Vaudreuil-Dorion’s new Dumberry bike path popular with pedestrians
PHOTO BY STEPHANIE O'HANLEY
A woman heads west on the new Dumberry bike path in Vaudreuil-Dorion which, when completed, will become part of the almost 25 kilometres of biking and pedestrian paths in the city.
Though Vaudreuil-Dorion’s bike path season ended November 15, in recent weeks the curious may have seen employees from the city’s public works department building a new bike path connecting Chemin Dumberry with the rest of the city’s cycling infrastructure.
As work proceeds to expand the entire bike path network, the city received $275,000 from the federal government, representing half of the cost for a two-way bike path extension on Avenue Saint-Charles between Dumberry and Dollard Street. Once work on all bike paths is complete, Vaudreuil-Dorion’s bike path network will total 24.5 km and stretch from one side of the city to the other.
Work on the Dumberry section of the bike path, which links to paths on Chemin des Chenaux to the east and Avenue Saint-Charles to the west, was originally slated to begin in 2018. A map of Vaudreuil-Dorion’s bike path network posted on the city’s website lists the Dumberry bike path as ‘projected.’
“Right now we’re just doing the foundation and making sure it’s usable,” said Olivier Van Neste, head of Vaudreuil-Dorion’s Public Works Department.
“We weren’t sure we’d be able to do it before the winter,” said Van Neste, adding that while the Public Works team rented equipment to work on the project, they aren’t stopping their other work to build the bike path. “When they have a moment, they go and work on it. It’s not going to be asphalted this year. It’s still walkable and usable by bike.”
Plans for expanding the city’s bike path network began two years ago, Van Neste said. “The mayor (Guy Pilon) had the idea to start a committee. “It’s a mobility committee, it’s made up of Public Works, technical services, citizens and someone from the CLSC as well. The mayor is also sitting on that committee.
PHOTO BY STEPHANIE O'HANLEY
“Usually bike path development was discussed in the traffic committee,” he added. “We noticed the traffic committee was more about traffic (flow). We decided to have two committees that just make recommendations to council but they still have different outlooks on the mobility aspect of it.”
The committee worked to connect bike paths in every part of the city, Van Neste said.”In the past four years we actually doubled the number of kilometres of bike paths. We don’t want to focus only on family bike paths; we want to focus on utilitarian bike paths that can bring people to work or to the train station.”
The new bike path on Dumberry is set back from the service road. “From Besner up until des Chenaux at the end we’re as far as possible from the road,” he said. “Most of the time we’re going past the ditch.”
Creating the path involved cutting into existing grassy areas, Van Neste said. “It was all a grass area but we’re trying to have a buffer between the road and the bicycle path, really making it (distanced from) the road.”
To complete part of the path, Vaudreuil-Dorion sought an agreement with neighbouring Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac because green space on Dumberry next to Excelitas in back of Costco belongs to the municipality, he said.
“It’s really narrow, that’s why we have to deal with the city of Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac,” Van Neste said. “On Besner we go there in the back as far as possible from the curve (in the road).”
Heading east on Dumberry towards Chemin des Chenaux, to avoid fast-moving traffic, the bike path stays on the north side up until a newly installed stop sign just before the overpass bridge over Highway 40. As residents head south towards the overpass, they’ll see markings for the bike path on the road and on the sidewalks on both sides of the overpass.
Though the path is currently unpaved and dotted with orange cones, pedestrians are already using it. Van Neste said that except in instances where a sidewalk is right next to the bike path, all of Vaudreuil-Dorion’s bike paths are multipurpose, for walkers, joggers and inline skaters.
“Even if we have sidewalks, we prefer that you jog on the bicycle path rather than on the sidewalks,” he said. “You’ll see on most of our bike paths we have two logos, the pedestrian and the bicycle, to indicate it’s a shared path.”