Vélo Québec's VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement: MHM proud to receive an honourable mention

14 Jul 2021


Go back to NewsVélo Québec's VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement: MHM proud to receive an honourable mention

The borough recently received an honourable mention in Vélo Québec's #VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement. MHM is delighted with this distinction awarded by Vélo Québec, which recognizes its commitment to the development of bicycle culture.

A borough where it feels good to ride!

In recent years, MHM invested a great deal of effort in improving its cycling network. In 2020, for example, nearly 8 km of bike lanes were added to the network. In 2019, 4 km were added. The improvement of the bicycle network on the territory is not only reflected in its expansion, but also in the deployment of a number of other measures, such as the installation of one thousand bicycle racks in the last year, the installation of bicycle repair stations, as well as taking into account this mode of travel in various redevelopment projects.

"We must constantly ensure that we encourage and make it as safe as possible to travel by bicycle. I am aware that there is still a lot to be done, but I am very proud of the major projects that have been carried out in the territory over the past few years, such as the adoption of the local transportation plan, the implementation of the first axis of the Réseau Express Vélo (bicycle express network) on Souligny Avenue, the creation of a bicycle route connecting the three MHM neighbourhoods on rue de Marseille, etc. I am delighted every time I see citizens taking advantage of these new facilities. Receiving this honourable mention encourages us to continue our efforts," said borough mayor Pierre Lessard-Blais.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to the community of the VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement. With this initiative, the borough is showing that it intends to work on all the aspects of a true bicycle culture, not only to meet the needs of its citizens who currently get around on two wheels, but also to encourage more of them to get on the saddle. Its traffic-calmed streets make it a bicycle-friendly environment, and the bicycle network development projects planned for the coming years will certainly accelerate the adoption of cycling by its residents," said Jean-François Rheault, President and CEO of Vélo Québec.

Also of note is the honourable mention received this spring by Les Ateliers Ublo, a business located in the borough. The Olympic Park (Gold Certification - spring 2018) and Y'a QuelQu'un l'aut'bord du mur (YAM) | Éco-quartier Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (Honorable Mention - fall 2017) are two other organizations in MHM that have joined the VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement.

What is the VELOSYMPATHIQUE certification?

The VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement is a program of Vélo Québec that encourages communities and organizations to make cycling a real transportation and recreation option for all. Through a rigorous certification process, it offers tools and support services to communities and organizations working to promote cycling.

Joining the VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement allows us to make a difference in our communities and organizations and to inspire those around us to commit to collective and sustainable well-being.

Launched by Vélo Québec in 2015, the VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement is inspired by the Bicycle Friendly America program, created in 1980 by The League of American Bicyclists, and implemented by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in Ontario since 2010, and in the rest of Canada since 2020.

The VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement receives financial support from the Québec government through the Action-Climat Québec program and is in line with the objectives of the Plan for a Green Economy 2030.

Certification: a continuous improvement process

Communities wishing to join the VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE movement fill out a comprehensive questionnaire to describe their initiatives in the four areas essential to the development of a true cycling culture: Environment, Education, Encouragement, Support, Evaluation and Planning.

The applications submitted are then evaluated by a panel of judges - composed of experts and independent citizens working in the health, environment and urban planning fields - based on the actions implemented in their community in each of the areas and taking into account the applicant's specific realities (size, geographic location, etc.).

Certified communities are awarded a level of certification (bronze, silver, gold, platinum or diamond) based on the relevance and number of actions implemented in their community.

All applicants receive a feedback report with recommendations for further action and will be invited to reapply within five years to assess their progress.

For the spring 2021 round of certification, the judging committee included Matt Ainsley of Eco-Counter, David Alfaro Clark of the Ministère des Affaires municipales, Carl Clements of the Direction de santé publique de l'Outaouais, Alexandre Demers of the Conseil régional de l'environnement de l'Estrie (Eastern Townships Regional Environmental Council), Bartek Komorowski of the city of Montréal, and Marie-Josée Laforge of the Val-Saint-François MRC.

About Vélo Québec

Founded in 1967, Vélo Québec's mission is to promote and develop cycling. Its expertise is now recognized throughout the international cycling community.