September 23, 2017 3:12 pm

Coderre promises more green alleys as election campaign gets underway

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre jumps into campaign mode, announcing a proposed plan to green more alleys across the city. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.

Jonah Aspler/Global News

It’s municipal election season in Quebec, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre wasted no time hitting the campaign trail.

At a press conference in Montreal’s Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc Extension borough on Saturday, Coderre announced $4 million would go towards citizen-led initiatives aimed at transforming Montreal’s alleys if he was re-elected.

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READ MORE: Montreal municipal election campaign gets underway

Out of approximately 4,000 alleys in the city totalling 475 kilometres, only around 330 — or 14.5 per cent — are green alleys.

Coderre admitted there was room to improve.

“We believe that we can do more,” he said. “We believe that those areas are key for the families and we need to do it in a better way.”

Under the proposed plan, boroughs could receive up to $10,000 for each green-alley project approved by the city. The city would also help maintain white alleys during the winter, paying  50 per cent of maintenance fees, or up to $1,000 annually.

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The budget also includes financial aid for urban art projects aimed at embellishing green laneways.

The proposed plan falls under the city’s youth policy.

According to Erika Duchense, the city councillor responsible for youth policy, greening the alleys makes sense.

“Our child policy advocates offering children an urban environment that is conducive to play and discovery, designed and developed in a safe, attractive and universally accessible way,” she said in a written statement.

Coderre echoed the sentiment.

“It’s all about self-esteem, it’s all about having the proper environment so they can live, fulfil their passion and go further in the world and prepare them for citizenship,” he said.

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If elected, Team Coderre also plans to implement a 5 km/h speed limit in all alleys as part of its “Vision Zero” campaign aimed at improving road safety.

“Our role is to protect our children, protect our people,” Coderre said. “I truly believe that not only [is it] good to have a green alley or a white alley, but at the same time, we need to make sure that we think about safety.”

Coderre said he was all for installing speed bumps but details on how the speed limit would be enforced, were scant.

“When there’s a will, there’s a way,” he said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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