Pilot project closing portion of Camillien-Houde kicks off June 1
Every hour during rush hour, up to 400 cars use Camillien-Houde Way on the daily, and if you’re one of those drivers, you have about a month to find an alternate route.
Starting June 1 until Oct. 31, the portion of Camillien-Houde Way from Smith House to Beaver Lake will be closed to traffic.
Only emergency vehicles, tour buses and school buses as well as public transit will be allowed.
“Camillien-Houde is not supposed to be a transit road, it became one but it’s not a shortcut,” Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante told reporters during a press conference on Friday.
“We are taking strong action in order to make the Mont Royal more accessible and more user-friendly,” she added.
The goal is to reduce traffic in the area to make it safer, while making it more attractive for visitors.
The city says it will expand public transit.
They’ll also build a suspended café at the Camillien-Houde lookout and host special activities.
“Much like New York which recently announced to ban cars in Central Park, we also believe the Mont-Royal must reclaim its original vocation: a park,” Plante said.
“After years of procrastination, that something is happening is good news,” Heritage Montreal’s policy director Dinu Bumbaru said. “The way it’s happening, could be improved. But at least there is a public process.”
The city is holding information sessions on May 10 and 15, and vows to monitor the progress of the project closely with the help of Montreal’s public consultation office (OCPM).
Vélo Québec welcomes the idea.
They’ve been clamouring that Camillien-Houde be closed to traffic ever since 18-year-old cyclist Clément Ouimet was killed by a driver pulling a U-turn
“Camillien-Houde and Remembrance Road were becoming a free way almost and so now, we have to restore that,” Velo Quebec’s Jean-Francois Pronovost said.
As for the more than 28,000 people who signed a petition opposing the pilot project: “I want to tell them, ‘Give it a try.” Let’s give it a try. That’s what I’m asking for,” Plante said.
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