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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.

de Maisonneuve bike path
Request for bike path over bridge gains momentum
Experts to provide recommendations in six months
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 6 juillet 2011

Photo: Marie Cicchini

Michael Applebaum addresses cyclists.

Cycling issues took most of the 90 minutes allowed for question period at the last council meeting before the summer break, on June 27.

The room at the Cummings building quickly filled with cyclists who biked in from Girouard Park with Peter McQueen in support of a pedestrian path on the CP bridge over the Décarie/de Maisonneuve intersection.

Rosalie MacDougall asked when will there be a proper bypass available to pedestrians and cyclists so that their safety is ensured.

James MacLean passionately described the situation, garnering warm applause from proud NDG citizens. He identified bike riders as the experts on cycling, saying that they clearly don’t want only painted lines on the ground followed by potholes, a valley, crisscrossing and 110 degree turns. He wanted to know whether Michael Applebaum would personally support the idea of a bike path over the bridge.

Hugh McQueen, a 40-year resident of NDG, was the third citizen to speak on the subject. “ When you go around the world you see that there are lots of possibilities that the experts here don’t seem to think of, ” he said.

It will be six months to a year before the City of Montreal receives recommendations from the experts studying all the different options, replied the mayor on several occasions. The objective is to make sure that it is a secure intersection where people are able to circulate, be they pedestrians, cyclists or motorists.

CP does not want to have any type of City path or bridge at that location, and the City would need the property owners’ cooperation. Applebaum suggested that the elected representative go negotiate with them if he can, to see if they will allow a pedestrian and bicycle passage on their property.

But Peter McQueen doesn’t see it that way. He argued that the CP corridor coming from the outskirts of the city is 120 feet wide, and that when the bridge is rebuilt, the tracks will be reconfigured. At that point, the City could negotiate a portion 25-40 feet wide for a bicycle/pedestrian path, and another body could negotiate with the STM for part of the land behind the subway station.

The mayor repeated that the City intends to respect the $62 million infrastructure budget in agreement with its partners.

The key moment to build a bridge cheaply and quickly will come when the contract for removing the train detour is given. That’s where cyclists want the bicycle bridge to be built. McQueen affirms that additional costs for the path would be extremely minimal. “If it was $2 million for 2000 cyclists, that would be a $1,000 per cyclist capital investment, a one shot deal.”

Another resident, Daniel Lambert, raised concerns about the bicycle path. He asked if, as part of the MUHC street redesign, the dangerous splitting of the path along de Maisonneuve would be eliminated between Claremont and Décarie. The mayor replied that the experts will also be looking at the whole area west of the two bridges all the way to Claremont and will make their recommendations to City Services.

Applebaum and McQueen both agreed to push the Centre City for a proposal incorporating direct access into the MUHC site from the subway or bus station, and proper pedestrian access from the southern to the northern side of the super-hospital, features that are not part of the current plan.

Marvin Rotrand pointed out that the STM has two plans for the Vendôme subway station and is also awaiting the City Services decision. One of the plans would install elevators to provide easier access for persons with reduced mobility, and the second one is to work with the hospital to provide the best possible pedestrian access from the station.

[ Marie Cicchini ]

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