Speaking of Mayor Ed and his wacky ideas, he’s changing his tune on the development of de Salaberry Blvd., an undeveloped East-West route from Kirkland to Sources Blvd. and beyond.
For those unfamiliar with de Salaberry, most of it is a two or four-lane road, starting from Sommerset Street in the West (where it crosses into Kirkland) and ending just east of Sources Blvd.
What makes this road unusual is that right next to it, for almost its entire length in Dollard, is a wide grassy area with power lines on it. The plan was to eventually turn this small road into a major East-West thoroughfare, halfway between Pierrefonds Blvd. and Highway 40. That never happened, mostly because it would just shift traffic onto Sources and wouldn’t solve West Island traffic headaches.
Unclear on the fact that nothing will solve West Island traffic headaches so long as the airport, the rail yards and Highway 13 stay where they are, he’s been trying to push through a development plan that would extend the street through the Bois de Liesse park:
Needless to say, that plan didn’t win over too many people. So instead, he’s now proposing that it be a bus-only lane. Now you can’t accuse him of not being environmentally-friendly. He’s pro-transit!
There’s a few problems with the idea though:
- There’s already a dedicated public transit system running through the Bois de Liesse. It’s the Montreal-Deux Montagnes train line. And it’s used plenty.
- The big problem isn’t rush-hour service but the rest of the time when there’s no express shuttle between Fairview and the Côte-Vertu metro station. The success of the 470 Express Pierrefonds bus (which runs shuttles during rush-hour and then continues north and west) should give the STM the idea that a regular-service express shuttle (like the 211 between Dorval and Lionel-Groulx) is a good idea, but they haven’t done anything. Outside of rush-hour, the shuttle time is 20 minutes.
- The only logical place for a bus to go is the massive Fairview bus terminal. This would mean the bus would go north, then west, only to go back south again. Why do this when the highway is right there?
- It’s still just as bad in terms of developing one of Montreal’s few remaining natural preserves.
Sorry Ed. The Chronicle may love your idea, but I don’t see it being necessary. We need more buses to the West Island, not more bus lanes.