So old Gerry Tremblay the present day Commander & Thief of Montreal, is bumping his gums about a 'new vision plan' for Turcot........... what happened to the last 3 plans....all BS I guess ,till they bleed the city dry on cost of proposals...........hahahahah
MONTREAL – A circular interchange that would take up less space. A tramway linking downtown to Lachine and LaSalle. An attractive entry point to the city. Two lanes for cars, instead of three. Dedicated lanes for buses, taxis and carpoolers. A housing development next to a major new green space.
Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay made public the city’s counter-proposal to Quebec’s controversial plan to rebuild the Turcot on Wednesday, upping the pressure on the province to change its tune.
“It’s a new vision, a new mindset,” Tremblay said.
The proposal – presented at city hall by Richard Bergeron, Tremblay’s urban-planning point man – struck a chord among critics of Quebec’s plan, but the province did not immediately reply.
Tremblay, who presented the proposal to Quebec Transport Minister Julie Boulet this month, said he expects to get feedback – including the estimated cost of Montreal’s alternative plan – from Boulet within a week.
But Boulet appears cool to the idea of changing her plan. On Monday, she said “it’s a little late” to present an alternate plan. “We don’t necessarily have the time to start over, to start from zero,” she said.
Yesterday, Tremblay shot back. He said the city has been telling Quebec for four years that a new Turcot should cut car capacity, increase public transit, favour green space and improve the quality of life of nearby residents.
“We’re not starting from scratch,” he added, noting under Montreal’s proposal the north-south component of Quebec’s plan – connecting the Décarie Expressway to the Champlain Bridge – would go ahead. “We can do the east-west axis afterward,” he said, referring to the Turcot interchange and Highway 20, which links the West Island to downtown.
He said concerns about the safety of Turcot’s aging infrastructure can be dealt with by immediately tearing down elevated portions and rerouting cars at ground level.
Tremblay said the upfront cost of Montreal’s plan could be higher than Quebec’s but the city’s solution would decrease gridlock, a drain on the local economy, and open up much more land for development, which would generate tax revenue for the city.
The mayor also issued a plea to the premier, suggesting if Jean Charest is serious about his ambitious plan to cut Quebec’s greenhouse-gas output, he could start by cutting the Turcot’s size.
Quebec unveiled its Turcot plan in 2007. Construction was to have started last fall.
Built in the mid-1960s, the Turcot – a tangle of highways and access ramps west of downtown Montreal – is where Highways 15 and 20 and the Ville Marie Expressway converge. It’s used by 290,000 vehicles daily.
Critics say Quebec’s plan, which had a $1.5-billion price tag, would increase capacity to 320,000 cars, encourage urban sprawl and do nothing to cut car use. In addition, Highway 20 would be moved north, making it difficult to turn the falaise St. Jacques into a public green space.
City hall opposition leader Louise Harel, one of Tremblay’s fiercest critics, praised the mayor’s alternative.
“Quebec can now see that Montreal is speaking with one voice,” she said.
Daniel Bouchard, of the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal, a coalition highly critical of the Quebec plan, also applauded the city proposal. “It answers everybody’s concerns – it cuts car traffic, increases public transit, increases green space and improves quality of life” in the area, Bouchard said.
“It’s a great improvement over Quebec’s proposal,” said Pierre Gauthier, a Concordia urban planner who developed an alternate plan supported by Turcot opponents.
“There are many good ideas, though we still don’t know by how much this would cut the number of cars,” said Gauthier, whose plan would cut car capacity by 40 per cent.
Quebec, for its part, said it will study the city’s plan and expects to issue a response by the end of next week.
Réal Grégoire, a spokesperson for Transport Quebec, said the department must determine whether it’s feasible. It is also studying the impact on the project’s price and construction schedule (Quebec wants it completed by 2017).
“We also have to verify whether Montreal’s proposal would have to go before environmental public hearings,” he said. “We have to identify what studies would have to be done to go ahead with this concept, because this is a new concept.”