With just hours to go until Camillien-Houde Way reopens, the City of Montreal is declaring its experiment in Mount Royal traffic a success.

On Wednesday, the city released a preliminary report into the pilot project that closed Camillien-Houde Way to cars for several months.

“I’ve been there a few times and I was very, very touched by how the feeling of the mountain has changed on Camillien-Houde, the tranquility of it,” said city councillor Luc Ferrandez. “We could have thought it was gone forever, but you reduce the number of cars, you reduce the speed and the magic (returns).”

The pilot project formally ends at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday. 

According to the report, the project had several beneficial effects for mountain-goers.

  • The number of cars on Camillien-Houde was reduced from 10,000 per day to 3,700 during the week.
  • The punctuality of the 11 and 711 buses were improved, especially at the end of the week.
  • The level of noise on the mountain was reduced.

The city also called the six Cyclovia events – parts of days where the roads were totally closed off except to pedestrians and cyclists – successes, saying more than 1,500 cyclists and runners took part.

However, the report confirmed that some cars continue to park illegally and perform illegal U-turns.  The project was partly inspired by the death of cyclist Clement Ouimet in October, 2017. Ouimet was fatally struck by a vehicle making an illegal U-turn while he was cycling on Camillien-Houde Way, although the driver was not charged.

One evening of public consultation is scheduled for Nov. 8. and the deadline for written submissions is Nov. 22.

Montreal's Public Consultation Office (OCPM) will hold a hearing to present opinions on Nov. 28.

Montreal City Hall is expected to make its final decision about whether or not to close the street permanently in February.

While the city official celebrate, Mike Silas is not nearly as impressed. Silas launched a petition after the project was announced that eventually forced the city to hold the public consultations. He said the release of the preliminary report before the consultations are finished is discrediting. 

"At the lowest point in the summer, when the traffic is at its least and you've cut off circulatioin to that road, you see a massive drop in traffic. Of course you have! It's the middle of the summer and the road is closed," he said.