Ste.Anne town officials pose with executive council member André Lavallée and McGill University's Macdonald campus director Dr. Chandra Madramootoo after cutting the ribbon for their inauguration of the Ste. Anne bike path earlier today. Photo, Raffy Boudjikanian
A long-awaited bike path linking Ste. Anne de Bellevue's Boulevard des Anciens Combattants to Chemin des Pins via McGill University's Macdonald campus and private company ICAM Technologies was unveiled at a press conference earlier today.
"I think this is a symbol of what we are able to do together when we work together," said Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie borough mayor André Lavallé, who sits on Montreal's executive committee as well as the Montreal Metropolitan Community.
At a total cost of $1.2 million paid by the agglomeration, the 1.5-kilometre path is the first of a three-phase project. Eventually, phase two will lead the path from Chemin des Pins, where it ends now, to Meloche Street, and phase three will link Meloche Street to the bike path in Kirkland. "Just imagine this is a part of a 30-kilometre bike path that will lead from Ste. Anne de Bellevue's locks to downtown Montreal, and even, if you are able, why not the east end of Montreal?" Lavallé said with a laugh.
Ste. Anne mayor Bill Tierney said council had been talking about a bike path in the city for 10 years, and it was the collaboration of André Lavallé, Macdonald Campus director Chandra Madramootoo, and ICAM owner John Nassr that had helped push it along. "I will pass by here a lot (on the path)," said Tierney, an avid biker who even this morning showed up to the conference on his bike, wearing a helmet and his physical exercise gear.
Tierney also praised the efforts of Nassr and Madramootoo, whom he called a "bulldozer" for his efforts to convince McGill the bike path was a good idea. "I think that by the example, we have shown that an educational institution can work with the city and its technocrats," Madramootoo said. "This did not happen overnight, but we had the good will," he added.
Nassr said a lot of people behind the scenes put in work for the bike path to become a reality. "It's a great addition for the town," he said. "It's a good thing for my employees."
Plans for the path were able to move forward thanks to being included in Montreal's larger transit plan released in June, Lavallé said. "We had a vision," he said, explaining he was put in charge of the transit plan by Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay about two years ago and had actively worked to make Ste. Anne's bike path proposal a part of it.