no more infrastructure added in the last 40 years, so that’s what we want something better for our kids,” he said.

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Read more: As gas prices spike, Montreal’s bike culture seen as model for rest of the country

The ride was aimed at showcasing the need for more bike paths in certain areas, especially around schools, said David Lambert, spokesperson for the Montreal Active Mobility Coalition.

“There’s a bicycle path which goes in front of several schools, secondary, primary and other key destinations, where right now it’s impossible to get to them safely on bike,” said Lambert.

“People will not get on a bike and cycle unless they feel protected.”

Read more: Vélo Québec promotes everyday cycling with ‘Bike to Work Day’

Since 2019, the city of Montreal has been constructing the REV, an express bike network spanning 184 km of mostly protected bike paths connecting various points of the city.

The entire project is expected to be completed by 2027.

“There is a lot of interest in cycling,” Lambert said. “People want to be healthy, and more and more people want to help the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.”

Last month, the administration of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced it would spend $17 million to upgrade and create more cycling paths.

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It will also begin construction of the Henri-Bourassa stretch of the express bike network between Pitfield and Félix Leclerc in St-Laurent.

Montreal North Mayor Christine Black said in a statement the borough is “well aware of the importance of implementing bicycle facility safety.”

“However, it is also necessary to develop a cycling culture within the borough’s population. Over the past few years, we have multiplied awareness campaigns, among others through the Vélo-Québec’s Cycliste Averti program, which has been taught in several schools in the borough,” Black said.

“The borough is working on analyzing different scenarios for new bicycle facilities that will be submitted to the city center by the fall in order to obtain the necessary funding for their realization.”

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