Demonstration from Montreal to Quebec for a “national bicycle policy”

Dozens of cyclists left Montreal on Saturday morning with the aim of going to Quebec City on Monday, imploring political parties to propose a “national bicycle policy” during the election campaign.

The atmosphere was festive, at 8 a.m., at the start of the 280-kilometer journey to the National Assembly, entitled Cavalcade – 2 wheels, 1 future. Gathered at La Fontaine Park in front of the Maison des Cyclists, there were a few dozen early risers, some sporty, others more relaxed, demanding safe facilities and more cycling links between the cities of the province.

The Cavalcade is also intended to be “festive” and “unifying”, inspired by the international cycling movement of the critical masses, according to its spokesperson, Julien Gagnon-Ouellette.

“We have been pushed around for too long,” he said, to the applause of his comrades. He criticizes in particular that provincial subsidies are granted for electric cars, whereas with “a rebate of $4,000 on an electric car, one could buy four to five bicycles”.

The Cavalcade organizers are therefore asking the government to “adopt itself with a national and ten-year active mobility plan”, which would include annual investments of $500 in cycling infrastructure throughout Quebec, as well as an extension of the network of green roads. of Quebec.

“I find the project inspiring, if only in terms of health. Active mobility is essential to relieve congestion in our health system and to promote good mental health among young people,” says Jasmine Gareau-Lindsay, a participant.

Julien Gagnon-Ouellette, who has been campaigning for access to cycling infrastructure for a few years, says that for his part, it is rather “the aberration to see that so much energy is spent on the automobile in Quebec”, as well as the “happiness of cycling”, which prompted him to organize the Cavalcade.

Its event comes from an “independent citizen movement”, which is not associated with other organizations such as Vélo Québec, indicates Julien Gagnon-Ouellette. Rather, he refers to the “concerns of all types of citizens” in Montreal and beyond, although he says he is inspired by the proposals of Vélo Québec.

Moreover, a few days before the launch of the election campaign, Vélo Québec filed a series of demands, with Piétons Québec, Trajectoire Québec and Vivre en ville, to “help Quebec households get rid of the financial burden of the second car “.

These organizations notably ask the provincial government to establish a “national objective of zero sprawl” by 2040, and that “two-thirds of confirmed investments in land transport are dedicated to public transport by 2026”.

“I would dream of being able to go to Gaspésie on a safe bike path”, concludes Jasmine, all smiles, motivated by the idea of ​​going to Quebec City this weekend even if she “doesn’t do a lot” of cycling. normally.

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