Posted by Editor on 08/15/07
Official International Inauguration of the Route verte
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 August 10th 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, the morning of the 10th 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 MÉTRO, 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.
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