Tour de l'Île brings thousands of cyclists to Montreal streets
Many roads closed to motor vehicle traffic until 4 p.m.
At least 25,000 cyclists are taking to the streets of Montreal today for the 30th year of the Tour de l'Île.
The length of the tour ranges anywhere from a 25 kilometre ride beginning at La Fontaine Park and ending at Jeanne-Mance Park, to a new 130 kilometre route that allows participants to bike around the entire Island of Montreal.
The event started at 7 a.m., with the help of more than 2,600 volunteers organized by Vélo Québec across 10 Montreal boroughs.
The Tour de l'Île may be a cyclist’s dream, but it could be a nightmare for drivers, as many streets will be closed until 4 p.m.
Drivers can consult the Vélo Québec website for more information on closures.
The tour and events director of Vélo Québec, Joëlle Sevigny, says the event comes at a time when tension has risen between motorist and cyclists in Montreal following several accidents.
In April, a 33-year-old woman was killed after being struck by a crane truck while cycling under the Des Carrières viaduct on St-Denis Street.
Sevigny says she hopes events like the Tour de l'Île will encourage the city to build better infrastructure to improve relationships between cyclists, cars and pedestrians.
"It's in the mission of Vélo Québec to increase the use of bicycles as a way of pleasure... but also eventually as a means of transportation," said Sevigny.