Maintaining the cycle network, too unglamorous?

Maintaining the cycle network, too unglamorous?
Maintaining the cycle network, too unglamorous?

Quebec’s cycling network is improving. We add missing links, we create Vélocité corridors. In short, we feel a clear political will and that, frankly, feels good.

On the other hand, existing infrastructure is, in some cases, at the end of its life. Others are ill-suited to the growing popularity of cycling as a means of urban travel. Finally, certain segments cross areas that send shivers down your spine.

The Railway Workers’ Corridor

Built almost 25 years ago on a former railway line, this cycle path begins in the industrial sector of Maizerets and goes to the outskirts of Shannon. This important intermunicipal cycle link is showing its age. As proof, the kilometer signage along the route is faded, or the state of the asphalt is questionable. We can clearly see that the track is no longer young, let’s say. Considering the number of tourists who walk the trail, an upgrade seems relevant to me, if only for the image of the national capital.

The linear park of the Saint-Charles and Berger rivers

Officially opened in 2008, this park has a charming, but sometimes overcrowded, bike path. In fact, its size is not adapted to current attendance. In addition, numerous crossings with the adjacent pedestrian path increase the risk of unnecessary collisions. Also, the ground markings would need to be redone in many sectors. Proper pruning of the shrubs along the path would improve visibility and return precious decimeters of track width to cyclists. Finally, the pedestrian path which adjoins the path would benefit from widening and a more pleasant surface for walking, if we rely on the number of pedestrians who prefer to walk on the asphalt of the cycle path. The Société de la Rivière Saint-Charles is responsible for the maintenance of this linear park.

The coastal corridor

Generally running along the St. Lawrence River, this corridor is generally beautiful and pleasant. But not everywhere! Under the Dufferin-Montmorency highway ramps, it’s depressing. The “chicanes” near the railway tracks are in a lamentable state: paving needs to be done in these places. In addition, the landscape here is bleak and industrial, proximity to the rail yard obliges, I imagine. But wouldn’t it be possible to green this route or, at least, to hide these sad views? This cycling route is used by many local cyclists AND by tourists who are certainly not excited by their passage.

Creating is good, but maintaining is vital

Several other cycling infrastructures in Quebec deserve a good dose of love. So that cyclists who already use them continue to do so. And to send a clear message to those who are thinking of getting started: traveling by bike is pleasant and comfortable.

Unfortunately, the interview does not provide such great photo opportunities. And that, as you can imagine, is important for many politicians. Crucial, even. So, they would rather cut the ribbon on a new infrastructure, with a smile on their face, than allocate funds to maintain what is already there. I hope that will change.



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