The loss of parking along Terrebonne Street in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough has residents voicing their frustration over this latest bike path initiative.
Street parking is no longer available on the popular thoroughfare in order to make way for a temporary bike path.
The loss of parking has some residents who live in the area frustrated.
“What are we supposed to do?” resident Carmen Trevino said.
“Where are we supposed to park?”
Trevino says the removal of spaces forces drivers to park several blocks away from their homes.
“When coming back from work, you have to search for parking and then walk metres, if not blocks. It’s very inconvenient,” Trevino said.
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An anonymous flyer has been circulated in the area calling on the borough to reverse the decision and for residents to voice their frustration with the administration.
Global News spoke to several other Terrebonne Street residents who are angry with the swift action taken by the borough with no public consultation process done before the project.
The borough council voted unanimously in favor of the bike path on June 22.
Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery says the public was not consulted because it is a temporary project. The path will be in place from mid-July until the fall.
The new cycling path is part of the borough’s COVID-19 safety measures.
Several streets and public spaces have been adapted to promote safe social distancing throughout the borough and across Montreal.
“With COVID, the number of cyclists has gone through the roof, and we need safe infrastructure and we need to share the road, ” Montgomery said.
On the loss of parking, Montgomery stressed that the measure is not permanent and will not be in place during the winter months.
She also added that many homes on side streets have residential parking.
“I understand it’s difficult, but there is no inherent right to the public space. We all need to adapt in order habits to save our planet,” she said.
“We have been advocating for bike paths on Terrebonne for a long time,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery pointed out that long-standing borough councillor Peter McQueen, a member of Project Montreal, pushed for a cycling highway along the street in 2009.
Cycling advocates are celebrating the new multi-purpose path, which stretches from Girouard to Belmore avenues.
The Association of Pedestrians and Cyclists of NDG has been demanding the borough implement a safe way for citizens to travel along the major artery.
“Very excited to have it,” Jason Savard, spokesperson for the association, said.
“It’s (a) very busy street with many schools. Having the bike path will make the area safer for kids, ” Savard added.
No date has been scheduled, but once the project ends, the borough will be inviting residents to participate in an online survey to voice their opinion on the project.
“We will take everything into consideration,” Montgomery said.
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