Mount Royal traffic plan will go to public consultation after all

The City of Montreal is changing its tune when it comes to holding a public consultation about the controversial plan to block through traffic on Mount Royal.

Pilot project, set to begin June 1, proposes cutting off traffic on Camillien-Houde Way

Motorists used to winding through Camillien-Houde Way will have to walk or take public transit to enjoy the views the thoroughfare offers. A part of the road will be closed to cars as of this spring. (Radio-Canada)

The City of Montreal is changing its tune when it comes to holding a public consultation about the controversial plan to block through traffic on Mount Royal.

Mayor Valérie Plante said the consultations will happen "before, during and after" the pilot project to make a stretch of Camillien-Houde Way off limits to motorists — but the plan will still go ahead.

The move comes after the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough also voted unanimously in favour of a motion Monday night calling for a consultation on the pilot project expected to launch this spring.

Marvin Rotrand, a city councillor for the borough, said he expected the motion to be defeated. He said he was surprised when Projet Montréal proposed amendments and backed the motion after staunchly defending the plan over the past month. 

"In the last days, obviously something changed," he said.

Opposition leader Lionel Perez, who proposed the motion, said holding a public consultation is a "victory for all Montrealers."

The pilot project is set to take place from June 1 to Oct. 31, 2018.

Stiff opposition and criticism

The pilot project, announced in February, will make a 800-metre stretch of Camillien-Houde Way off limits to motorists.

The road would be blocked to through traffic between Smith House and Beaver Lake parking lots.

The decision came after an 18-year-old cyclist, Clément Ouimet, died when he collided with an SUV that pulled a U-turn in front of his bicycle on Camillien-Houde last year.
The death of 18-year-old Clément Ouimet, who was killed while biking on Camillien-Houde Way, spurred the city's administration to brainstorm for ways to avoid similar tragedies. (Sara King-Abadi/CBC)

While Plante has stood by her pilot project, the plan has faced stiff criticism.

Opponents argue it will reduce access to the mountain and create a barrier between the city's east and west ends.

"I think it's wise to step back and say a significant number of citizens have spoken," said Rotrand. "Obviously they have more work to do."​

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak, Sudha Krishnan and Radio-Canada


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