So they have added a reserved bus lane between Ville Saint Pierre and the Ville Marie Expressway. That sure doesn’t sound helpful for West Islanders who could be tempted to take the bus in. My past experiences with taking the 211 in the morning says that unless the reserved bus lanes start at the Dorval Circle, of which millions are being spent to reconfigure without bus lanes, or at least west of the junction for Highway 13, you haven’t really solved much. Buses will be crawling to get to Ville Saint Pierre as usual. But it should be good for people coming from Chateauguay. Once again, the ‘ol West Island gets screwed!
The new project will be completed in 2018 at a cost of 3 billion dollars. Apply the Actual Reality Formula (ARF) for major Quebec construction projects and you will end up with a modest completed in 2020 at a cost of 7-10 Billion dollars. And 43,000 jobs created is a pretty sweet deal, but it still doesn’t answer the question of why the Quebec Liberal Party is so deeply beholden to the construction industry.
The government says there will be less expropriations as though they are born again urbanists! Don’t buy their spin. They are trying to bypass the fact that for at least 7 years people living near the project will have to live in a construction zone nightmare. As it is there are only there is only two entrances to Turcot (technically 3, but 2 of them are on the same street in Saint Henri). You may think that, well, isn’t there going to have to be a construction zone regardless of which plan they build? Yes, very true, but this plan is excessive. As McGill professor of architecture Pieter Sijpkes has pointed out, “the 20 is not broken, only the elevated parts of Turcot need to be repaired.”. The government wants to rebuild the whole thing from scratch from Montreal West to the Ville Marie which is fixing a whole lot of stuff that isn’t broken. But it will create a lot of work, make some people very, very happy.
No one really expected much of an improvement from the ministry so this puts us all back to Square One with a few minor changes here and there, but the Big Picture remains the same – this is a monumentally bad vision for Montreal’s future!
“…it is understandable that men who were young in the 1902’s were captivated by the vision of the freeway Radiant City, with the specious promise that it would be appropriate to an automobile age. At least then it was a new idea; to men of the generation of New York’s Robert Moses, for example, it was radical and exciting in the days when their minds were growing and their ideas forming. Some men tend to cling to old intellectual excitements, just as some belles, when they are old ladies, still cling to the fashions and coiffures of their exciting youth. But it is harder to understand why this form of arrested mental development should be passed on intact to succeeding generations of planners and designers. It is disturbing to think that men who are young today, men who are being trained now for their careers, should accept on the grounds that they most be “modern” in their thinking, conceptions about cities and traffic which are not only unworkable, but also to which nothing new of any significance has been added since their fathers were children.
Jane Jacobs, The Death And Life Of Great American Cities, 1961