Vélo Québec’s proposals are inspired by the discussions held during the Forum sur l’avenir de la Route verte, which took place in Québec City on April 16 and brought together over eighty municipal councillors and regional stakeholders.
1. Maintenance of government leadership and a department responsible for funding and maintaining the integrity of the Route verte, in this case the Ministère des Transports;
2. Identification of one or more suitable funding methods: in the short term, by dipping into the $50 million of the municipal road network assistance program and, in the long term, by creating a capitalized fund;
3. Establishment of a Route verte Committee, which would help increase government action promoting the longevity of the Route verte and generate private investments in the form of donations or sponsorships;
4. Continuation and consolidation of the Québec cycling network in cooperation with the municipal sector;
5. Recognition of a special status for the Québec-wide route.
Last November, when it signed the Interim Fiscal Pact with the municipalities, the government relinquished responsibility for maintaining the Route verte, which it shared equally with the municipal sector. Section 4 of the Véloce program, which was abolished, had been granted a $2.8 million budget for all of Québec in 2013-2014, which helped fund the maintenance of the municipal and off-road sections of the Route verte (2,900 km or 55% of its scope).
For Lucie Lanteigne, General Manager of Vélo Québec Association, the situation is clear. 3Abolishing the Route verte government maintenance program, with no optional sources of funding, jeopardizes, in the short term, the safety of users and, in the long term, the numerous positive spinoffs for the regions in terms of quality of life and economic health. We are asking the Ministère de Transport to carefully consider these concrete proposals and to demonstrate its commitment and leadership in favour of the Route verte.2
To read the proposals made by Vélo Québec to the Québec government (in french), click here or, to read the report on the Forum sur l’avenir de la Route verte (in french), held on April 16, 2015, click here.