Radio-Canada reports on a protest today against extending Cavendish Boulevard to Toupin, but apparently confuses it with the extension of Cavendish into Cote-Saint-Luc.
It’s a simple mistake to make, and almost understandable, but it’s still not what they’re protesting.
The Cote-St-Luc folks are outraged (OUTRAGED!) that Montreal’s transportation plan pushes back the Cavendish Extension for another 10 years.
It’s hard to see why there isn’t more movement on this issue. It’s one of those rare ones that seems to unite everyone: Public transit users whose trips to western Ville-Saint-Laurent could be shortened by up to 45 minutes, car travellers who want to avoid the Decarie circle, local businesses and the Cavendish Mall who want the extra customers, and CSL residents who want a quick path to IKEA.
So what’s the hold-up?
The city today released its 155-page transportation plan (PDF), which focuses on public transit, cycling and other green initiatives. Heck, even the report itself is green, so you know they mean business.
The report includes some very common-sense ideas: Extending the blue line metro East to Pie-IX and then Anjou, extending the orange line northwest to the Bois-Franc train station, connecting bicycle paths across the island, adding bicycle parking and adding express buses and reserved bus lanes to major arteries.
But just in case you’re hopeful that any of these initiatives will see the light of day, remember that it also includes a promise to finish the Cavendish Extension. Yeah.
As ambitious as the plan is, it’s not as crazy as tramway fetishists Projet Montréal’s plan (PDF), which proposes putting tramways on the highway and all the way out to Ile Bizard. (Well, some people at least think it’s worth the trouble)
Hidden in the sea of Montreal’s plan is another common-sense idea that I think would make a huge impact toward getting people to use public transit, especially in suburbs: Make express buses run all day. It works brilliantly for the 211, why not have something similar for the other suburbs?
Another day, another group of angry rich homeowners who want nobody to use their streets but them.
James Shaw Street in Beaconsfield, the Cavendish extension, and now residents of Montreal West are upset because one of their roads is being used by people who are not them. And their arguments just don’t hold water.
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Street planning always seems to have winners and losers. West Islanders who are tired of being stuck in rush-hour traffic are constantly complaining about the missing but long-promised Cavendish extension which would link Ville Saint-Laurent with Cote Saint-Luc, N.D.G., Hampstead and Montreal West.
And I’m sure some of these same people are bemoaning an extension of their own. This Week Beaconsfield voted to open up James Shaw Street (look at all those swimming pools!) to Highway 40 near the Chemin Sainte-Marie exit. The street’s residents are unhappy of course because it means more traffic for their protected suburban enclave.
It’s kind of silly how cities manipulate traffic flow to apease residents’ concerns, even to the point of nonsense.
Take Jacques-Bizard Boulevard for example. One might think that “Boulevard” would mean a lot of vehicular traffic. And a quick look at the street shows it has enough space for a good five lanes of traffic. A look at the map would show that the boulevard leads to a bridge to Ile Bizard on one end, and a medium-traffic street with a blank field beside it which is clearly designed for future expansion into more lanes.
Despite this, people bought houses on Jacques-Bizard Boulevard in Pierrefonds, and its extension Sommerset St. in Dollard des Ormeaux. Then, when the traffic coming off the bridge from Ile Bizard started driving up their wide boulevard, they complained to the city.
My response would probably have been something along the lines of “you know what you were getting into when you bought the place”, but clearly I don’t know how to deal with homeowners. Instead, the city forced all traffic to turn left or right onto Pierrefonds Boulevard, adding to the already clogged St. John’s and St. Charles thoroughfares.
I wonder: what would traffic be like in this city if homeowners weren’t so greedy?