Friday, 3 June 2011

Roadwork in the Walkable City: Necessary, and Less Trying for Pedestrians than Drivers

Traffic is mess in Montreal these days. Because not enough infrastructure maintenance was done for the last couple of decades, the city and road and bridge authorities are having to do a lot of catch up. At the same time, municipal officials in one center city borough are changing traffic patterns in order to cut down on conflicts between bikes, pedestrians and motor vehicles.

This has caused a storm of protest in some quarters. In the Plateau, where we are living now, residents and merchants clashed at a recent public hearing: residents rather liked the plan to cut down on vehicles, but merchants warned of economic disaster. At the same time, major work is underway on several bridges, and plans are being made to redo a huge traffic interchange.

All this controvesy doesn't concern us, even though we're right in the middle of roadwork. That's because at this point we're walking practically everywhere and taking public transportation when we're not walking. Amazing how efficient living in a walkable city can be....

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

I don't know why those merchants are always so shortsighted, even in terms of their own commercial interests. If fewer people in the Plateau own cars, they will be more inclined to do their "big shopping" in neighbourhood businesses rather than heading out to le Marché central or somewhere like that. This has been proven time and time again. They also assume that all people who ride bicycles are poor and will not buy anything.

And actually, it is now possible to access Montréal from both the South Shore and Laval via métro, and vice-versa. I was working with clients near métro Montmorency, and it was a breeze from my place near the Jean-Talon market.