After many demonstrations (the last one was February 10) and petitions, the Jacques Cartier Bridge multifunctional path remains closed in the winter, creating frustrations among active transportation enthusiasts (cyclists, runners and walkers). For all kinds of pretexts, the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated Society (JCCBI) refuses to make it accessible. A situation that has lasted for 25 years.
Active transportation users are thus deprived of a vital link that allows them to cross the river for nearly four months, from Valleyfield to Quebec City. While the authorities claim to want to promote this healthy and non-polluting form of transportation, it's absurd to note that there is still no way to cross the river over such a long distance.
Mike Muchnik, spokesman for the Pedestrians and Cyclists Association, estimates that it deprives around 400 people per day who would like to use it (that is 10% of the 4,000 daily users when the path is open).
For those who use it anyway by crossing the fence, there is a risk of fines ranging from $48 to $128. "This year, the JCCBI seems to have ordered the Sûreté du Québec to give more," says Muchnik, who knows several cyclists who got them (mostly $48 fines).
A dry and feasible path most of the time
However, "several days per winter, the path is dry and the snow that accumulates there after snowfalls melts very quickly," says Mr. Muchnik. According to him, 85% of the time, the path is clear and the probability of ice fall is minimal, that is one in 1,600.
The way the bridge is plowed does not help the situation. On an association video, we can see the snowplow pass and project white and brown snow on the multifunctional path and also in the river.
According to Mike Muchnik, there may be hope that things will move. "There may soon be a new president and director at JCCBI who will be more open to active transportation. " To be continued…
Sign the petition requesting the opening of the Jacques Cartier Bridge multifunctional path year-round.
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