Parks, trails and transit: city unveils ambitious billion-dollar plan for Parc Jean-Drapeau
MONTREAL -- The City of Montreal is promising green spaces, waterfront play areas and trails criss-crossing Ile Notre-Dame and Ile Sainte-Helene, with shuttle buses and boats to help people get to all of it.
Projet Montreal unveiled its 10-year plan for Parc Jean-Drapeau on Wednesday. It’s priced at almost $1 billion, but the city says it’ll be worth it when the park becomes a destination attracting people far and wide.
“I think that more than ever, during COVID, Montrealers have said very clear and loud, ‘We love our parks, we want more parks, we want green space, and we want to have a green recovery plan,’” said Mayor Valerie Plante.
The plan will include a centralized public transit hub as well, she said.
“What we want to make is to diminish all the outdoor parking but to make the access easier,” she said.
“But that will take a little while—it's not tomorrow. Our hope is to go back to how the park used to be,” she said, with people walking and cycling there.
The political opposition wasn’t as pleased with the plan, saying that while the park does need an upgrade, the details haven’t all been throught through.
“We do find today's announcement is premature and electoral in nature—it really looks like a public relations exercise,” said Lionel Perez of Ensemble Montreal.
He criticized the idea of taking away a multitude of parking spots without being sure people would have just as much access through transit.
“Parc Jean-Drapeau is a jewel,” he said. “It needs to be upgraded and improved and we have to ensure it needs to remain accessible to all Montrealers.”
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