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La Presse avait une article sur le rapport du BAPE, mais semble-t-il que le rapport lui meme n’est toujours pas publique. Peut-être plus tard dans la journée?

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay and Executive Committee member André Lavallée are looking for something dramatic and symbolic in the Turcot Project. New York City is pedestrianizing Times Square. What will Montreal do?  As M. Lavallée put it:

“Je veux d’abord utiliser une image, très brièvement. Dans quelques jours, on en parlait avec le Maire avant le début de l’audience ce soir, dans quelques jours la Ville de New-York va fermer l’intersection, la rencontre de trois rues majeures sur Broadway à la hauteur de Time (sic) Square. La Ville de New-York va piétonniser une partie de Time Square de façon à provoquer, parce qu’elle veut provoquer un changement majeur des comportements vers le centre de New-York. Ce que les autorités de la Ville de New-York ont observé c’est qu’il y a 55 000 véhicules qui essaient de passer à l’intersection Broadway, il y a 360 000 piétons, tout le monde essaie de passer au même endroit, les gens circulent à 4 milles à l’heure, polluent tout l’environnement, crée un environnement urbain très désagréable.
Je ne vous propose pas ce soir de fermer l’échangeur Turcot, mais je pense que l’image que je viens d’utiliser vous suggère l’esprit dans lequel on veut travailler.”

Source: BAPE DT10, line 198+, Transcript of BAPE hearings June 16, 2009.

So what does such a gesture look like for the Turcot Intersection?

What about replacing one lane of cars with a dedicated and safely separated “bike expressway” from the West Island, along Highway 20?

McGill is a staggering 24 kilometres from Pointe Claire: I regularly do an 8 kilometer trek in about 35 minutes, in traffic.

The average bike speed seems to be about 25-30 kms/hour, so commuting by bike from Pointe Claire should only take about 50 minutes, max an hour. Perhaps we could let the bikes stay on the ground where cars are elevated, at various spots along the way?

These new electric bikes go 28 kms/hour. I tried one once and even at top speed, I had a hell of a time keeping up with my wife, so this is a reasonable guestimate. I suspect that some of the high-performance riders could do in much less time: you know who you are!

How many people would make the switch?

Would people use it in winter?

Anyone else got suggestions for M. Tremblay and M. Lavallée, as dramatic as pedestrianizing Times Square?

bus

Transport Quebec announced yesterday that it will no longer pursue a Public Private Partnership (P3) for funding the reconstruction project.  Originally the project was planned to be partially payed for by partners from the private sector.  Yesterday’s decision will ensure that the project is entirely funded with public money and so, will remain entirely in the control of our transportation authority (MTQ).

This was one of the requests brought to the table by mayor Tremblay at the BAPE hearings.  He argued that employing a P3 strategy would result in restricting the flexibility of the project’s design and execution.

Turcot Panorama by Ycon Benoit

Turcot Panorama by Yvon Benoit

Last week was hard work for the folks involved with the Turcot ‘s BAPE.  Each day the commission assembled at St-Henri’s centre St-Zotique and heard between twenty and twenty-five presentations from a public concerned about the environmental impact of re-building our urban highways bigger and better. The commissioners Mme. Parent, M. Longpré, and M. Germain aught to be commended for conducting respectful, and adroit proceedings, it seemed like their eyes and ears were open, and the issues brought to the table were taken seriously.

A remarkable characteristic of this project’s opposition has emerged through this process and over the past few years.  They are consistently polite, orderly, and on-point.  Perhaps this is the petrified reaction of a shocked population, feeling powerless against the threat of expropriations and worse traffic down town, this blogger prefers to believe it is a function of the inate decency in the folks that live in my neighbourhood. Whatever the reason there has been little fist pumping, no burning effigies and hardly a raised voice during this entire process.   The opposition has engaged in concentrated discussions, exploring the issues and fostering open lines of communication. The quality of the “mémoires”, presented last week by a great crosscut of Montreal’s urban community, tells the story of a well informed public with a desire to help re-build this complex of interchanges in the most sustainable way possible.  The overwhelming message was that this project represents a crossroads, a once in a lifetime opportunity to make Montreal a better urban environment.  Bringing more cars into the downtown is not the way to do it, and public transportation should be prioritized on at least an equal footing with automobile transportation.

Mayor Tremblay for the city of Montreal, Louise Harel new head of Vision Montreal, Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Qébecois MP for Jeanne-Le Ber, Stephane Bergeron of the Parti Qébecois, and M. André Lavallé  among other Montreal politicians leant weight to an effort to send Transport Quebec’s proposal back to the drawing board (check out their “mémoires” here).  With the mayor talking to the likes of Sadik-Kahn things could be looking in an ever more sustainable direction for Montreal, something to be hopeful about.  With any luck all of this will result in a new plan that embraces the wealth of dynamic solutions available in the design of contemporary transportation infrastructure and Montreal will get the Turcot re-build it is seeking.

BAPElogoLast week’s BAPE hearings on the province’s plan to rebuild the Turcot drove home public concerns about this plan’s effect on Montreal’s natural social and economic environment.

Nearly 90 official presentations were made by community members ranging from independent individuals to corporate leaders to local municipal and national politicians.  For a list of the documents submitted click here.

BAPElogoThe second phase of the BAPE evironmental hearings begins Monday, June 15 at 7:00pm.  This phase lasts all week long with presentations starting each day at 1:00 pm (Friday starting at 10:00 am) .  It is the only opportunity for the public to contribute their thoughts on the developer’s curent proposal.  The venue is the CRCS St. Zotique in St-Henri at 75 Sir George Etienne Cartier.

  • Lundi le 15 juin à 9h : Rendez-vous au Palais de Justice
  • Lundi le 15 juin à 10:30h: Conférence de Press: RESO Richardson bur. 6509
  • Lundi le 15 juin à 14h: Presentation de Prof. Pierre Gautier CRCS St-Zotique
  • Lundi le 15 juin à 18h : GRAND RASSEMBLEMENT CITOYENS devant CRCS St-Zotique
  • Lundi le 15 juin à 19h : Ouverture de la 2e partie des audiences publiques gymnase de CRCS St-Zotique.

For a detailed list of the presenters throughout the week check here.

This article by Jeanne Corriveau, of Le Devoir reports on the MTQ’s position on improving public transportation and how they feel about the option of urban highway removal, positions expressed during the BAPE question period last week.

  • Improving Public transportation will not substantially reduce the traffic in the Turcot complex.
  • Montreal’s geographic situation is not suitable for the type of inner city highway removal becoming popular in sustainable planning circles from other western cities.

(Click Speaker)The question period has been recorded.  These recordings are available on the BAPE website. Click the Speaker icon for a list of the recordings (French only).

There is also a live feed of the session in progress. One more session in this period remains.  This one is by the special request of the Conseil régional de l’environnement (CRE) to discuss public transportation specifically. It is scheduled for tomorrow Thursday, May 14 ’09 starting at 1:00pm @ CRCS St Zotique.

The question period, first phase in the calendar of the Bureau d’audience publique sur l’environnment (BAPE) process, got kicked off last night.

All participants  who submitted a request for BAPE hearings were allowed to read their requests to the room (BAPE officials, MTQ officials, and the public assembly) before specific questions were handled.  Some of the requests were very eloquent and well delivered. This process seems to be getting many of the concerns into the ears of the Developer and the BAPE committee.

Questions continue:

today Tuesday, May 12 ’09 and tomorrow Wednesday May 13 ’09

starting at 1:00pm and continuing into the evening

CRCS St. Zotique 75 Sir George Etienne Cartier  St-Henri

See the BAPE Page for more info.

BAPElogo

BAPE (Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement): The process for public consultation on the findings of the MTQ’s Environmental impact assessment, the last official chance for public contribution and criticism of the project, is well under way.

Dates:

Question period begins/La période de question commence:

Monday May 11th @ 19 h. , 7:00 pm

CRCS St. Zotique 75 Sir George Etienne Cartier  St-Henri

Deadline to register to submit a brief: May 22, 2009

Deadline for submitting a brief: June 11, 2009

Public hearings start: June 15, 2009.

Info in English on BAPE:

http://www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/sections/english/

To register to submit a brief e-mail:

complexe-turcot@bape.gouv.qc.ca

Details (French only): http://tinyurl.com/cb3qlm