Quebec City, Thursday, June 2, 2011 — Vélo Québec today released Bicycling in Quebec in 2010, a detailed report on the current state of cycling in Quebec.
“This study clearly shows the continuing growth of cycling, based on a variety of indicators,” said Suzanne Lareau, CEO of Vélo Québec. “We are naturally concerned by the decline in cycling among young people, but I believe the incredible level of support for cycling, particularly the development of the network of bicycle paths and the creation of bike-friendly environments, will help improve the situation.”
KEY FINDINGS >>>
The highlights of the report include:
The number of adult cyclists has increased by 500,000 since 2005;
More than half (54%) of Quebecers cycled in 2010, a return to 1995 levels (53%) after decreases in 2000 (49%) and 2005 (47%);
The number of people who cycle at least once a week has increased steadily since the year 2000 (from 1.6 million in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2005 and 2 million in 2010);
84% of children and teens cycle, a 9-point drop in 5 years;
The proportion of utility cycling has doubled: 37% of cyclists were using their bike as a means of transport occasionally or daily, compared with 20% in 2000;
Between 1987 and 2010, the total number of bicycles in Quebec more than doubled and the number of regular cyclists increased by 50%. During the same period, cycling-related fatalities decreased by 58%, serious injuries by 72% and minor injuries by 52%.
Bicycling in Quebec in 2010 also shows a linkage between the creation of bicycle-friendly environments (bicycle paths and other facilities), the increase in cycling, and the general improvement in cycling safety. While the bicycle industry has seen major changes as a result of globalization, the bicycles and accessories business is healthy. Finally, development of the Route verte is continuing and the network of bike paths has become a cornerstone of bicycle tourism across Quebec. The Route verte is now an important part of Quebec’s tourism infrastructure and the Bienvenue cyclistes!TM network of accommodations is expanding steadily.
Several factors have contributed to the development of cycling culture in Quebec: there are events in every region to encourage Quebecers of all ages to get back on their bikes; hundreds of municipalities and organizations, and thousands of individuals, supported the creation of the Route verte; in 1995, Quebec established an innovative cycling policy, which gave rise to the first edition of Bicycling in Quebec; that policy was revised in 2007 to focus on bicycles as a means of transport, without abandoning recreational cycling.
The bike is the ultimate form of green transport and a logical response to problems of urban growth and congestion. Walking and cycling, in conjunction with mass transit, are now regarded as key elements in all policymaking on transport and movement.
PROMOTING CYCLING IN QUEBEC SINCE 1967
For over 40 years, Vélo Québec, a non-profit organization, has been a key player on the Quebec cycling scene. Our organization has continuously encouraged the use of the bicycle, whether for recreation and tourism or as a means of clean, active transportation, in order to protect the environment and improve the health and well-being of citizens.
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Note: The study can be downloaded from www.velo.qc.ca
Source: Vélo Québec
Sophie Des Marais