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La Presse  announced the verdict passed down by the BAPE.  In an article Denis Lessard gives his account of the events surrounding the project’s opposition and worries about the cost of the project.

The BAPE’s critical position with regard to the province’s lack of regard for local concerns will be received with a sigh of relief by those who opposed the project.  The province goes back to the drawing board now and it is predicted that this will delay the project for a year or more.

This is gives mayor Tremblay and other political leaders a chance to get ahead of the horse to properly bring Montreal’s plan de transport to the table.  “…now would be a good time for the experts to call for a comité de gouvernance du réseau routier et d’infrastructure transport, that brings together public health dept, community reps, STM, CN, MTQ,…” Jody Negley

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.