Pilot project prohibiting through traffic on Mount Royal draws praise and controversy

WATCH: After the city decided to stop cars from driving across Mount Royal, a petition against the decision is steadily growing. Global's Billy Shields reports.

There are now two petitions in circulation on the question of whether to allow through traffic on Camillien Houde Way.

One, which was launched in favour of keeping the status quo a week ago, has already garnered more than 14,000 signatures.

Another, in favour of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s plan to block cars from driving from one end of Mount Royal to the other, went up more recently and has received more than 2,000 signatures.

READ MORE: Portion of Mount Royal to be closed to motorists starting in spring

“We have to reappropriate the park and we have the political courage to do so,” Plante said.

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The plan has drawn criticism from some who say the public should have been consulted before the plan went forward, and by others, like traffic consultant Rick Leckner, who worry about the possible effect the idea could have on traffic.

READ MORE: Montreal wants new rules for trucks to make things safer for pedestrians and cyclists

“I think if they are going to do this, they are going to need to put a real plan in place to make sure the alternate routes people are forced to take are really viable,” he said. “And I’m talking no construction, synchronized lights, proper permits.”

READ MORE: Charges may still be laid in connection with death of 18-year old cyclist Clément Ouimet

Alain Deschamps disagreed. He is a spokesperson for Ghost Bike Montreal.

“Car drivers who are traversing the mountain, are put in conflict with leisure users like Clement,” he said. “And those are the intended users. At the end of the day, it’s a park.”

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The project is slated to start in March.

— With files from the Canadian Press