One of the options Transports Quebec had on the table with the Turcot Interchange was to simply renovate and strengthen the current interchange. It was estimated that this would cost half of what the current rebuild-it-alltogether plan would cost – estimation, 1.5 Billion, 6 years work.
I tend to think that renovation is what they should be doing. The current plan assumes that the world will continue to function as it always has, that cars and trucks will come and go, and there will always be young people who will choose to live in the suburbs but will also choose to have a career downtown. It’s as if there is an infinite supply of harmless oil and gasoline to sustain all possibilities. Many of us know that that dream has never been long term useful and the rest that don’t are beginning to suspect that maybe there is something to all this climate change/peak oil talk.
So they should simply renovate Turcot as part of a 10-15 year transportation plan that will end with Turcot and the Ville Marie Expressway being torn down for good (though I would still like to see some parts of Turcot remain as useful structures). That’s right. No more freeways or interchanges for the city core. The transportation plan could focus on various light rail systems and expanding parking facilities at train stations as well as using the old highways for, among other things, electric bus routes. We won’t need all that big infrastructure for a dedicated public transportation system.
It may be as soon as 10 years before one will no longer be able to buy a brand new gasoline only automobile in North America. The future is coming towards us faster and faster, perhaps even faster than we are going to be prepared for it. Change is coming. That is the one thing that is absolutely certain. The whole game is going to be different in a generation or two.
It’s time to stop rebuilding the past with soon to be obsolete concepts.