[PHOTOS] “It’s the end”: Quebec City begins dismantling illegal La Marmota bike trails in Cap-Rouge

It’s really the end for the La Marmota mountain bike trails built without authorization by citizens in Cap-Rouge. Despite the mobilization of users and a petition of 15,000 names, the contractor mandated by the City officially began dismantling work on Wednesday morning.

• Read also: La Marmota: short reprieve, but dismantling confirmed

• Read also: [EN IMAGES] Marmota cyclists have spectacular fun in front of Quebec City Hall

The newspaper was able to note the presence of a small team of four workers in the woods who were busy with the initial work to dismantle the jumps and other structures and secure the trees.

Dominique Lelievre

Everything took place under the watchful eye of two security agents who have the mandate not to let people approach. As we passed, only one peaceful individual stood in the distance to observe the operations while disapproving of the maneuver.

The operation will cost an estimated $100,000 and will continue until the end of May, indicated the City’s director of public relations, François Moisan.


Dominique Lelievre

Incompatible

According to him, there was no other solution than dismantling due to environmental protection and safety issues.

“Bicycling activity is not compatible with what we call R-4 zoning, therefore a conservation site. So we cannot tolerate the use of bicycles here,” he maintains.

He specifies that the contractor uses “light machinery” and that “a lot of work will have to be done by hand in order to preserve natural environments”.


[PHOTOS] “It’s the end”: Quebec City begins dismantling illegal La Marmota bike trails in Cap-Rouge

Acts of vandalism have been committed in recent days.

Dominique Lelievre

Trail users made a final effort to save the place on May 7, by submitting their petition to town hall in the presence of many cyclists gathered outside.

The City had granted them a reprieve of a few days to allow them to recover their equipment while indicating that there was no question of backing down.


[PHOTOS] “It’s the end”: Quebec City begins dismantling illegal La Marmota bike trails in Cap-Rouge

Dominique Lelievre

Incomprehension

“I will not tell [que l’on ressent] anger, I would say more incomprehension, disappointment because we had a site which was recognized by several followers, which was adored by people in the neighborhood too, which is going to be dismantled for reasons which are a bit nebulous,” says the founder of La Marmota, Michel Lachance.


[PHOTOS] “It’s the end”: Quebec City begins dismantling illegal La Marmota bike trails in Cap-Rouge

Michel Lachance on April 26.

Archive photo Didier Debusschère

For him, there is no question of using other pressure tactics. However, he fears that the City is only moving the problem by removing this popular site overnight.

“We unfortunately accept the City’s decision. What do you want us to do, it’s not our territory. It is the end. We are going to turn the page,” he says while maintaining that he has proof that the Ministry of the Environment was not asking for the trails to be closed.


[PHOTOS] “It’s the end”: Quebec City begins dismantling illegal La Marmota bike trails in Cap-Rouge

The City says it had some surprises, such as this very deep hole covered with a canvas, which posed a security issue according to it.

Dominique Lelievre

Vandalism

He insists that the acts of vandalism observed in recent days are not the work of his organization. Tires were slashed and signs were bent or painted over.

“We never encouraged that. The rest of us, from the beginning of history, wanted to collaborate with the City, to find a way to talk to each other.”

Do you have any information to share with us about this story?

Write to us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.

-

-

PREV Six tips for preparing well for a job interview in Quebec
NEXT The French U17 Women’s Team humiliated by Spain in the semi-final of the Euro