Looks like Montreal is 'fast tracking' a new 10 km gravel road,for the Mountain. It will be vehicle free,pedestrian & bikes only..... Oh yea 'fast track' has been discussed for Twenty (20) years. Oh well at least they claim to be nearing completion. Imagine 10k's of 'gravel road' actually being completed in only 20 years, and for only 7.5 million. My bet would be that if this gravel road was needed to access one of the politicians rec properties,then it would have been built over the weekend. The 'Chunnel' was completed in less time.
here's the story from the Gazette (so you know it must be true........hahahaha)
On a sunny afternoon last week, I took a ride around Mount Royal Park to see how construction is going on the new car-free ring road. The city has been talking about this project for about 20 years, so there is a certain satisfaction in actually seeing the bulldozers at work.
It's rare a city spends millions - about $7.5 million in this case - on a project that is strictly for the use of pedestrians and cyclists. In fact, this project hasn't had nearly the attention it deserves, considering the positive impact it will have on the environment, the health and quality of life of residents, and the overall draw of this city.
The idea is to create a 10-kilometre-long gravel road, four to five metres in width, encircling all three peaks of Mount Royal as well as the cemetery grounds. The road will wind all the way around the mountain, parts of it tracing the outer limits of cemetery lands, parts winding into the forest and up the slopes to offer gorgeous views of the city.
When the project is completed, sometime over the next two or three summers, cyclists and joggers will have a safe, gorgeous, challenging 10-kilometre-long route on which to train or just meander.
The ring road will link to Olmsted Rd. and other existing mountain trails, giving hikers and bikers easier access to some spectacular but underused parts of the mountain. Many Montrealers will go out of their way to integrate parts of this new route in their daily commute to school or work, particularly residents of Côte des Neiges, who will now have the kind of easy access that residents of the Plateau, Westmount and downtown have always enjoyed.
The ring road is being built in six segments, the first of which - extending from the Pine-Park interchange along Park Ave. to the base of Olmsted Rd. - was completed in 2007. The route will wind up Olmsted Rd. past the children's playground near Beaver Lake, through a small wood behind the pavilion to Remembrance Rd.
Part of Remembrance Rd. was closed to traffic permanently last week so the ring road can run down it and then between Côte des Neiges Rd. and the cemetery. (The cemetery fence, has been moved 11 metres east to make room.) This stretch, segments two and three, should be open to users by the end of this summer.
The ring road will then veer right up along Polytechnique Rd., wind through the St. Jean Baptiste Wood toward the Outremont Summit (also called the northern summit), then down and across Camilien Houde Rd. via a new overpass, then rejoin Olmstead Rd. to complete the loop.
Before work can start on the last three segments, long-term leases must be finalized between the city, the Université de Montréal and the two cemeteries. These are expected to go to the city's executive committee within the next few weeks.
The ring road will give "backyard access" to Mount Royal park to thousands more Montrealers, and bring visitors to some underused and spectacular corners of the mountain.
"The northern summit has been a hidden treasure," said Gabrielle Korn, of the mountain protection group Les Amis de la montagne, which has for years organized tours of this summit, guiding hikers through a hole in a fence behind Université de Montréal's sports complex and up a steep footpath.
What's more, the ring road will offer visitors an official route that is properly equipped and maintained, with benches, water fountains and garbage cans, she noted. This may reduce the problem of wayward bikers and hikers damaging fragile habitats by cutting their own paths through the woods.
Montreal executive committee member Alan DeSousa says Montrealers should be more than a little excited by the project.
"This will give people the opportunity to tour around the whole mountain and see it in all its aspects - whether it be the cemetery lands, the fields, woods, or slopes - and a series of panoramic views. It's quite diverse and it's exciting that in one 10-kilometre loop you will be able to access so many different landscapes," he said.
Many North American city dwellers are growing fed up with the car-centred design of our cities. Our sedentary jobs and our built environment seem to conspire to make us overweight, stressed out, unfit and unwell. When a city can offer easy access to attractive outdoor settings for sports and recreation, it's a huge draw.
The car-free ring road around Mount Royal will get more Montrealers onto their bikes for fun and fitness on a regular basis, and those people will in turn be more likely to cycle or walk for transportation. With projects like this, Montreal is positioning itself among North America's greenest, fittest and most livable cities.