Montreal to hold public consultations on Mount Royal road closure plan: opposition
Published Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:52PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:06AM EDT
The city of Montreal is apparently going to hold public consultations after all on a pilot project to ban through traffic on Mount Royal.
On Monday opposition leader Lionel Perez tabled a motion in his borough of CDN-NDG calling for a public consultation to be held by the city's Montreal Public Advisory Office (OPCM), and that motion was unanimously approved by all borough councillors, including the borough's mayor, Projet Montreal's Sue Montgomery.
Perez said that Montgomery has told him that Mayor Valerie Plante will confirm the public consultation process later this week. He called the decision to hold public consultations a ‘victory for democracy.’
"It's a huge victory for Montrealers and local democracy because they're going to be able to share the point of view on the fact that's there's going to be a public consultation prior to any pilot project," said Perez.
However Plante said the consultations will not stop the pilot project from going ahead.
"Nhe consultation will accompany the pilot, so it will start before, continue during, and after," said Plante. "We're moving forward with the pilot. The consultation that will be held beforehand will not be deciding whether or not there is a pilot [project]. There will be a pilot [project]. "
Perez said the city should get informed before any decisions are made.
"We have to hear about all the issues, we have to know the questions, we need to hear all the point of views to find a pilot project that makes sense," said Perez.
The plan to block Camillien Houde Way and so allow drivers to get to the park at the top of the mountain but not to drive over the mountain to the other side was announced by Luc Ferrandez, the politician in charge of parks, in February.
It created a storm of opposition from citizens upset by the move, with more than 25,000 people signing an online petition calling for the city to reconsider the plan.
Plante and Ferrandez said the move was, in part, due to the death of Clement Ouimet, a cyclist who was killed by a driver making an illegal left-hand turn while leaving the lookout parking lot last year. They also said the through-traffic ban would allow more people to enjoy the park and would protect cyclists from similar incidents.
Many opponents said the measure would instead lead to an increase in car traffic, and would do little to prevent the type of crash that killed Ouimet.