Devil’s Hill Debate Gets Interesting

Been going on a long time for citizen’s between Montreal West and Lachine (that’s Ville Saint Pierre for old farts like me who can remember pre-merger Montreal Island) is a debate over a Montreal West sanctioned barrier on Broughton/des Erables street that the protesters feel is a hazard to their community because it hinders emergency vehicles getting to their neighborhood, or for evacuations. Montreal West people feel that the barrier prevents their neighborhood from becoming a short cut for cars going to highway 20 as well as many local delivery trucks thus making their residential streets much less safer. And it is much more complicated than that with people south of the barrier refusing to shop in Montreal West while Montreal West has offered the people on the south side residential rates on the city’s recreational services.

One idea is that turning highway 20 into an urban boulevard might solve this issue for many people but that would be too radical and totally insane!

I am not taking a side here but do want to share this video which is fun and I sure would like to see it happening in every neighborhood when issues arise and issues do arise, often, always.

Here is the Devil’s Hill Blog.

It’s a tough situation. Anyone have any ideas?

6 responses to “Devil’s Hill Debate Gets Interesting

  1. It’s not a tough situation actually, the barrier should be removed. There is very little traffic in that area, as confirmed by traffic studies (and as I’ve seen first hand). The problem, alas, is that some people prefer to live in a nice little cul de sac, for themselves and themselves alone.

  2. I just love the way these two communities straddle the Falaise and it would be nice to see a solution most can live with, if that’s possible 🙂

  3. The barrier should be moved half way down the hill to where it was for several years before the de-mergers. That solution seemed to be the one that most could live with, and I wonder why the Devil Hill activists haven’t spent more efforts lobbying their own borough of Lachine to move the barrier back.
    I must add that I’m getting tired of ad hominem reactions such as Chris’.

  4. I live on Devil’s Hill and for years our community worked to find an alternative solution to the permanent closure that Mo’ West built. It’s hard for most people to believe but as a first-hand witness to those “negotiations” I can only come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with traffic or safety for the small group of people who lobbied to have it built. People here have been physically threatened and verbally abused in public forums. People here have been told to “Get the Fuck off of [their] streets. The tone of the comments they post on the various media sites is actually quite indicative of an elitist agenda. They are a small group of very vocal people who have no qualms about heaping the same abuse on their own residents. I know. I’ve been there and I’ve heard it. Of course we’re being called liars because the actual facts of the situation do not serve their agenda. We have done nothing but fight this with the documented facts. Facts that Mo’West paid for. It’s called the CIMA study and it came to the conclusion that there was not a traffic issue and therefore no safety issue.

    So, call me a liar. I know the facts of the matter and know that we are fighting with honesty and integrity. Thank you.

  5. Peter, your point that it is a small group of very vocal people who have no qualms about heaping the same abuse on their own residents is very well taken. But the Devil’s Hill advocates have alienated a lot of Montreal West residents who initially supported them by repeatedly slagging them as elitist snobs who don’t care about the physical safety of women and children, et cetera. Such arguments are counterproductive in my opinion.

    I don’t know when the CIMA study was done, but I suggest to you that, if it showed no traffic issues now, that is because Montreal West has worked for decades to minimize automobile traffic through residential areas, by closing off Broughton at Westminster, for example, at least twenty years ago. I don’t remember that being an issue with the residents of Hillcrest and Mount Vernon.

  6. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Lachine worked in tandem with Montreal West for years in an effort to address their perception of excessive traffic and keep the border open. It was never enough.

    Of the four scenarios proposed by CIMA, Montreal West selected the one that CIMA suggested was the least desirable because circulation was forced onto streets half the width of Easton where the complainants reside. It was a shrewd decision designed to aggravate the residents of those smaller streets.

    Furthermore three of the four scenarios’ list a safe drop off zone for the students of Royal West Academy as a number one priority. This was summarily ignored. Evidently their safety was either not at risk due to low traffic volumes or their safety just didn’t matter.

    10 years ago when we started fighting this it was our neighbourhood council’s mandate not to raise the issue of elitism. When Journalists came to see the situation they drew that conclusion for themselves without any prompting from us. Even after that cat was out of the bag we continued to reiterate the issue of our safety. If memory serves, we’ve only recently become vocal about what we know is behind it all.

    Finally, if the truth of the situation has alienated and embarrassed Montreal Wester’s they should stand up and be heard. We have many supporters in Montreal West and are aware that this is not the general view of the citizens in that town.

    This has been the agenda of a small group who have been persistently lobbying their council, have become volunteer members of Town Committees and are using smoke and mirrors to obfusticate their agenda. We have been very adamant about that fact.

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