New and Improved Highway Notre-Dame?

The MTQ has announced improvements to their Notre-Dame Highway plan which are just a grab-bag of things that will happen anyway or things that don’t cost much to do.  The fundamental existence of the highway is not questioned at all.

To me, it further demonstrates how cynical the MTQ is in selling this project to the population.

Here is the list of improvements in all their glory with my thoughts about each one:

Extra High Occupancy Lane in each direction

  • Now there will be a dedicated taxi/HOV lane in addition to the dedicated bus lane in each direction
  • The HOV lane will only require 2 people per car to qualify – Nothing special here. Many cities require 3 occupants.
  • How many of the cars travelling on the highway would have had 2 occupants anyway?  The Montreal Board of Trade in their December 2004 report used the rate of 1.26 occupants/car. 
  • This means that 25% of the cars will have 33% percent of the lanes the day after the highway opens – not much to brag since people are already car pooling even without the incentive. 
  • This will improve travel time for a car-pooler in the short term – until drivers re-adjust.

The Notre-Dame Highway will be integrated with the Pie-IX bus corridor Project

  • The MTQ is now taking credit for the STM/AMT Pie-IX SRB project!!
  • Even if Notre-Dame Highway doesn’t happen, the SRB would still use Notre-Dame to get to the city centre. 
  • This is really stretching the truth to imagine that the SRB is even related to the highway.

Pilot Project for Photo radar on Notre-Dame

  • This has nothing to do with the highway at all!
  • This will only be a mobile installation that can easily be moved to another location.

Traffic Calming Measures in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

  • Here the City is repeating its commitment to spend 150M$ to calm the traffic on the neighboring streets.
  • This is not new money – just a re-announcement of old money.

Improvements in frequency for the 22, 34, and 150 bus lines.

  • There is no reason to get excited about this since it has nothing to do with the highway either!  The last STM meeting also announced improvements to the 515, 470, 194, 268, and 220. 
  • Are these also because the MTQ increased funding for the STM?  Who’s to say that the funding might disappear in the future once the project has started?  
  • The STM will increase service where it is needed and decrease service where it is not.  If the 22, 34 and 150 need extra buses it is because the ridership is calling for it.

Larger Parks

  • The concrete slab over the highway will be slightly bigger than before to improve access to Bellerive and Morgan/Champetre.
  • I live near the Decarie Highway and I can assure you that nobody will want to play in a park next to a 8 lane highway except undesirable elements.

A Steering Committee will be formed

  • Is there a project that costs 750$M that doesn’t have a steering committee?  This is approaching contortionism.

These announcements are nothing more than very minor cosmetic changes or completely unassociated announcements.   This project has to be stopped!

 

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