Kirkland’s initiative for future (REM) Light-Rail station site (Full schedule and times of trains)
Future (REM) Light-Rail station site – With the REM Light-Rail project being given the green light a few weeks ago, many people are starting to wonder what the whole infrastructure will really look like – and how it will impact the areas where they live. So far only artist renditions have been available to spark the collective imagination.
Now that the reality of the massive project grows closer, some are realizing the impact could be great and being proactive in assuring the best decisions are made towards maintaining, or even enhancing, their quality of life. One such initiative comes from an on-island suburb of Montreal that has been forward-thinking.
Last year the Town of Kirkland held two consultation evenings concerning the future REM light-rail station. The goal at the first meeting held in May of 2017 was to inform citizens and businesses about the project and answer any questions they had.
At the second meeting held in June, citizens were able to voice their thoughts and ideas towards developing ‘a vision for the site adjacent to the future REM station in Kirkland’.
Choosing the site best suited for the new station, and the five kilometres of rail coming with it, was a challenge. The initial site brought up concerns such as the potential traffic congestion around St. Charles Blvd. and the location simply not being able to accommodate the station. It was deemed ‘unfeasible’ and another site was chosen instead, one with the ability to adapt to the new the roads and even offer the city an opportunity to revisit and redevelop a commercial area.
With that in place, they proposed a ‘Collective Vision’. It’s an initiative aimed at taking advantage of the changes in an intelligent and creative way, including ideas such as; places to walk and cycle, restaurants, shopping, entertainment and even some residences.
First, a new urban boulevard has to be built in order to access the station – and with the announcement that the REM project will break ground in April, Kirkland should soon be breaking ground as well. The project is also expected to include a new overpass at Highway 40.
There is certain to be some hurdles along the way, with one already in play. The plan includes the development of 185 hectares of land in Pierrefonds West – and it has been strongly opposed by a group of environmentalists, concerned about a large area of natural green space they claim would be destroyed. And that still needs to be addressed.
The REM is scheduled to be operational in 2021 – but there are still some important decisions and details to work out – in order to keep it ‘on track’.