The other Cavendish extension

We keep hearing about the Cavendish extension, a long-awaited road link between Ville-Saint-Laurent and Côte-Saint-Luc which will solve a lot of motorist (and public transit) headaches and get some traffic off the oversaturated top of the Decarie Expressway.

But at the other end is a similar connection waiting to happen. This one is much shorter and doesn’t cross any tracks, but residents are complaining of the same problems.

Cavendish extension onto Toupin Blvd.

The issue, as the Chronicle explains, is pure suburban greed. Residents in the northern part, a middle-class neighbourhood of western Cartierville with some very affluent areas, are panicking at the thought of cars taking their boulevard. I’m not quite sure where all this traffic is supposed to go. To the west is the Bois de Saraguay, followed by Highway 13, and to the east is Sacré Coeur Hospital followed by Laurentian Blvd. But hey, outrage doesn’t have to be logical, right? Maybe they just don’t like ambulances on their street.

We’ve seen all this before. James Shaw Street in Beaconsfield, where residents oppose a connection to Highway 40. Broughton Road in Montreal-West, where residents ludicrously complain of giant nonexistent trucks barrelling down the twists and turns of the residential streets to reach a far-off Highway 20. Not to mention at least some opponents of the other Cavendish extension.

Their logic is simple. They have no problem using the streets other people’s homes sit on to drive their SUVs to and from work. But if those other people want to use their streets, suddenly it becomes a child safety issue. Their street deserves protection. Their street must remain a dead-end. For the good of their children.

In case you couldn’t tell by my sarcasm, it’s hypocrisy pure and simple. Greedy suburbanites who want the government to legislate a de facto gated community and have the entire world built around them.

Fortunately, the borough sees right through their arguments. Next time you want to live on a street without traffic, make sure you choose one without “Boulevard” in its name.

UPDATE (Sept. 23): A follow-up story from the Courrier’s Catherine Leroux

UPDATE (Sept. 28): A video posted to YouTube shows traffic on the street, but except for some drivers failing to make complete stops at stop signs, nothing particularly incriminating.

7 thoughts on “The other Cavendish extension

  1. Nicolas

    I live on Toupin, I’ll be sending my kids to school across the street, I’ll be dealing with the extra traffic. But that’s not why I’m bitchin’. I’m bithcin cause this is a backwards approach to deal with urban congestion. Any project facilitating the use of personal tranportation has to be questioned. I’d be getting sarcastic on that issue, more than the issue of local residents wanting to maintain a quality of life that they paid for when they purchased property.

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  3. Ara

    The real problem is that there are 2 large gated residential area, where one of these (Nouveau Saint-Laurent/Bois-Franc) has a very limited access to Henri-Bourassa. The other one (between Gouin and Henri-Bourassa) has at least Toupin, and a few secondary accesses. It is obvious that the promoters and urbanists that dreamed-up these residential areas did not do a good job. Also, you have to add that the increasing traffic on Laurentian/Marcel Laurin is “driving” people on secondary streets, such as Toupin. Now by connecting Toupin to Cavendish, a 6-lane-wide Cavendish, will be an incentive for people to change their route and travel on Toupin (south and north). The new St-Laurent development will inevitably be de-entrenched by connecting a least one of the new streets to Marcel Laurin, slowing-down the traffic even more on Marcel Laurin. That will also contribute to increase traffic on Toupin.

    Now, add to this that in the New St-Laurent and Bois-Franc, which is quite a large area, there is absolutely no schools!!!! A good proportion of these people send their kids in schools north of Henri-Bourassa, in l’école St-Louis. How about this for great city planning!

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