Montreal

City will follow recommendations on Camillien-Houde project, Plante says

"We're going to go ahead with what is put forward — the multiple recommendations," Plante said at Monday's council meeting, responding to a question from opposition leader Lionel Perez.

'We're going to go ahead with what is put forward — the multiple recommendations,' mayor says at council

Montreal's public consultation office says it received a record amount of feedback on the pilot project that blocked through traffic on Mount Royal. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is reassuring people that her administration will follow the recommendations of the city's public consultation office about what to do with the roads leading across Mount Royal. 

"We're going to go ahead with what is put forward — the multiple recommendations," Plante said at Monday's council meeting, responding to a question from opposition leader Lionel Perez. 

"Once again and as always, that will be with security at the heart of our concerns."

The consultation process has wrapped up and the office has been publishing some of the testimony it collected online while it prepares a report, due sometime in the coming months. 

The population was invited to share their opinions online or during public meetings on whether Camilien-Houde Way should be closed to cars.

The controversial pilot project that blocked Mount Royal to through traffic started in June and ended Nov. 1. 

Private vehicles were prohibited from using the popular park as a shortcut between boroughs Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Plateau-Mont-Royal. 

The measures followed the September 2017 death of Clément Ouimet, a young cyclist killed when he collided with an SUV making a U-turn near the lookout at the northeast end of Camillien-Houde.

Literal and figurative divides

If some believed the project physically divided the city, road users were equally divided on its merits. Two competing petitions surfaced, one in favour of blocking the road and the other against. Both were signed by thousands. 

At the first public consultation meeting, though, the against camp made itself loudest. 

"To travel the jewel of the mountain, to have 10 minutes of scenery, how dare they take that from me?" Westmount resident Arlene Lutter said at the meeting.

The city painted a rosy picture of the pilot project's results after it wrapped up, leading some to fear it would make the project permanent despite drivers' concerns.

Coun. Luc Ferrandez, who is in charge of large parks on the city's executive committee and has been advocating for ridding Mount Royal of through traffic for years, said he was pleased with the preliminary results. 

The city enlisted the public consultation office a month before the project ended. The office has said it received record participation in response to its consultation. 

The office typically has a 90-day window to table a report once a consultation ends. In this case, the process ended Dec. 4, but the report could take more time due to the amount of feedback. 

With files from Radio-Canada

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