Post from Turcot
Several major road projects will fundamentally affect the future development of Montreal.
The Pont 25, the “modernisation de la rue Notre Dame” and the Turcot Interchange.
These three projects are intimately connected.
Together, they will encourage hundreds of thousands of more car-visits into the central parts of the city: more cars=more pollution=more accidents=more congestion…+more green-house gases. Remember Suroit? The pollution from Suroit was to be equivalent to adding 500,000 new cars to Montreal’s road network. Quebec eventually decided to go into wind energy instead.
New highways will facilitate urban sprawl: less taxes for Montreal, more erosion of some of Canada’s most valuable arable land, an ever larger urban footprint…and more green-house gases. This is exactly the opposite of where we should be going: smaller, denser, more compact cities must be the development pattern for the 21st Century, if we are to escape ecological disaster, experts agree.
Montreal has faced this question and come out with clear vision of its future development, as reflected in numerous documents and crystallized in the Plan de transport, adopted in 2008 and neatly explained in a Le Devoir article, here.
Montreal does not want this old-school Turcot, as proposed by the MTQ.
Montreal wants something quite different. André Lavallée, the Mayor’s right hand man in such matters, is looking for a dramatic gesture in the Turcot project. New York City is pedestrianizing Times Square. He is looking for something like that.
Montreal wants mass transit to the West Island. Montreal wants people to come to the centre in trams, trains and buses.
But the traffic engineers at the MTQ are not planning for this, apart from a few token gestures. The MTQ is not investing massively in mass-transit. The MTQ is investing in CAR infrastructure.
They are doing it now, when we know better. We know this is the wrong road forward.
Montrealers know this.
So, who is going to determine the future development of Montreal?