At Centre Gadbois, 5485 Chemin de la Cote Saint Paul, southeast side of Turcot Interchange just off Notre Dame.
From the Village des Tanneries newsletter.
Residents of Saint Henri (and specifically the Village des Tanneries) have been living in close proximity to the highway for decades. Since it’s construction in the 60’s, the high way structure has become so much a part of our urban landscape, that we barely notice it anymore, and certainly don’t question it or consider it’s full repercussions. After all, there are always more immediate, more pressing issues to deal with in our lives like affordable day care or housing. It is easy to become complacent or even resign ourselves when faced with issues that seem so completely beyond our control.
Recently, however, the Ministry of Transport has presented us, the citizens of South West Montreal, with a proposal to replace the elevated highway with a new, lower highway that will be theoretically safer, more efficient, and cheaper to maintain. But will the long term benefits to the community and to the city really outweigh the short and long term hardships (traffic congestion, road closures, heavy dust, and noise pollution, not to mention the expropriation of several hundred people) inflicted upon the community during the three or four years it will take to build?
A coalition of community groups, urban planners, and researchers are working to understand the full ramifications of the proposed project: How will it affect our quality of life?…Our environment?…Our access to services?…Our property values?…Our access to affordable housing? It seems increasingly clear that there will be very few long term benefits to the South West: Whether from an environmental, public health, or socio-economic perspective, a new, lower highway will only serve to further isolate a neighborhood already fragmented by the CN train tracks, the Ville Marie Expressway and scarred by it’s industrial past.
While safety and maintenance costs are unquestionably issues of great concern, the MTQ plan must find a solution that better integrates the values and objectives outlined in Montreal’s revised urban master plan. Changing the direction of such a mega project might seem like an impossible, insurmountable battle…and yet, can we really afford not to take a stand? If the health and well being of our children, our neighbors and the quality of life within our community is not worth fighting for, what is?
We each have a voice, and a vote. Let’s use it! In the coming weeks and months, local residents will be called upon to help create a vision of the kind of community in which they wish to live and to take a stand in regards to the current MTQ highway reconstruction project.
A public informatoion meeting detailing the issues will be held on Tuesday, May 27, at Centre Gadbois at 6:30 PM.
For information call 514-440-2288