OCPM consultation report: Mountain belt road project greeted with great interest



    MONTREAL, Sept. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique de
Montréal (OCPM) announces today the publication of its report on the
development project for the belt road and traversing roads in the historic and
natural borough of mont-Royal. The consultation exercise was led by OCPM ad
hoc commissioner Jocelyne Beaudet. Some 60 citizens participated in the
process involving public meetings and two site visits.
    The concept of the belt road originated in 1990, with the drawing up of
the first Mount Royal Enhancement Plan, adopted in 1992. Since that time, the
project's development has involved a complex process including pre-feasibility
studies and agreements with the institutions concerned. Its present course is
the result of over ten years' discussion and negotiation with owners of
properties adjoining the road, or where it crosses. "It is an important
component of the 2008 Mount Royal Master Protection and Enhancement Plan. The
construction of the road coincides with various measures aimed at improving
degraded sectors and requalifying others, protecting the more sensitive zones,
and enhancing the mountain's heritage," says Office president Louise Roy.
    Accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, the planned belt road would form
a ten-kilometre loop, linking the Mount Royal and Outremont summits. It would
allow users to circle the mountain, travelling across Parc du Mont-Royal,
Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and Université de Montréal property. Two
traversing roads are also planned. The first would connect the north and south
sides of the mountain, from Outremont Summit to Parc du Mont-Royal, while the
second, an east-west path running across Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery, would
serve as a discovery way to key elements of Québec's funerary heritage.
    In the public consultation, the commission noted that participants
greeted the project, awaited for 18 years, with a great deal of interest. They
believe that the road must respect the mountain's ecological and landscape
values, reflect the natural character of the surroundings, and provide safe
conditions for pedestrians and other users. To meet those expectations, and in
view of the distinctive nature of each segment, the commission recommends that
the City allow multiple uses only in sections that can withstand them. The
activities, maintenance, and rules of use must be adapted to each segment's
individual conditions.
    In keeping with its definition, the belt road must provide an
uninterrupted circuit, but it may also connect with other heritage discovery
paths, using existing routes or new extensions to the current network. The
commission believes that it is important to follow up on the participants'
request to link the three summits during the reconfiguration of the
Côte-des-Neiges-Remembrance interchange. It also believes that the belt road
should be accessible from one of the Edouard-Montpetit Boulevard metro
stations.
    Lastly, Ms. Roy added, "The road is part of the historic and natural
borough of Mont-Royal, an area protected by decree. It is therefore important
to be vigilant, to ensure, at the very least, that measures already included
in Mount Royal protection and enhancement plans and tools, and the commitments
made by institutional owners under the Mount Royal Heritage Pact, are
respected."
    The documentation related to this consultation, including the report, is
available in electronic format on the Web site of the Office de consultation
publique de Montréal (www.ocpm.qc.ca) and, in print form, at the OCPM offices
during regular business hours.




For further information:

For further information: Luc Doray, (514) 872-3568, Cell.: (514)
977-8365


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