For almost fifty years, there has been a missing link in Montreal’s road network between two segments of Cavendish Boulevard; one ending in Cote Saint-Luc (an independent municipality), the other in an industrial park in Saint-Laurent (a Montreal borough) to the north. Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railyards separate these areas, and the two sections of Cavendish (just one kilometre apart) have to be linked by an overpass or underpass.
The attempt to connect these segments has been very controversial, arousing opposition from Cote Saint-Luc (due to residents’ fears of potential heavy traffic on Cavendish) until 2000, when it agreed to link each of the two segments with Royalmount Avenue, to the east, in an industrial park belonging to Montreal and the Town of Mount Royal. There have been several urban planning-related studies conducted over the years, and the project was included in the 2005 Montreal Master Plan.
However, the 2007 Montreal transportation plan put it on the back burner. The debate on connecting the two parts of Cavendish is complicated by the diversity of jurisdictions involved – including the various municipalities and the rail companies – though there was more cooperation when all of Montreal Island constituted one city between 2002 and 2006.
The linkage of the two parts of Cavendish would have tremendous impact on Montreal’s West End, particularly Cote Saint-Luc.
Cote Saint-Luc would benefit by:
- Having a new exit to the north/east (at present, one can only exit to the south due to the presence of the railyards);
- Having faster access to the western part of Montreal Island.
Joining the two Cavendish segments would also lead to more sustainability by:
- Greatly minimizing traffic congestion around Cavendish and especially along Fleet Road in Hampstead, east of southern Cote Saint-Luc;
- Greatly improving the local road network, bus route network, and access to the metro;
- Providing an opportunity for bike paths.
As well, joining Cavendish together could jumpstart economic development in the areas around the project.
What incentives do you think it would take for all the concerned parties to agree on implementing the Cavendish link project?
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