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New bike path extension planned in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue north

By John Jantak


Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue council recently announced that plans are underway to extend its bicycle path trail into the neighbouring municipality of Kirkland.

Outdoor enthusiasts in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, especially cyclists, will eventually be able to enjoy longer ventures as the city announced it plans to extend its bicycle path network in the north sector eastward into neighbouring Kirkland.

Details of the extension were announced at the monthly council meeting on February 8. The city granted a private contract to devise its preliminary plans which will include pre-project plant and wildlife studies. The multi-functional path is planned to run along Rue Grenier, between Rue D’Aoust and de L'Anse-à-l'Orme, along the easement of the Hydro-Québec power line.

“It’s a bike path we’ve wanted that has been on the books and in the planning stage for at least the past 10 years,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Journal. “Bike paths are under the authority of the agglomeration. It is the one specifically that goes from D’Aoust, under the hydro wires, all the way to L’Anse-a-L’Orme and into Kirkland.

Long-awaited project

“It’s an expensive bike path that will go through a nature reserve so there are a lot of restrictions on what can be done,” said Hawa. “It’s been a long time in coming and, finally this year, Montreal agreed to allow us to manage and oversee the project. We will submit our expenses to them and they will reimburse us. We’re looking at a $1.2 million investment just for the bike path.”

The mayor said she’s delighted the city has been granted the right to oversee the project. “It makes a lot more sense to do it this way because it’s our territory and we know it a lot better than anybody else does. This project has been long-awaited by the citizens of Ste. Anne’s and for the citizens of Kirkland,” she said.

The only other way for residents to have bicycle access into Kirkland is by biking along Chemin Sainte-Marie, a narrow two-lane roadway which is dangerous for cyclists to use. “It’s not really safe,” said Hawa. “There’s a lot of traffic on that road. This way the path will travel under the hydro wires safely while enjoying nature. I’m ecstatic about that.”

Calls for a hunting ban

Council also adopted a motion at the council meeting calling on the provincial government to prohibit hunting in Ste. Anne’s and throughout the Island of Montreal. Mayor Hawa and most of the councillors voted in favour of adopting the motion. District 3 Councillor Francis Juneau voted against it. It’s a safety issue for Hawa who’s concerned about stray bullets hitting houses or people.

“Basically, hunting is legal in Montreal,” said Hawa. “I’ve been working for 10 years trying to get that law changed and trying to get the island of Montreal excluded from the provincial hunting zone 8 North. Finally, Montreal and our sister cities on the West Island are with me and support my cause. Every city including the agglomeration is adopting a by-law to that effect to ask the provincial government to change the law

“Just last year, 14 deer were killed in L'Anse-à-l'Orme,” added Hawa. “Those are from hunters who have permits. That doesn’t include the poachers. At least 14 people were out there shooting at deer while kids and families were walking through the nature reserve. That’s absolutely insane.”