Monthly Archives: December 2009

The WCA in the Montreal Gazette

Daniel Lambert, President of the Westmount Cycling Association, recently spoke with Michelle Lalonde, a columnist with The Gazette, to discuss Westmount’s current inaction with regarding to promoting cycling.

The resulting article, “Small Measures Add Up,” was published in the December 28, 2009 edition of The Gazette.   An extract from the article is given below:

Montreal is promoting year-round cycling, investing heavily in infrastructure and keeping many key cycling routes cleared of snow in winter, including the Claire Morissette path on de Maisonneuve. Westmount’s decision to close its section of this key east-west link means Westmounters, N.D.G. residents and others from points west are less likely to choose this healthy, non-polluting form of transportation to get downtown. And there is little pressure on boroughs like N.D.G. to keep their sections of that path clear of snow if Westmount’s section is closed.

Daniel Lambert, president of the Westmount Cycling Association, is leading a push to get Westmount council to improve cycling infrastructure and to join Montreal’s remarkably successful short-term bike rental program, Bixi.

“Our mission is to promote cycling to limit climate change,” he said.

Lambert, 60, is not your stereotypical cycling advocate. A former executive with Rio Tinto, Lambert has been using his bicycle as his main form of transportation – year-round – for 15 years.

“Westmount appears to be stuck in the last century,” he said. “It’s shameful. We want Westmount to catch up with many major cities, including New York, Boston, London, Paris, Copenhagen and Montreal, that have recognized the importance of cycling to reducing pollution and climate change.

“It does seem odd that Westmount, so advanced on issues like recycling and composting, seems so slow to promote cycling as an alternative to driving.

Click here for a link to the full article and to see a photo of Dan and Roger Jochym (WCA Vice-President) riding at the critical portion of the bicycle path, between Greene and Atwater, where car parking is reinstated during the winter months.

Contact us to let us know what you think about the article by either leaving a comment below or sending us an email.

You can also contact Westmount Mayor Peter Trent (pftrent@westmount.org) and tell him what you think!

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Westmount Cycling Association Launches Website

The website for the Westmount Cycling Association (WCA) was launched on December 17, 2009.  We will be adding lots of content in the coming days including videos, information about urban cycling, etc., so check back here often.

To become a member of the WCA, send an email to info@acw-wca.org.  It’s free and you don’t have to be a Westmount resident!

Press Release- Founding of the Westmount Cycling Association (WCA)

December 16, 2009

Under the visionary leadership of their mayors, many major cities in North America and Europe (including New York, Boston, Portland, LA, London, Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Montreal) have recognised the important contribution of cycling to locally improve the liveability of communities and globally to limit climate change by helping reduce the negative effects of vehicular air pollution.  Those cities consider cycling to be a viable means of urban transportation and have therefore invested in cycling, which has led to its rapid growth, along with the associated environmental and health benefits.

Montreal has actively promoted cycling for several years and now boasts over 500 km of bike paths, of which over 35 km remain open in winter (Reseau Blanc).  In 2009, Montreal introduced the highly successful Bixi programme.

Westmount’s ecological footprint is higher than the Canadian average, which is one of the highest in the world, and Westmount suffers from exceptionally high levels of air pollution (particulats, nitrogen dioxide, etc.) due to its proximity to heavy vehicular traffic.  Air quality is even worse in winter due to oil and wood burning.  Cycling is part of the long-term solution to these issues, but Westmount has not promoted or invested substantively in cycling since the 2 km long de Maisonneuve path was opened nearly 18 years ago (June 1992).

To help promote cycling in Westmount, the Westmount Cycling Association was founded on December 16, 2009.  Please refer to the WCA Mission Statement.

Contact

Website:  acw-wca.org

Contact:  info@acw-wca.org