Opinions divided on the arrival of bike sharing in Loretteville

Opinions divided on the arrival of bike sharing in Loretteville
Opinions divided on the arrival of bike sharing in Loretteville

The àVélo electrically assisted bike-sharing service is arriving, for the first time in Loretteville with three new stations, this summer, three years after its deployment in the city center. However, the arrival of the service divides merchants and still intrigues neighborhood residents.

Located several kilometers from the 112 other stations concentrated in the central districts, these first three stations in the northern crown serve as a test bed for Quebec City. Two of them are along Racine Street, the commercial artery of the area, and the other is on the edge of Chauveau Hospital.

We are establishing a new service in the suburbs, in Loretteville, which we wish to extend so that all these beautiful stations are eventually interconnected.announces Marie-Josée Asselin, the municipal councilor for the Loretteville-Les Châtels district. It allows people to try it, see how it works and learn how to get around differently too.

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The challenge will be to get people to try it because to try it is to adopt it, we see it with the figures, the use of aBikes is growing exponentially., pleads the advisor. Some area residents are happy to see this new service coming to their neighborhood, already considering, for example, being able to save themselves a few minutes of walking.

According to her, the pilot project fits perfectly with the revitalization of the Racine Street sector, where the City hopes to bring new families and develop local businesses.

Compromised parking

Some merchants on Rue Racine are also delighted, already seeing possible benefits with this new type of clientele. We have already reached our fourth customer who took the bikes, who took the opportunity to come for a little tour of the street, then at the same time they stopped to have a nice little coneobserves Isabelle Hudon, the owner of the Mon enfant roi dairy bar and the Atelier 256 café.

But other traders are not convinced of the benefits. Sylvie Tapin, the owner of the Le Renoir hair salon, complains that the presence of the station which can accommodate around twenty bicycles takes up the space of two 90-minute parking spaces, at the corner of Racine and Dames-Ursulines streets.

What we are going through is a testlaments Richard Renaud, the owner of the building which houses the salon. I’m not against bikes, but I don’t think the location they chose is the right one, at least not for our business.

According to them, their older customers will not benefit from the bike-sharing service. These aren’t little 17-year-olds who come, they’re ladies, but where are the ladies going to park? Everyone panics, then I panic tooexclaims the owner.

Marie-Josée Asselin asks traders to be open and lenient in the face of changing habits. Studies show that the slower the wallet travels, the more people spendshe argues.

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Municipal councilor Marie-Josée Asselin.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jérémie Camirand

The councilor also mentions that there are still many spaces left along the street and that there is a public parking lot of several spaces behind the Le Piolet restaurant.

When Le Piolet is open, the people who work there park there, so there is no more space, retorts Richard Renaud. He would have preferred that the City consult him before acting.

Since the start of the season, nearly 300,000 bike trips have been recorded. The Capital Transport Network which operates the service estimates that there will be nearly 800,000 more by the end of the season.

With information from Jérémie Camirand

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