THE PRESS ROOM - for immediate release

5.4 million investments in the Route verte for 2004-2005 heralds the final stretch before the inauguration

>> par Vélo Québec  Montreal, May 4, 2004 — For Vélo Québec, the $5.4-million investment for 2004-2005 in the Route verte announced by Minister for Transport Julie Boulet, heralds the final stretch before the inauguration of the bikeway.

“This announcement is concrete proof that completing the Route verte is a priority for Minister Boulet and the Government of Quebec,” says Jean-François Pronovost, executive director of Vélo Québec. “With this commitment, he says, the government salutes the major economic and social spinoffs generated by the bicycle route.”

Actions as early as this spring
“Vélo Québec was waiting for this signal, to set in motion a whole series of actions accompanying the completion of the Route verte,” announced Mr. Pronovost.

As well as coordinating the development of the province-wide bikeway, Vélo Québec has announced many different mobilization actions in connection with the Route verte. Starting this year, Vélo Québec will:
— signpost a further 400 kilometres in 12 different regions;
— work with service suppliers and the hotel industry to develop a Bienvenue cyclistes! sign showing that cyclists are welcome;
— introduce inter-regional signage;
— hold a provincial symposium on October 21, to discuss issues relating to completion of the Route verte, publicity and promotion for the bikeway and the development of services for users;
— host a June 8 breakfast lecture in Montreal, featuring British guest speaker John Grimshaw, of SUSTRANS. This is the world-renowned organization that spearheaded the development of greenways (National Cycle Network) and the celebrated Safe Routes to Schools program.

The Route verte — a bicycle path that will eventually cover 4,300 kilometres — is already 76% complete (3,270 km). A study by the UQAM chair of tourism shows that the Route verte — as already completed — generates annual economic spinoffs of $95 million, including $15 million in taxes for the Government of Quebec.

The Route verte was originally conceived by Vélo Québec, and built in conjunction with the Government of Quebec, especially the Ministère des Transports, as well as regional partners.

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