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Decarie/de Maisonneuve intersection
Safety of cyclists “paramount”
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 7 octobre 2010

The importance of a bicycle link behind the Vendome metro station to increase cycling safety was stressed at a recent MUEC forum, said Peter McQueen at the Oct. 4 council meeting.

NDG residents are anxious for improvements to pedestrian and cyclist safety before the de Maisonneuve/Decarie area gets even busier as the McGill University Health Centre superhospital is built.

East of the intersection, the bike lane suddenly switches from the south side of de Maisonneuve to the north side.
If you can cross Decarie Blvd. safely, you head up a steep hill from the
centre line on de Maisonneuve while trying to merge safely with traffic on both sides.

This intersection emerged as the top priority at the “Understanding your neighbourhood” forum held Oct. 2 by the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre (MUEC).

With this news, NDG district councillor Peter McQueen has more reasons to be hopeful and is trying to rally support for a plan whereby the missing bike path link is put in place and bypasses the intersection altogether by using the CP overpass. The main roadblocks are costly negotiations with CP and property owners.

Over the summer, the MUEC has been rethinking the design of streets and public spaces with a view to promoting “active transportation,” like walking and cycling in the area bounded by Notre-Dame-de-Grace Ave. to the north, St. Jacques St. to the south, Melrose Ave. to the west and Decarie Blvd. to the east.

McQueen is optimistic now because of the current “tradition” of Union Montreal and Projet Montreal working together on the bicycle issue. “Negotiating with CP and the property owners is not easy, but we have to keep trying because the safety of cyclists is paramount, and it would be horrible to have an accident there in a few years because we haven’t been able to realize our goal even though it was difficult,” he said.

MUEC’s transportation experts, elected officials and community activists are all involved in this plan to create a “green, active and healthy neighbourhood.” Another public meeting is to be held in November, and the plan for southeastern NDG is to be published in March.

[Marie Cicchini]

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