Tempers flare as city unveils controversial Mount Royal pilot project results

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The Plante administrations Mount Royal pilot project remains a polarizing issue as the city releases its findings at the second phase of public consultations. As Brayden Jagger Haines reports, many citizens remain unsatisfied with the results – Nov 9, 2018

City officials and speakers had a hard time controlling the room at the second phase of public consultations Thursday night for the Mount Royal pilot project.

Emotions frequently flared up as city officials unveiled data from the findings collected during the controversial six-month pilot project which closed through traffic on Mount Royal.

READ MORE: Mount Royal pilot project officially comes to an end as through traffic resumes

The Public Consultations Office reveled its findings which were conducted from a survey of 10,000 participants, a record for the PCO, according to president Dominique Olliver.

Although she descried the results of the survey as nuance, Olliver agreed “lots of people think it’s a bad idea.”

“Many understand there might be a need to have less vehicles on the mountain and they have ideas but they don’t agree with the pilot project,” Olliver said.

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According the PCO survey, 58 per cent of participants thought the pilot project prohibiting through traffic on the mountain was a “very bad idea.”

A cheer of approval could be heard from the crowd in attendance at the consultation meeting when that statistic was announced.

READ MORE: No charges to be laid in collision causing death of Mount Royal cyclist

Olliver says she did find it shocking that, no matter the means of transportation, when participants were asked on-site, their answers were more positive.

The online portion of the survey found that 83 per cent of drivers disagreed with the pilot project compared to 66 per cent of cyclists who believe it is was a “very good idea.”

According to the survey, 67 per cent of respondents completely agree that the pilot project has increased traffic on and around the mountain.

That is contrary to the city’s findings, which say the alternative routes north and south of the mountain were at but never exceeding capacity.

The city officials deemed the project a success to the dismay of the crowd and Pierre-Lousi Houle, who frequents the mountain.

“They seem to be coming to a forgone conclusion that this was a success. If your definition of success is water is wet, then yes it is,” Houle said mockingly.

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The goals of reducing transit traffic and the numbers of vehicles on the mountain was achieved, according to the city’s findings.

They also reported decreasing speed limits to 40 kilometers an hour created an environment that was conducive to sharing the road.

The consultation process will continue with several sessions where the public may voice their opinion in person or online at the PCO website.

The public has until Nov. 22 to register online to participate in public hearings, which will be held on Nov. 28.

As for a final result concerning through traffic on the mountain, that is expected late Spring of next year.

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