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.