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Mayors try to find solutions for Namur-De La Savane sector

A student from McGill University presents a transit proposal to solve congestion problems around Decarie Boulevard.  (Global News).
A student from McGill University presents a transit proposal to solve congestion problems around Decarie Boulevard. (Global News).

Politicians of two municipalities and two boroughs around Decarie Boulevard are collaborating to come up with a transit plan for the area.

The mayors of Côte-des-Neiges – NDG, Town of Mont Royal, St-Laurent and Côte Saint-Luc are creating a joint committee to try to find transit solutions.  They argue that planning must start now before it’s too late since, according to them, the area is already congested, and major developments planned for the sector will add thousands of new homes and businesses.

READ MORE: Group wants to cover Montreal’s Decarie Expressway to block pollution

“If we want to have 50,000 people more in an area as this one, we absolutely need to bring the [stakeholders] together with a mass transit philosophy so that we can both live, work in the same areas,” said St-Laurent City Councillor Francesco Miele during a press conference.

They say developers, along with all levels of government, have responsibilities to ensure there is a plan.

To that end the City of Côte Saint-Luc and the St-Laurent borough solicited a proposal from the school of urban planning at McGill University.  In the report, the students produced transit recommendations that they believe will not only solve current problems, but address future challenges as well.

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READ MORE: Public transit use on the rise in Montreal: study

“We really think that the future is in public transportation because of issues with the saturated road network and limited accessibility and low mobility for residents and employees in the sector,” Ammar Mahimwalla, one of the students, told Global News.

He stressed that adding more roads is not a good solution, because most of the vehicles that use the area are single-occupant cars.

READ MORE: No major impact expected from mega RoyalMount project on Montreal businesses

“So, even the Cavendish extension that’s being planned,” he pointed out, “our analysis found that it won’t do enough to alleviate much of the transit congestion.”

Their focus was on electric transportation with a preference for trams.

Edmonton councillor speaks out against west LRT expansion
Edmonton councillor speaks out against west LRT expansion

“It’s between a bus and a metro,” he explained. “Because the metro is very expensive, and a bus network isn’t as appealing to certain demographics, plus there are maintenance issues over the long term.”

They also looked at how bike paths and provisions for walking could be integrated for ease of movement, to make it compatible with the planned residential developments for the neighbourhood.

The elected officials endorse the proposal and say they plan to push forward some of the recommendations.

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