Reply to Mr Cayer’s letter on bike safety
Thank you for raising the issue of road safety. I appreciate your concern for the well-being of both cyclists and drivers. As you mentioned, over the past few years, the number of cyclists on the road in Gatineau has increased. This is a positive and encouraging development for the City. To meet this upward trend, Gatineau is committed to further developing our bike paths so that they suit the needs of cyclists. I believe that a well thought out and extensive bike path network is the best way to ensure the safety of both drivers and cyclists when they share the road. The recent addition of a shoulder on Lucerne is a step in this direction and I think demonstrates the ability of cars and bikes to coexist.
To answer your other question, cyclists are not above the law. They must abide by Quebec’s Highway Safety Code just like drivers. The Gatineau Police are fully empowered to control and ticket cyclists who break the law. The police do their best to ensure the safety of all on our roads and I thank them for their excellent work. However, the police cannot be everywhere at once. Consequently, just like there are dangerous drivers who break the law and get away, there are reckless cyclists who do the same.
It is important to remember that it is only a minority of cyclists and drivers who behave recklessly and illegally. The vast majority of people in Gatineau drive and bike responsibly. Additionally, I am sure that the vast majority of the time bicycles and cars manage to share the road without a problem and this will only get better as we continue to improve our bike path network.
Thank you once again for raising such an important issue that I am sure will continue to be an ongoing discussion in our city. I hope the number of incidents you see from your condo on Lucerne decreases as people get more familiar with the new bike path.
City Councillor for Deschênes Ward