In the mail….
J’attends tout le monde à notre rendez-vous au 956 Ottawa (r.s.v.p. aussi tôt que possible).
Mercredi le 9 sept a 18 heures pour:
etablir une stratégie pour combattre le corridor d’autobus sur Dalhousie.
Nous avons besoin vos idées, courage et énergie.
I am inviting all of you to a meeting at 956 Ottawa on Wednesday Sept 9 at 6 P.M to continue to prepare a course of action and the strategies required to put a stop to the bus corridor along Dalhousie.(please rsvp your availability as soon as possible). We need your ideas, your strength and your courage
Transforming Dalhousie street into a bus corridor
1. The purpose of this brief is to question the need for this dangerous & expensive project in an area that has affordable alternatives.
My name is Harvey Lev and I am a long time (over 40 year business property owner and resident of this neighbourhood). As a major property owner I will focus on the economic effects of the Dalhousie bus corridor on the neighbourhood and on me personally.
The city has just recently re-zoned the entire area residential and commercial. One intention is to stop the large emigration of citizens to the suburbs. (Montreal lost 25,000 inhabitants last year).
One of the major reasons cited for transforming the Bonaventure into a blvd is to remove the obstacles for the free and safe movement between east and west sectors. The proposed corridor does the opposite. It will create another barrier with potentially disastrous consequences as the entire eastern side of Dalhousie is blinded by the railway structures and the narrow street will become virtually un-cross able as each intersection is a blind spot. At 1400 busses per day this represents an average of over a hundred buses an hour in each direction or 4 buses per minute. According to Gaetan Rainville, project director, during the rush hour there will be a bus every 18 seconds.
The concept of running thousands of buses along small neighbourhood streets will destroy any possibility of sane development for the neighbourhood.
With no infrastructure to handle the traffic which is already a daily problem during evening rush hour this will cause unbearable traffic turmoil. The highway will be replaced with a boulevard which by it’s very nature will carry traffic in a slower manner. The traffic turmoil from the construction alone is scheduled to last until 2025. That is fifteen years before we will get back to a system that is capable of moving fewer cars than the existing highway does today. The Wellington bridge across the canal is 2 lanes wide and there are no other entrances or exits to the neighbourhood other than Notre Dame street which is a small commercial and residential street and is over trafficked on an on going basis. The only exit for current traffic to the rive-sud would be forced to Turcot Interchange, which is unable to carry the load it has and is also in dire need of major infrastructure repairs. This will make the area inaccessible and without development.
Ottawa Street as well is the main conduit for the horse caleches, on their way to Vieux Montreal and William Street is their route to return to the various stables along the way. How will the buses and horses interact?
Dalhousie is narrow and blind. My properties date back to the 1850’s and are my life’s savings. Although I was promised an engineering study on the effect of both the construction and the traffic vibrations by M. Rainville of the Societe du Havre, nothing has been forthcoming. I asked for a copy of the engineering study that he told me was made to open the road and which is adjacent to my buildings and I have been refused access to it. Instead I have discovered that the plan includes Massive concrete pillars ajar to the building along its entire length including the street entrances and the removal of the sidewalks along its length. Mr. Rainville has promised me that this will beautify my property. I have my doubts. I have my doubts that the buildings can remain standing or will ever be again usable. The only engineering report that has been made public is actually a feasabilitilty study that describes the possibility of opening a passage underneath the train. A part of the conclusion of the report (I have a copy) prepared by CN which clearly states that this proposal is prohibitively expensive, that there is a safety issue vis a vis Wellington street and that there is an issue that compromises the 2 heritage buildings of mine (New City Gas). It is important to note that M.Rainville refused to provide me with this report and that he has not followed through on his promise to provide an engineering report on the effect of the corridor on this site.
I have been having discussions with Mark Meyer, director of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa and the formerly le musée d’art contemporain in Montreal to transform the site into a joint annex for both museums.
The dormant Devimco project had plans to use the site for a public square, farmers market and Art Gallery.
I am also in discussions with a 3rd group that would convert the property into a hotel – upscale restaurant-music & art centre.
There is a 4th proposal to develop an International Centre for hope, justice and humanity the proposal is available from me or you can read it on line at http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/ldvdm/jsp/ocpm/ocpm.jsp?laPage=projet34.jsp
( Document 8.1 page #s 5 through 10 presented by me)
Any of these or other possible projects such as the (see below)cultural corridor are put in serious jeopardy by the bus corridor.
The possibility of constructing new buildings along the entire length of street will be compromised and means that no housing or office construction can take place on the vacant lands along the route, which is de-facto desertification of the area..
There is a plan a foot that would create an art corridor along the Canal and William & Ottawa streets stretching from St Remi and ending at the Eastern side of the old port. The creation of a virtual bus fence separating west from east will put an end to this concept and actually make it more difficult and dangerous to cross into Vieux Montreal from Griffintown. (At the moment there is no barrier to the movement of pedestrians as they cross under the expressway). the proposal is available from Judith Bauer or myself. It has been presented to both the city and the Reso and has been well received. It can be read on line at
(8.12 Cultural corridor of Montreal presented by Judith Bauer)
Mr. Rainville mentioned to me that he needs to put the buses off of Nazareth-Duke for a number of reasons, one of which is the commercial viability of developing condo towers on the Bonaventure site which he says is to be financed by the sale of the commercial properties and this would lower the value of the proposed sites with so much bus traffic. This is unacceptable. He told me that he cannot use both Peel and the new blvd because the buses will interfere with the as yet non-existent tramline, which was to be financed by the now defunct Casino and Devimco projects.
The City and the AMT might try to find another alternative i.e Metro Longueuil to transport these non-residents of Montreal into the city. This solution would not cost a hundred + million dollars and would use existing facilities, as well as save fortunes on petroleum, maintenance, and environmental pollution as well as on the need for purchasing more buses and would allow for a saner more hospitable environment for re-development of the entire secteur.
The proposed alternative of Metro Longueuil and Metro Lasalle which is situated just at the exit off the Champlain bridge, will encourage people to stay in Montréal and reduce migration to the suburbs. The monies (an estimated 80+ million) would be better spent in the improvement of rail services to the south shore. All imput by citizens is welcome.