Down at City Hall yesterday a good crowd was treated to some preview highlights of the City of Montreal’s alternative proposal for rebuilding the Turcot Interchange.
It is a much, much better plan than that offered by the MTQ. There will be no expropriations under this plan and the Falaise Saint Jacques will become a real park and could easily play it’s role in the greenbelt envisioned by Patrick Asch and others for the Greater South West of Montreal. And it would sure be stretching it for me to condemn a plan that positively addresses the two main points I have been basically arguing for since the beginning. Still, I would like to see more of Turcot used for the greenbelt and not residences or light industrial structures, though that may be just me being sentimental for the urban vastness of Turcot. Perhaps the negative here would be that residentail spaces at Turcot would surely fall within the 200 metre danger zone for living by a freeway?
This proposal puts emphasis on less traffic, more public transport, and the health of citizen’s who live nearby. It is an excellent step in the right direction. And let’s not forget the Turcot 375 proposal which is a radical realignment of Turcot that aims to solve the same issues.
Mayor Tremblay sent us home with a rousing old timey speech about moving forward along sustainable lines and making Montreal a truly great place to live.
And now the bad news. Over the last few days I have been hearing from some reliable sources that the MTQ simply has not been paying attention to any of these alternative plans, be that in their own offices or while discussing Turcot with officials here in Montreal. They have only been going through the motions they perceive they have to go through. Their plan is merely an engineering solution to the wrong question. They have approached Turcot in an outdated and irresponsible manner that makes their plan irrelevant in the year 2010. Things have changed a lot since Turcot was first built and it’s about bloody well time the Ministry of Transportation of Quebec jumps in to the 21st Century!