MONTREAL, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ - "We are very pleased with the report from the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) on the Bonaventure expressway transformation project. This is a victory for common sense, and we are especially glad that the OCPM adopted the recommendations proposed by the Official Opposition and by Vision Montréal, particularly the idea of integrating the reserved bus lanes right on the future urban boulevard, as well as the study regarding the introduction of a commuter rail service on the Victoria bridge," declared the Leader of the Official Opposition at the City of Montréal, Louise Harel.
Yielding to opposition regarding the Dalhousie corridor
The strong opposition to the Dalhousie corridor, based on safety, urban revitalization and quality of life issues, led the OCPM to recommend to the City of Montréal that it "avoid installing metropolitan-scale infrastructure in a smaller scale, local network and therefore re-assess the appropriateness of putting a bus corridor on Dalhousie street, versus the Bonaventure corridor." "We are delighted that the OCPM has taken this position, as it is completely unacceptable to spend $118.7 million of public funds on a solution considered temporary," said Louise Harel.
"Commuter rail transit on the Victoria bridge" - David Hanna
More great news: The OCPM endorses the recommendation of using the Victoria bridge for commuter rail transit. On this point, the chair of Vision Montréal's urban planning committee, David Hanna, and Vision Montréal were recommending setting up commuter rail service between Central Station - Saint-Hubert - Terminus Chevrier - La Prairie. In fact, the OCPM proposes that "the technical validity of the concept of dedicating the Victoria bridge to light-rail and heavy-rail transit services" be examined. "This solution would reduce expressway traffic on the Champlain bridge and, consequently, on the Bonaventure route, besides providing an effective mitigation effect while the construction work is being done," said David Hanna.
An exceptional heritage
As far as heritage issues are concerned, it is interesting to note that the OCPM observes, in particular, that "the detailed preliminary project includes a bus corridor located very close to the New City Gas building, a landmark of exceptional interest from a heritage point of view." "This concern is good news for Montréal's heritage legacy. The OCPM's recognition of this issue must be taken into account by the City of Montréal and the Société du Havre de Montréal (SHM), particularly since the OCPM mentions that "the lack of consideration given to components and entities with heritage value leaves the commission puzzled as to the promoter's willingness to preserve and develop historical components that are valuable, unique and distinctive from archeological, historical and scenic points of view"", added David Hanna.
"There is no doubt about it: the Tremblay administration and the SHM must follow the OCPM's recommendations. Montrealers are entitled to benefit from a structuring and innovative project that harmoniously ties the urban environment and the outlying residential neighbourhoods together, especially Griffintown," concluded Louise Harel.
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet de la chef de l'Opposition officielle
For further information: For further information: Marie-Hélène d'Entremont, Press Officer, Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, (514) 872-2934, Cell.: (514) 247-0446