Sunday 31 May 2015

Sorry folks but the Tour de l'Île de Montréal is a "disgraceful" inconvenience

It is time to put an end to The Tour de l'Île de Montréal and its sister event the Tour de Nuit. For one reason or another, I was able to stay put in the West End while this "Tour of Inconvenience" took place in recent years. Today, I had no choice but to deal with it.

Saturday I went on the  Vélo Québec website to try  an navigate my routes respectively. It did not help very much.

The day began at 8:30 a.m. when I had to drop someone off in LaSalle. It was smooth sailing. Since I had  to go to the new super hospital for the first time on Monday, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to check out the parking situation there. St. Jacques Street near Girouard is already blocked until 2017 as part of The Turcot Yards reconstruction, so I drove along Upper Lachine Road. As I reached Girouard, a police officer waved the endless of  vehicles like mine away. That entry was blocked in favor of  the cyclists, so I sat in traffic for 15 minutes. What if there was an emergency and  I had to get to the hospital quickly? Nope, it seems a recreational cycling event which does not raise one penny for charity takes precedence.
What a mess!!

I gave up on going to the hospital and headed home. A few hours later I had to return to LaSalle. On St, Jacques Steet cars were lined up for almost a mile to get through the Turcot Yards. I slowly made my way through this mess and into LaSalle, but as I crossed the Angrignon bridge I saw an endless array of frustrated drivers not moving. You see the main boulevard of St. Patrick was shut off to traffic for the holier than thou cyclists, forcing all traffic to Angrignon. Furthermore, we could not travel back via Ville St. Pierre on Dollard Avenue because of the St. Patrick bottleneck. This is an instance where a GPS really does not help a lot. I used my own smarts and drove towards  Boulevard  De La Vérendrye, crossed through Ville Émard and got on to Highway 20, which helped me avoid the traffic.

There are other places I had to go on this day, but I got tired of being a hostage on my own city.

Sorry folks, I know there are thousands of cyclists who love this event. But it is really not fair to inconvenience the larger proportion of the population who have nothing to do with it! How much money is spent on the huge police presence? How many tickets are not handed out because the cops are on cyclist patrol duty? I saw people running red lights like there is no tomorrow. How many businesses are negatively impacted? The Carrefour Angrignon parking lot did not look as crowded as usual.

Known as well as  the "Go Bike Montréal Festival,"  the event has some heavy duty sponsors: Les Producteurs de lait du Québec, the Jean Coutu Group, Gaz Métro, Desjardins Group, MEC, Provigo, TELUS and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). What if they all pulled out unless the organizers added a charitable slant? 

It is time to move this event to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where they won't get in the way of anyone and perhaps allow money to be raised for something worthwhile. I have had it!

See my Facebook page. It seems that a lot of people agree.

 Sunday, May 31, 2015

This famous cycling event offers no fewer than five route options. For a recreational o


  1. wow ,want some cheese???

  2. Montreal Island taxpayers support Velo QC to the tune of $1 million/yr and essentially nothing is raised for charity.

    In NYC their major cycling event pays their own way and over $1 million/yr is raised for charity. Velo QC scuttled an effort that would have helped 94 homeless organizations, when they refused a request to allow the 94 to use the name of Le Tour to raise funds.

    It is time for Montrealers to tell Velo QC to smarten up or have Velo QC ask Laval to allow Le Tour de l'Ile de Montreal to become Le Tour de l'Ile de Laval!

    Unfortunately for Velo QC, Laval will not allow Le Tour to return as they saw no benefit for their citizens the last time (20 or so yrs ago).

    40% of the 25,000 participants of Velo QC events come from off of the island but in Greater Montreal. Why are Montreal Island taxpayers footing the bill for 10,000 participants while the cities where they come from contribute $0 to staging the events?

  3. I agree. I am a doctor at the JGH and I could not get to work to see my patients in the ICU this morning. I pleaded with the police at each blocked off street to let me through or at least direct me to a street that would give me access to the hospital. No luck. After 90 minutes of turning in circles, I returned home and had to complete my rounds by phone. I finally made it to the hospital at 4pm.

  4. AnonymousJune 01, 2015

    Join facebook page 'citizens against the tour de l'ile de Montreal'

  5. You are absolutely right, this is a disgrace! They can have all the Tour de L'Ile they want but they cannot bring the City to total chaos as they do every year.

    As you suggested, they can sweat it out at Le Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for a week if they want.

    In this critical economic situation, they should be thinking of all the businesses which lost revenue yesterday. I am even more disappointed by the fact that Mayor Coderre (whom I actually like) does not do anything about it!!

    I am infuriated by this lack of care for others

  6. This is silly. The Tour may be a problem, but either it is or it isn't.

    Making it a fundraiser won't for a minute change any inconvenience.

    Drop the side issue, and argue on the core.

    The side that wants it to be a fundraiser doesn't care about inconvenience, that's just leverage to get what they want.

    The ultimate problem is that it's a Tour, not a race. So it has large attendance of all kinds, so the route can't be opened after participants come by. The stragglers have yet to come.


  7. AnonymousJune 09, 2015

    Honestly, one day a year... seriously... @ Murray - there are already an exhausting number of charity rides in and around the Montreal area as well as other more local cycling fund raisers. Sometimes you just want to ride! To ride the NYGF, entry fee is prohibitive for the recreational cyclist and does not even reach NY! @ The Baldry's... you knew the ride was happening - get to work earlier. chaos? If being inconvenienced for 30 minutes or an hour is the worst thing that happens to you - I want your world! @ Michael - yes yes and yes. Concerning funds for the city, I saw lots of people stopping for food and drink and in our case, the out of towners stayed for dinner and overnight, driving revenue for hotels and restaurants... I am sure they were not unique. By all means, ban the Jazz Fest - it makes me detour on my regular route to work...