Category Archives: News

De Maisonneuve bike path to be opened this winter on a trial basis

Westmount Walking and Cycling Association applauds city decision to keep de Maisonneuve bike path open in winter

See here for more details from the Westmount Independent

Press Release- Founding of the Westmount Walking and Cycling Association (WWCA)

April 6, 2010

The interaction between pedestrians and cyclists is a key concern for municipalities wanting to promote walking and cycling, particularly when adding new infrastructure, like bike paths.  City officials seek holistic solutions that will favour harmonious interaction between pedestrians and cyclists since both groups share the common goal of wanting to improve the liveability of our community and our planet by walking or cycling, rather than driving their cars, to go to work, to school or to run errands.

Recognising that promoting walking and cycling will depend on holistic solutions, the Westmount Walking and Cycling Association has been founded by the board of the former Westmount Cycling Association and by residents concerned about walking issues. The new association will focus on the concerns of both groups.

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 due to its proximity to heavy vehicular traffic.  Walking and cycling are part of the long-term solution.

The Westmount Walking and Cycling Association was founded on April 5, 2010.  Please refer to the WWCA Mission Statement on our website.  The activities of the former Westmount Cycling Association will be folded into the new Westmount Walking and Cycling Association.

Contact

Website:  amcw-wwca.org

Contact:  info@amcw-wwca.org

(Note that the former email address info@acw-wca.org will continue to be active)

Press Release- Early Opening of Westmount Bike Path

Westmount has just opened its de Maisonneuve bike path almost one month ahead of schedule due to the clement weather.

The bike path is used daily by numerous people who have chosen to cycle to work or school rather and taking their car or public transport.  Despite its official closure over the past several months, the lack of snow has allowed many people to continue to ride much of the de Maisonneuve bike path for their daily commute.  In fact, since mid-January, the bike path has been snow covered for only 4 days.  However, during the winter, a section of the bike path between Atwater and Greene Ave reverts to car parking which poses a safety risk to cyclists.  Now that the parking has been removed, more people to take their bikes since Safe Passage is the key requirement for many people wishing to cycle.

The early opening of the bike path is consistent with Westmount’s sustainable development plans to promote cycling as one way of improving the liveability of the community, by reducing vehicle pollution and calming traffic.  Cycling is also one way residents can directly help limit the climate change emissions.  As part of its 2010 sustainable development priorities, Westmount plans to evaluate keeping the de Maisonneuve bike path open year-round.  In addition, Westmount plans to work towards the installation of Bixi stations, to start preparation of an Active Transportation (cycling and walking) Master Plan and to add more bike parking in key locations.

The Westmount Cycling Association is committed to helping the City to achieve these objectives.  The Association is also committed to helping improve safety on the de Maisonneuve bike path for cyclists, residents and motorists as well as helping promote cycling in Westmount.

Westmount Cycling Association

March 22, 2010

acw-wca.org

The WCA applauds Westmount Mayor Peter Trent for his commitment to keeping the de Maisonneuve bike path open year round

On January 11, 2010, the Gazette column “Squeaky Wheels” published a piece on the winter closure of the de Maisonneuve bike path in Westmount.  Westmount Mayor Peter Trent was quoted in the article as saying that he “dearly wants to try to open the path year-round by next winter.”

This is the second published statement in two months by Mayor Trent supporting the year-round opening of the bike path.  In a November 26th article in The Westmount Examiner (“Bike path could stay open through winter“), he is quoted as saying,

“Certainly in principle and at first blush the idea of having a four-season bike path makes sense.  I was always curious as to why in Montreal it was four-seasons and in Westmount it was three.”

However, Mayor Trent did indicate in the Examiner article that further study would be needed before any decisions are made:

“We’re five out of nine on this council that are either brand new or retreads, and so it’s going to take us a little while to look at it and find out what the reasons were as to why we closed it down, and I’m sure there are a lot reasons with regard to snow removal operations and things of that kind. So I’m not promising anything, but we will look into it.”

The WCA encourages Mayor Trent to continue to support the year-round operation of the bike path.  The WCA also remains available to cooperate with Mayor Trent and the City Council in order to address any perceived challenges associated with keeping the bike path open in the wintertime.

Click here to read the full text article in The Gazette (the bike path Q&A begins halfway down the page).

Click here to read the full text article in The Westmount Examiner.

Email Westmount Mayor Peter Trent to tell him that you support the year-round operation of the bike path: pftrent@westmount.org

La Presse article says winter cycling is up, denounces Westmount closure of winter bike path

On January 8, 2010, columnist François Cardinal published an article in La Presse entitled “Pédaler dans la neige?” in which he discusses the increase in the number of winter cyclists in Montreal this year.  Cardinal writes that with the continual increase in winter cyclists, the City of Montreal and the surrounding Cities have an interest in ensuring that winter bicycle paths are available and well-maintained.

He also singles out the City of Westmount and the boroughs of the South Shore as currently being reticent to provide adequate winter cycling infrastructure.

Some extracts from the article are provided below:

«Il y a beaucoup plus de cyclistes qui se lancent sur la route cette année, c’est évident, confirme François Démontagne, un cycliste hivernal depuis trois ans qui a lancé un groupe pour ses pairs sur Facebook. Je ne dirais pas que le nombre a doublé, mais il a passablement augmenté.»

Ce qui n’est pas rien, quand on sait qu’en 2006, environ 50 000 Montréalais enfourchaient leur bicyclette à l’année.

Une des raisons derrière cet engouement tranquille: le déneigement des pistes cyclables, ce que la Ville appelle le «réseau blanc». Depuis l’an dernier, 30 kilomètres de chaussées réservées aux vélos sont déneigées après chaque tempête, un peu plus si on inclut les bandes cyclables. On souhaite atteindre les 60 kilomètres d’ici l’hiver 2013-2014.

Mais la principale explication est ailleurs. «Il y a un effet boule de neige, explique Gabriel Béland, auteur du blogue Vélomane (et collègue de La Presse). Plus de gens en font, plus il y a de gens susceptibles d’en faire, puisque c’est souvent par les connaissances que le goût de pédaler l’hiver te vient.»

Le déneigement des pistes cyclables aide beaucoup, c’est certain, mais il ne faut pas croire que l’existence du réseau blanc attire à elle seule plus de monde. C’est plutôt l’inverse: il y a plus de cyclistes, DONC il y a le réseau blanc.

La Ville de Montréal a ainsi tout intérêt à continuer à développer le réseau pour satisfaire ceux qui, en nombre grandissant, profitent des infrastructures en place. Il s’agit d’une tendance lourde qui ne se dément pas, ici comme ailleurs: les cyclistes se multiplient et continueront de le faire.

Voilà aussi pourquoi les villes et arrondissements réticents auront intérêt à s’ajuster, comme Westmount, par exemple, qui refuse de déneiger sa portion de la piste cyclable de Maisonneuve, ou encore les villes de la Rive-Sud, qui en font bien peu pour créer un lien cyclable – actuellement cruellement manquant – vers l’île, l’hiver.

Click here to read the full text of the article.

Click here to join the Montreal – Bike Winter Facebook group.

Click here for the Vélomane blog.

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!

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!