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Projet Montréal lance une pétition pour amasser des signatures afin d’entamer une réflexion vers l’adoption d’une stratégie pour mieux encadrer la pratique de l’agriculture urbaine afin qu’elle soit exploitée à son plein potentiel à Montréal.

MUHC construction
Access, safety and bicycle path issues emerge
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 8 juillet 2010
Photo Marie Cicchini
Lisa Bornstein.

The fact that it was the second one in a month may explain why not many residents showed up for the June 28 CDN-NDG council meeting. The far-reaching effects of the mega hospital construction project now underway at the Glen Yard might have been expected to stir up more interest.

The McGill Health Infrastructure project, one of the largest hospital projects of its kind in Canada, will bring 2 000 construction workers onto the site over the next 51 months.

With council poised to approve the permit for the construction of the superhospital’s foundations, Gillian Keefe raised the concerns of Concertation Inter-quartiers (CIQ), a group of residents from three neighborhoods interested in making sure that problems caused by the MUHC construction site are solved in collaboration with all parties affected.

Residents in St. Raymond want to limit the negative impacts on air quality and noise levels. Safety is also a concern for residents, particularly on Decarie, Sherbrooke and Girouard, where a lot of families are without cars.

Michael Applebaum reassured the residents that the borough’s role is to make sure the site is accessible, residential streets are secure, trucks are using the proper routes from Decarie to the highway and the city stays clean during construction. The mayor said that the borough will be working
closely with the citizens, the Centre City, the MTQ, the MUHC and the STM during construction. The MUHC is setting up a Comite de bon voisinage, as well as holding a public information session Sept. 9 -11.

Peter McQueen proposed that the borough once again get an agreement with the MTQ. During the site decontamination process, almost all the trucks used Angrignon, Pullman, the Turcot yard, St. Remi, St. Jacques and Decarie.

Earlier that day the NDG district councillor had revealed improvement plans for pedestrians and cyclists at a press conference along with 2nd Opposition and Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron. They said that an emergency road recently built off Glen Rd. for the hospital campus could be used by some construction workers and widened for cyclists. The City of Westmount doesn’t like the idea.

Discussing solutions with the MUHC
Another citizen, Lisa Bornstein, said that people should have some input into the finalization of plans for traffic and access to ensure safe and pedestrian-friendly routes to the hospital from the Vendome metro and bus station, de Maisonneuve, St. Raymond, as well as routes for cyclists going north-south or east-west without having to go right in front of the Vendome station.

Applebaum replied that the GISM consortium had to make budget cuts and drew a new plan without an underpass to get to the hospital from the metro. As a result, the borough is discussing solutions with the MUHC.

McQueen added that the new plan needs improvements because pedestrians coming from the metro station have to cross several rows of moving cars in the MUHC underground parking lot. The 2nd Opposition is pushing for a secure path along the edge of the parking garage, as well as elevators. “We all have to keep putting the pressure on the different people involved like GISM and the STM to get to the negotiating table and hopefully get a second entrance open to the Vendome station,” he said.

Leslie Bagg, another member of the NDG Community Council, asked the mayor how the borough will work with partners to make sure that a bike path through the MUHC site is developed as part of the integrated plan.

Applebaum said it’s a complicated issue because citizens, for various reasons, are supporting different scenarios. “We’ll have to wait and see what the final proposal is,” he said.

McQueen gave Bagg a copy of the June 2010 opportunity study ordered by the 2nd  Opposition. He said it contains a proposal for a bicycle plan that offers the best possible access for cyclists and can be useful for lobbying the Centre City executive committee.

Michael Applebaum underlined that the study is a political proposal from Projet Montreal.

[Marie Cicchini]

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