Getting rid of the other car | The press

After the October 3 election, we reiterate to the government and all elected officials that they must do everything in their power to help Quebecers free themselves from their second vehicle.

Written at 11:00 AM

Jean-Francois Rheault and Sandrine Cabana-Degani
President and CEO of Vélo Québec and CEO of Piétons Québec, respectively, and two other signatories*

While the climate crisis will be the biggest issue in the coming decades, and while Quebec households are facing sharply increasing levels of debt, we must act now and make honest decisions that will enable the people of Quebec to meet these challenges with sustainable, modern and concrete solutions.

Several parties have also put forward good ideas about mobility, proposals which we hope will inspire the government, while the prime minister has promised to work across the parties.

Investment in sustainable mobility

Road transport is currently responsible for a third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Quebec. It is therefore time to prioritize the combination of active, collective and shared cars to reduce our carbon footprint. It is by offering people the opportunity to choose from a cocktail of transport options that meet their needs that we will succeed in making mobility truly sustainable. This is how we will reduce the number of cars on the roads and improve air quality, which is strongly affected by the particles generated by the wear and tear of car tires on our roads.

Much more than a purely ecological measure, increased investment in public and active transportation projects will make it possible to reduce the financial burden that the current dependence on cars imposes on many Quebec households.

To achieve this, it is important to improve the provision of public transport throughout Québec, especially in rural areas. We therefore call on the government to launch projects that will double the supply of public transport services by 2035, in addition to providing service in the most remote regions of Quebec.

Currently, 70% of the investment actually planned in passenger transport by the Quebec government is allocated to road transport, reflecting an outdated vision for transport planning. We are proposing that two-thirds of confirmed investments in land transportation be allocated to public transit as soon as possible, as is already the case in Ontario.

It is clear that public transport alone cannot meet the travel needs of all Quebecers. It is important to combine this improvement of public transport with increased investment in the form of active transport. To improve active transportation infrastructure to meet Québec’s needs, current amounts must be doubled to reach $100 million per year. It is by offering comprehensive public and active transportation systems that we will be able to meet the economic and climate challenges of our time and thus convince Quebecers to free themselves from their second car.

Don’t see serious collisions as inevitable

Faced with the growing proportion represented by vulnerable users (pedestrians, cyclists) among traffic victims, it is imperative that the government of Quebec implement a zero vision policy for serious or fatal traffic accidents. In this connection, gains have already been made in recent years, and it is time to establish a clear line that ensures the safety of all people who travel on the road network. The adoption of such a strategy is also necessary so that access to public transport, mostly pedestrian, is safe and user-friendly.

Think of the aging population and families: we need to stop seeing serious or fatal collisions as inevitable consequences of using the road network!

To support these measures, we must create complete environments that give a larger part of the population the opportunity to work, consume, play and live in the same environment. The election campaign placed great emphasis on the establishment of new road connections, but it is by reducing the length of the trips to be made that we will be able to transfer a large part of them to public and active forms of transport.

Our organizations will be present to work with the new government and all elected officials to implement these concrete solutions, especially through the implementation of the Plan for a green economy and the sustainable mobility policy implemented by the previous CAQ government.

Our request is therefore very simple: let’s be visionary and introduce a real cocktail of sustainable mobility solutions to allow Quebecers to free themselves from their second car, to face the coming climate and economic challenges!

* Co-signatories: Sarah V. Doyon, Executive Director of Trajectoire Québec; Christian Savard, managing director of Vivre en Ville

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