Rigaud and St. Zotique becoming more bicycle friendly


PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE

(Left to right): St. Zotique city councillor Réjean Cauchon, Soulanges MNA and Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health Lucie Charlebois and Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. following the Minister’s announcement for an investment of nearly $151,000 for cycling paths in both municipalities.

Soulanges MNA and Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health Lucie Charlebois announced October 14 a combined grant of $150,867 for the relocation and the development of additional bicycle paths in Rigaud and Saint-Zotique.

“Development of bicycle paths is an excellent means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I know this won’t reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions across Quebec, but if everyone contributes, it makes a difference. Every time we take our car to the convenience store, we produce more greenhouse gas. So, we are encouraging people to be more physically active and to protect our environment,“ Charlebois said. “I invite all residents to take advantage of those bicycle paths.”

Rigaud will receive $122,898 for the development of additional cycling paths within the town’s urban perimeter. The project will supplement Rigaud’s ongoing endeavours to develop several additional bicycle paths along the city’s roads and as exclusive cycling ways in an effort to encourage active, or human-powered transportation. The project will also repurpose part of the old railroad path going through the municipality. This project falls within the objective of the Véloce II assistance program (part 2) that aims to develop active transportation within the urban perimeter of Quebec municipalities.

“I applaud our government for encouraging exercising within our urban perimeter. We will exploit this activity fully,” said Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr.

Mayor Gruenwald stressed the importance of the participation of residents. “It’s not enough to build bicycle paths. Our challenge lies in engaging the population to follow suit. The investments from the government, and the municipalities, the activities we organize, they’re all for nothing if residents do not participate. The residents’ participation is the key element that will enable further financing. We want our bicycle path network to get congested, so that we can get the next generation of financing in order to develop it further.”

Mayor Gruenwald thanked the Quebec Government for encouraging society to move in a more healthy direction. “It’s too easy to take our car to get a milk carton at the convenience store. I think we have our work cut out to realign society so that we can avail ourselves of all the sources of energy at our disposal.”

St. Zotique was awarded $27,878 in financial aid from the Véloce II program. This aid will go toward the relocation of the segment of the Green Route bicycle path going through the corridor of the municipality’s 20th street.

“We are relocating the bicycle path in order to maximize the number of residents who will use it, to make it more accessible, and also to make it an even safer path,” said Saint-Zotique city councillor Réjean Cauchon. “The municipality of St. Zotique is grateful for the Quebec governement’s financial aid. Thanks to this grant, the municipality, the MRC and the Quebec government show their efforts and encourage residents to adopt an active lifestyle and remain in good health,“ Cauchon added.

The $7.7 million allocated to the Véloce II program for 2015-2016 aims to encourage active transportation and completion of Quebec’s Green Route.

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