THE PRESS ROOM - for immediate release

On the eve of the Sommet de Montréal

A consensus on cycling

>> par Vélo Québec  Montreal, May 27, 2002 – From the democratic exercise during the preparatory summits for the Sommet de Montréal, a clear message has emerged: Montrealers want action to promote cycling. They demand that their city develop new bike paths.

This was the conclusion drawn by Vélo Québec from the proceedings of the meetings anticipating next week's Sommet de Montréal, and announced today at a press conference.

Out of the 27 borough summits held in April and May, 23 adopted proposals concerning cycling. Cycling and bike paths were also discussed at four sectoral summits. Vélo Québec has organized its own Sommet du vélo and received a hundred comments and suggestions.

Montrealers from all over the City want to be linked by bike paths. In Westmount, Outremont, Sainte-Geneviève and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, people said they want to be connected with their neighbours. "The bicycle will unite Montreal," announced François Vermette, development coordinator of Réseau vélo métropolitain.

Montrealers regard the bicycle as a legitimate, and highly desirable, means of transport. The general feeling is that the City should encourage and facilitate cycling by building safe bicycle access to the main areas where people study, work and play.

Many residents live close to heritage and tourist sites and enjoy visiting them. Accordingly, developing the bikeway will help to showcase Montreal and the beautiful surrounding islands as a recreational and tourist destination. Jean-François Pronovost, executive director of Vélo Québec expressed the idea as follows: "The bicycle is to Montreal what apple pie is to New England".

In view of the widespread consensus in favour of cycling, Vélo Québec urges the Sommet de Montréal delegates to adopt an action plan that responds to the wishes of Montrealers, and moves bikeway development, on hold for 15 years, into the fast lane.

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