The new, revitalized Ste-Catherine Street West will feature reduced speed limits, fewer parking spots, free Wi-Fi and heated sidewalks.
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'This isn't just for the next five years. It's really for the longterm.' - Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre
Details of the first phase of the street's $95-million, four-year makeover were revealed today at city hall.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said electric car charging stations will also be added and eco-friendly, artistic street lighting will be incorporated into the design.
There will be more places to sit, more trees and the speed limit will be reduced to 30 km/h.
"This isn't just for the next five years," Coderre said.
"It's really for the longterm."
While all the details haven't been finalized, Projet Ste-Catherine Ouest, the group in charge of the revitalization efforts, is looking at several ways to revamp the portion of the street used by traffic and pedestrians, including:
- Widening sidewalks from 4.25 metres on each side to 6.5 metres.
- Reducing the number of on-street parking spots in some areas.
Ste-Catherine Street's underground infrastructure, including sewers and aqueducts, are aging and will get some much-needed repairs before the new streetscaping begins.
The work will be done in two phases. Ste-Catherine Street West between Bleury and Mansfield — including Phillips Square — will be done first.
Once that's complete, the revamping between Mansfield and Atwater Avenue will take place.
Business owners concerned
Some business owners are worried the revamp will mean years of construction — and short-term pain.
"It's all nice to say we're going to work with the stores and help them out," said Phil Iachino, manager of Chaussures Berti.
"We're going to have to suffer to make the city more beautiful in the next 10 years."
Coderre ruled out the possibility of giving compensation to businesses who suffer during the changes.
Project lacks ambition, opposition says
The opposition Projet Montréal isn't in favour of the plans.
Glenn Castanheira, an advisor to the party, told CBC Montreal's Homerun the project lacks ambition.
"We will not reinvent and revitalize Ste-Catherine simply with free Wi-Fi and heated sidewalks," he said.
Castanheira said there should be more emphasis on public squares and green spaces to attract creative people, which in turn will attract more businesses seeking quality employees.
Earlier in the day, party leader Luc Ferrandez said sidewalks should be made even wider and parking on the street should be eliminated.