Saint-Raymond area and area surrounding future MUHC campus: OCPM consultation report sheds light on citizen priorities

MONTREAL, July 18, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique de Montréal makes public today the report on the consultation held last winter on the future of the Saint-Raymond area and the development of the area surrounding the new MUHC campus in N.D.G.

The Office de consultation publique de Montréal received a mandate from the Montréal Executive Committee to hold consultation activities allowing residents to participate in the development of a Special Planning Program (SPP) for the area surrounding the MUHC and the Saint-Raymond area. The arrival of the MUHC and configuration of the new Turcot interchange will significantly transform surrounding areas over the next few years. The SPP would therefore complete the Master Plan for this territory. It is important to note that several municipal and provincial institutions are involved in the establishment of the MUHC, a project of metropolitan scope, and the ensuing redevelopment of the area, and that some ten public consultations have already been held on the subject since 2005.

As a first step, the Office held a pre-consultation with relevant players to obtain an update on current issues and devise a framework for the upcoming process. A 16-member work committee formed of municipal, institutional and community representatives presided over the drawing up of a state of affairs, the identification of issues, and the ensuing discussions to establish vision elements and land-use planning orientations. The general public was also informed and then consulted about the results of the work. The commission received or heard a total of 34 briefs and oral presentations.

The majority of consultation participants agreed that the development should focus primarily on establishing the family, village, green, friendly and safe identity of the neighbourhood. It should also focus on:

The ethnocultural diversity of the current population;

Public and active transportation as primary modes of transportation;

Strategies to physically open up the area, notably by focusing on north-south links and the redevelopment of some east-west arteries;

Strategies to visually  open up the area using views along Saint-Jacques Street, as well as the potential offered by both the Saint-Jacques cliff and some visual corridors towards the north and south;

An area for experiments using green and ecological technologies to improve air quality and reduce air pollution caused by road infrastructures.

Local residents and groups are also highly concerned about how they will get around the MUHC and the Saint-Raymond area.

The repurposing of Upper Lachine. The redevelopment of the Upper Lachine tunnel and its closing to vehicular traffic were strong concerns for many reasons, including safety, access to the Vendôme metro station for pedestrians and cyclists, and access to the Saint-Raymond area and to businesses on Upper Lachine.

The commission noted major support for the future use of Upper Lachine as a commercial artery for the neighbourhood, with local services, terraces and cafés. The establishment of the planned primary school would confirm the identity of Upper Lachine as the heart of the neighbourhood. In that context, the development of the eastern end of the street into a large public area and green space, as proposed by Montréal for the corner of Décarie Boulevard, would be better received if residents were given assurance that the new green space would not lead to the creation of "grey areas," where women and vulnerable persons are more at risk.

Saint-Jacques Street. People would like the redevelopment of the Turcot interchange to serve as the launch pad for Saint-Jacques Street's transformation into a more welcoming place for pedestrians and cyclists. The potential of the Saint-Jacques cliff as a linear park should be developed. The existing businesses could gradually be replaced by housing to confirm Saint-Raymond's identity as a family neighbourhood, and by destination businesses, related, for example, to the activities of the MUHC.

The area around the Vendôme metro station. Many participants pointed out the urgent need for a second, universally accessible entrance to the Vendôme metro station, especially for people with reduced mobility and for seniors, and that its construction is a major condition for the insertion of the MUHC in the area. Other desirable items included a safe bicycle path and increased public transit service.

The commission offered a number of other suggestions and recommendations for the implementation of the orientations and development principles it set out: partnership and joint action; the opening up of the Saint-Raymond area; the preservation of the existing social infrastructure and population; the improvement of the quality of living environments; the easing of vehicular traffic; the structuring of the urban fabric on a human scale; the greening, development and enhancement of the Saint-Jacques cliff.

All available information on the project may be obtained at the offices of the OCPM, 1550 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1414, and at the Direction du greffe at City Hall, 275 Notre-Dame Street East. The documentation is also available on the Office Web site, at www.ocpm.qc.ca.

SOURCE: Office de consultation publique de Montréal

For further information:

Luc Doray
514 872-3568
514 977-8365 (Cell.)


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