WATCH ABOVE: The mayor announced a new plan to create more pedestrian streets in Montreal. Global’s Billy Shields has the details.
MONTREAL – This summer, five new streets in Montreal will become pedestrian walkways, part of a $500,000 pilot project the city is trying out.
“I think we can have a project in every borough,” said Mayor Denis Coderre.
“But we’re going to have to start somewhere.”
The pedestrian streets are:
Ontario between Valois and Bourbonniere
Beaubien between St-Denis and Boyer
Castelnau between Gaspe and Henri-Julien
Stanlislas between Londres and another Stanislas street that doubles back
Park-Stanley between Berri and Durham
The project involves streets in five boroughs — Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rosemont-Petit-Patrie, Parc Extension, Ville St-Laurent and Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
The streets Global News visited seem to fall into two categories: some, like the stretch of Beaubien between Boyer and St-Denis, are commercial districts with bars and restaurants.
Others, like the one-block stretch of Castelnau between Gaspe and Henri-Julien, would be made safer by being pedestrian-only because they’re in school zones.
Patricia Demers, who lives along one of the pedestrian streets, described the idea as “an excellent one. Because the school is there and it’s insane the amount of cars that try to get as close as possible to the school.”
She lives along Stanislas Street next to an elementary school. Her only misgiving was the effect the plan could have on parking, a concern echoed by other residents.
“People can’t park [as it is] and they want to turn this into a pedestrian street?” asked James Desmarais, who lives nearby.
“I don’t think they should.”
Coderre said the city still needs to nail down how exactly the pedestrian streets will work.
A lingering question is whether they will be seasonal or year-round. T
he success of the project could depend on it. St. Catherine street east of Berri is a seasonal pedestrian-only street, and its success has led some to want to extend the walking street farther downtown.
Prince-Arthur, on the other hand, is a year-round pedestrian street that was once a vibrant restaurant district that now has several closed storefronts.
The city plans to launch the project in the summertime.