An open letter against the closing of Mount Royal traffic

Par Me. Hannah Deegan le 20 février 2018

Dear Mayor Plante ,  I wish to voice my opposition to your decision to close a large part of chemin Camillien-Houde, effectively removing one of the more convenient, and beautiful, east-west trajectories of this city.

 I drive that route every morning on my way to work, and it’s truly one of the things I cherish the most about my day. When everyone obeys the traffic signs, as they usually do, Camillien-Houde is a safe road, both for cyclists and drivers.

 I do not believe this decision is in the best interest of Montreal’s population. Closing the road will increase traffic congestion on other major arteries in the city by re-routing thousands of cars daily.  It will also needlessly restrict access to the park, especially for those with families or limited mobility.

The accident that cost Clément Ouimet his life was tragic and shocking. However, it was also the result of illegal U-turn, which means that in all likelihood, it was also avoidable. There are a multitude of ways to address this, such as extending the central median or increasing police presence to ensure that traffic signs are obeyed. Removing the road causes more problems than it solves, and does nothing to concretely address the safety of cyclists.

While it would nice to live in a utopia where everyone has the capacity to cycle, walk or take public transport to their destinations, this is not a reality for everyone. Managing the competing demands of road safety and traffic fluidity is no easy feat, but it should be done in consideration of the interests of all the users of the road. It is not clear to me that this decision can be qualified as such.

Drastic measures, which smack more of political pandering rather than the result of reasoned and well-thought out decision-making, was something I hoped we had left behind with the last administration. I ask that that you reconsider this decision in favor of more effective, and less disruptive, solutions.


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