mtl-legal-rail-crossing

Many Montrealers duck through holes in the chain-link fence to get across the tracks. ((CBC))

Councillors in two Montreal boroughs say they support the call for a legal, safe crossing across the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks that run between the two boroughs.

Administrators in both the Plateau Mont Royal and Rosemont-Petite Patrie boroughs are working on a detailed proposal for level crossings in several locations to give people more access to each other's neighbourhoods, said Mile End Coun. Alex Norris.

Many Montrealers duck through holes in the chain-link fence to get across the tracks, but CP warns that it is dangerous.

CP police have issued 121 tickets already this year. There are also signs posted, warning pedestrians that trespassers will be prosecuted.

"There are hundreds of people every day who commit acts of civil disobedience by crossing those train tracks illegally," said Norris.

"Whether CP puts up yet another fence or not, they are going to continue to do that."

The most obvious need for a legal crossing is near the Rosemont Metro station, which could be used by employees of the nearby Ubisoft company headquarters, Norris said.

Petition launched

A group of citizens has launched an online petition to create safe level crossings for pedestrians.

"Going underneath the underpass is quite unpleasant," said Heather Davis, a citizen who helped start the petition. "I literally have to drag my dog — he really doesn't like going there!"

Davis said she often sees CP police staking out the holes in the fence near the Rosemont Metro station to issue tickets.

CP responds

A CP spokesperson said the company is ready to talk to borough administrators.

Until a solution is reached, the railway's police force will continue to ticket trespassers to discourage people from crossing the tracks illegally, CP said.