Info session on Mount Royal through traffic divides Montrealers

The debate over through traffic on Mount Royal continued on Tuesday night at an information session three weeks before the ban is set to go ahead.

The pilot project will stop all through traffic by cars on Camillien-Houde Way and Remembrance Rd. for five months of the year.

Montrealers on both sides of a debate that largely pits drivers against cyclists showed up to voice their opinions on the local controversy.

“It’s nonsense. They should keep the mountain open,” said resident Michael Shafter.

“It should have elements of a park, which is mostly to be pedestrian, cycling,” chimed in Francois Meloche.

For some, the meeting was an opportunity to inform themselves about details of the project. Others used it as a chance to be heard, as public consultations will only take place after the pilot project begins.

“Families have to be able to come to the mountain by any means of transportation and enjoy the country in the city,” said Shafter.

Tour guide Rene Houde pointed to other issues with the closure.

“When we do a private tour with a vehicle, with a car, we’d like to be able to go through,” he said.

While Houde said he agrees with the closure to through traffic in theory, he disagrees with the notion that tour buses – but not tour cars – will be able to cross over.

“The last time we asked, the answer was pretty clear, but not very nice. They said no,” he said.

Dealing with divided populations is nothing new for Montreal’s public consultation office president Dominique Ollivier.

“We’re kind of used to some controversial subjects. We had it in Pierrefonds West, for example, for l’Anse-a-l’Orme.

The ban on through traffic is set to begin on June 2 and continue through the end of October.

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