500-signature petition demands withdrawal of Samson Blvd. bike path

Action Laval maintains the Samson path should never have been created

Action Laval city councillor and interim-leader Archie Cifell, tabled a petition during the March 12 city council meeting, with the signatures of nearly 500 western Laval residents who are asking the city to close the bicycle path along Samson Blvd.

The city council opposition party claims it doesn’t oppose the city’s implementation of bike paths, and even supports the creation of new bike paths as part of its platform.

However, the party’s members feel there are security and environmental issues the Boyer administration hasn’t addressed with bike paths, and that there hasn’t been enough public consultation.

The Samson Blvd. bike path is seen here along a stretch near Autoroute 13 where, according to complaints, fast-moving traffic endangers users of the bike path (green band on the pavement).

Notorious bike path

The party maintains that the Samson Blvd. bike path has turned into one of the more flagrant examples of bad planning by the city. A stretch of the path where it passes past Autoroute 13, interfering with the flow of traffic while endangering cyclists, is probably familiar to many western Laval residents.

‘I didn’t have to convince people to sign this petition’

Action Laval interim-leader Archie Cifelli

“As soon as we said ‘cycling path,’ I didn’t have to convince people to sign this petition,” said Cifelli, adding that “it was they who were explaining to me why they felt it was necessary to sign. The population is especially angered because they were not consulted.”

According to Action Laval, the city administration tabled an overall plan that the mayor’s team voted for without question.

Deemed a ‘dangerous’ path

“The plan is based on ‘norms’ which are blind and which don’t take into consideration the reality of the terrain,” the party said in a statement, while adding that one major Montreal media said in July 2023 that the Samson Blvd. bike path is on a list of the 10 most dangerous bike paths in the province.

Action Laval city councillor for Val-des-Arbres Archie Cifelli, who is also the opposition party’s interim-leader, tabled a petition in Laval city council last week, with the signatures of 500 people demanding the withdrawal of the Samson Blvd. bicycle path. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

“It’s dangerous, it’s badly positioned, it has a negative impact on the environment, so why does the mayor persist in implementing a plan that was badly developed?” continued Cifelli. “Why doesn’t he consult his population?

“The mayor has simply not understood that his role is to contest the decisions of the administration in order to bring them forward into better decisions. If he contents himself to follow the recommendations of the administration, he fails in his most important task.”

Consultations denied

As well, Action Laval maintains that if the population had been consulted, the Samson Blvd. bicycle path would never have been put into place. They also claim to have suggested in July 2022 that the city hold public consultations, although Mayor Boyer opposed this.

“Safer and more efficient alternatives to encourage active mobility are possible,” says the party, suggesting that in the situation of the Samson Blvd. bike path, a route along Bord-de-l’Eau Rd. (where there already is a bike path) would have been better.