Borough council meeting, May 3, 2021
Bike path solution still left to the experts
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 13 mai 2010
Projet Montreal councillor Peter McQueen strongly advocated active transportation at the May 3 CDN–NDG borough council meeting.
The timing was perfect with spring in the air and possible leverage from the growing popularity of alternative modes of public transportation. McQueen’s motion called for a safe bike path for de Maisonneuve while at the same time asking for a united CDN–NDG council.
“The bicycle path proposed by the NDG community behind the Vendome metro station going over Decarie using the new viaduct which will be built as part of the MUHC development is logical and perfectly in line with the alternative to automobile transportation proposed in the Turcot interchange project.”
With increases in traffic resulting from residential developments in the Namur–Jean-Talon and Hippodrome area and the future extension of the orange metro line to Laval, he is betting that people will be more likely to use active transportation.
The intersection on de Maisonneuve at Decarie Boulevard is the busiest route for cyclists travelling between NDG and Atwater Ave. and is judged by many experts to be dangerous for several reasons, stated McQueen. With that in mind, he proposed a bike path along the CP line in NDG as a natural and safe option for linking the de Maisonneuve bike paths in NDG and Westmount.
His motion, which was not seconded, requested that the Bureau des grands projets at the City of Montreal include this bike path in calls for tender specifications for the new Decarie overpass.
There was one point, among others, which stood out as incorrect for Mayor Applebaum, who commented that he is quite familiar with the file due to his official and longstanding involvement in large projects at the Ville-centre.
Applebaum said that the Ville-centre had never in the past committed to building a bicycle path on the two viaducts over Decarie and Upper Lachine Road. The proposal had been rejected for several reasons. The total budget put aside by the Ville-centre, the Ministry of Transportation and other sources was about $400 000 for bicycle paths, but the cost to build an overpass is more than a million dollars. Besides, CP has never allowed bicycle paths to use CP equipment as a matter of safety and liability concerns.
He also mentioned that a small section of the proposed bike path presents a safety problem, especially at night, for users who would be out of sight and sandwiched between a fence and a building. Time and safety is of the essence and negotiations with landlords to acquire some of the lots could be a long process. The configuration wouldn’t work for travel in both directions, and Applebaum wants to let the experts work on the file and provide recommendations. “The project is not going to be done tomorrow,” he said, “and for all these reasons I won’t support the motion.”
McQueen was hoping for a non-partisan approach to the project. He said the proposed path garners support from several groups including Vélo Québec and Margaret Guest from Marc Garneau’s office.
He asked for support from councillor Rotrand who is VP at the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). It would be an efficient investment and more profitable than buying new buses, McQueen concluded.