Residents hope Prince-Arthur Street redesign will help revitalize area

The new design is meant to be even more pedestrian-friendly, with the road being closed to both cars and cyclists between Laval Avenue and St-Laurent Boulevard.

The pedestrian-friendly street finally reopens after 2 years of construction

After two years of work and nearly $4 million the borough hopes the new design will revitalize the area. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

Construction on Prince-Arthur Street has officially wrapped up after two years of work and nearly $4 million invested in revitalizing the area.

The new design, unveiled on Friday, is meant to be even more pedestrian-friendly, with the road being closed to both cars and cyclists between Avenue Laval and St-Laurent Boulevard.

Cathy Wright, who lives just off Prince-Arthur Street, told CBC she likes the new look and hope it will attract new life to the neighbourhood.
One of the big changes was to move some terrasses to the middle of the street. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

"I think we need to restore the vibrance that we had 30 years ago, where artists used to come here and do caricatures and display their artwork," she said. "How can we do that? Start inviting the schools to participate."

Changes to the design of the street include more green planter boxes, new stone work and some terrasses being positioned in the middle of the street.

George Lemontzogolu has been a waiter for 15 years and works on the street. He wasn't convinced the decision to place customers in the centre of the thoroughfare was a good one.

Cathy Wright lives just off Prince-Arthur Street and is happy with the redesign. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

"I'll be honest with you, at the beginning it was weird for us and the customers, too," he said. "The customers have no chance but to accept the new reality of the street. So it seems to be getting better."

However, he still worries about the potential for accidents, which could see trays of food splattered all over the new stone work, and the customers.

Plateau-Mont-Royal borough councillor Christine Gosselin said she's already starting to see the effects of the redesign taking shape, drawing more foot traffic to the area.

"I'm happy about the way people come at all times of the day to sit on these benches to chat. I see people playing checkers, eating lunch chilling out and that's the first step to rejuvenating."

Cyclists are not allowed to bike along Prince-Arthur and are instead advised to walk their bikes. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

Currently cyclists are not allowed to ride their bikes along Prince-Arthur Street with new signs posted advising people to walk their bikes through the busy pedestrian area.

The borough says one way to solve the problem of people disobeying the signs would be to add a designated bike path on Pine Avenue — just one street north.

With files from Jay Turnbull