Viewpoint : January 2016

Highway Safety Code, Green Fund, 4-Season Biking
Our hopes for 2016…


Looking back on what made cycling news last year, we note that many of the same issues will be on the agenda in 2016. Let’s hope for a positive outcome in the following areas:
 
Modernization du Highway Safety Code
In the spring, the Ministry of Transportation will table a bill to modernize the Highway Safety Code. With any luck, cyclists have been heard and the new Code will take into account the evolution of cycling and give more importance to bicycles in our cities and on our roads. We hope for, among other things, the adoption of the principle of caution, a clear definition of the passing distance that motorists must maintain when overtaking cyclists, a redefinition of the concept of an accident to include the phenomenon of dooring, as well as the removal of demerit points from the driving record of delinquent cyclists.
 
The introduction of a new Highway Safety Code is also an opportunity to continue the discussion on the place of the bicycle in our society. Let’s hope for more harmonious relations between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – which won’t become reality unless we all work together in this direction.
 
Use of the Green Fund for the development of bicycle-friendly environments
The purpose of the Green Fund is to finance measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, mainly in the transportation sector. Every year, millions of dollars stemming from the carbon market and the levy on fossil fuels and other combustibles accumulate in the Green Fund. We have already suggested that government use the Green Fund to quickly create bicycle-friendly environments throughout Québec. Let’s help the cities, which bear the responsibility for implementing reliable bike paths, meet Québecers’ needs. Let’s tap into the Green Fund to maintain and promote the development of the Route verte, a Québec treasure that has been 21 years in the making.
 
Greater recognition of 4-season biking
Every winter, the number of cyclists who choose to continue pedalling continues to grow. However, cities have much work to do in terms of providing an accessible 4-season cycling network. Let’s hope that our milder winters will convince them to adapt seasonal bike paths into cycling facilities that can be used year-round.
 
May you bike your way to a healthy 2016!
 

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO
 
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