QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The official international
inauguration of the Route verte, a bicycle route extending for more than
4,000 kilometres developed over a period of more than 12 years by almost a
thousand different organizations, was held today in Quebec City, coinciding
with the arrival of the 2,000 participants in the Grand Tour, Quebec's leading
bicycle tourism event.
Commenting on the "Route verte tornado" that swept throughout Quebec over
the past 26 days, Jean-François Pronovost, Executive Director of Vélo Québec
Association and overseer of the development of the Route verte, delightedly
exclaimed, "Mission accomplished!" while reviewing the series of activities
held to mark the official international inauguration of the Route verte.
First, the Destination Route verte - 07 tour, which began on July 16,
2007, in the municipality of Ville-Marie in Témiscamingue, was an
opportunity to call for action to complete the Route verte and to
encourage all Quebecers to explore their Route verte. On each day of this
fabulous trip, the six young Destination Route verte - 07 participants
explored a different segment of the Route verte and met with dozens of
regional bikeway development partners.
Also, during a six-day exploratory trip on the Route verte, the
participants in the International Mobile Forum, representatives of major
cycling organizations and developers of major bikeways (Canada, United
States, Europe) engaged in fruitful discussions with builders of the
Route verte in various regions of Quebec.
Lastly, this morning saw the conclusion of a series of regional inaugural
events held in 24 cities and towns across Quebec: Montreal, Laval,
Gatineau, Thurso, Shawinigan, Trois-Rivières, Saguenay, Alma, Longueuil,
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Granby, Sherbrooke, Drummondville,
Victoriaville, Lévis, Saint-Georges, Rivière-du-Loup, Rimouski, Gaspé,
Bonaventure, Ville-Marie, Lorrainville, Saint-Jérôme and Charlemagne.
Coordinated by the municipalities, these events highlighted the efforts
of all those who have contributed-and who continue to contribute-to the
development and improvement of the Route verte in the various regions.
Today, Vélo Québec Association Executive Director Jean-François Pronovost
noted, "The Route verte is now 87% complete." According to Vélo Québec
projections, based on the progress of current projects, the rate of completion
will reach 90% by the end of 2007. With the segments in 13 regions over 85%
complete, the bicycle route currently serves 300 municipalities and
3,000 kilometres have already been marked with the official Route verte crest.
Pronovost also took this opportunity to point out that "the official
international inauguration of the Route verte has given us a chance to
collectively establish new objectives for the next five years":
- complete the Route verte as well as the links with routes in United
States and Ontario;
- complete and improve the signage all along the Route verte;
- provide for the sustainability of the existing infrastructures;
- enhance awareness of the Route verte beyond our borders.
In closing, he added: "The development of the Route verte would not be
possible without the constant support of Transports Québec, which from the
outset has fulfilled the commitment of Government of Québec and allocated
funds for the construction and maintenance of the Route verte in conjunction
with regional partners. This initiative would also be impossible without the
commitment and efforts of volunteers in the field, trail managers, regional
tourism associations, tourism establishments and bicycle industry partners.
Also, during this inauguration year, we have been able to count on the support
of the companies PROXIM, a major network of independent pharmacists, and
GAZ METRO, which agreed to serve as official sponsors. This has allowed us to
hold various events throughout the summer."
The Route verte concept originated with Vélo Québec Association and is
being developed in collaboration with the Government of Québec, particularly
Transports Québec, as well as regional partners.
Vélo Québec: promoting bicycle use in Quebec since 1967
For 40 years, Vélo Québec, a non-profit organization, has been a
prominent fixture in Quebec's bicycling landscape. The organization
continuously encourages the use of the bicycle for recreation, tourism and as
a means of transportation, to improve the health and well-being of people and
the environment. Vélo Québec Association is a division of Vélo Québec.
For further information:
For further information: Patrick Howe, Public Relations Director, (514)
521-8356, extension 348; Emilie Forget, Communications Officer, (514)
521-8356, extension 368; Source: Vélo Québec Association