Rosemont residents push for pedestrian railway crossings

A group of residents in Montreal's Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie borough is pressuring Canadian Pacific Railway to install pedestrian crossings in the area.
Residents was more places for pedestrians to cross the railway tracks in Rosemont. (CBC)

A group of residents in Montreal's Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie borough is pressuring Canadian Pacific Railway to install pedestrian crossings in the area.

CP railway tracks separate Rosemont from the neighbouring Plateau borough, but residents say there are not enough openings for pedestrians to get through.

"I have to make quite a long detour," said Mistaya Hemingway, a resident who lives nearby and a member of the community group Walkway Collective. "It takes me about 15 minutes extra time to get [to the other side]."

In several areas along the tracks there are holes in the fence some people use to cross the tracks illegally, but getting caught could result in a $146 fine.

Retired urban planner Jean Decarie said CP should create pedestrian crossings every 500 metres along the tracks. He said other options, such as building an underpass or an overpass, would be less effective.

CP spokesperson Breanne Feigel said there are safety concerns with pedestrian crossings.

"Maybe some people would take advantage of a crossing if it were there," she said. "But the likelihood is there will be even more trespassing along the corridor and that could lead to incidents."

Still, residents remain committed to the issue and are turning to art and film to get their message across.

The Walkway Collective is calling on Montrealers to submit any artwork related to railway tracks.

"As much as we can put CP in the hot seat and make them feel uncomfortable and get the citizens involved, the best it is," Hemingway said.