St. Jacques Escarpment future – Linking NDG to the South-West and beyond
By: John Symon – mtltimes.ca
The NDG Community Council, in partnership with the citizen’s group Sauvons la falaise! is hosting a Pubic Assembly on June 1st 2016 to discuss the future of The Falaise St-Jacques (Escarpment). This is a narrow ribbon of green space squeezed between St. Jacques Street in NDG and where the new Turcot highway project is taking place in the South-West.
“In 2010, the Ministry of Transport of Quebec (MTQ) promised a bike / pedestrian bridge would be built from NDG to the South-West as part of the Turcot interchange reconstruction plans,” says Lisa Mintz of Sauvons la falaise! “The MTQ has now quietly and underhandedly dropped this from their plans.”
She notes that such a bridge would link communities surrounding the falaise St. Jacques, encourage active transportation and allow all to better enjoy green spaces.
The bridge, also called the “Dalle Park,” was proposed to link with a path descending from St. Jacques Street near Cavendish Blvd, then cross over the relocated Highway 20 and CN train tracks, cross underneath Notre Dame St W and link to the Lachine Canal bike path. Unofficial cost estimates for the bridge are in the vicinity of $37 million.
“The Turcot project is supposed to cost $3.7 billion in total,” points out Mintz. “Surely the MTQ can spend at least one percent of that for pedestrians, bicyclists, protecting green space, and helping inner city neighbourhoods…”
Groups such as the Green Coalition; GRAME; Héritage Laurentien; Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook; Mouvement Ceinture Verte; Piétons Québec; Sierra Club Québec; Saint Henri Initiatives Urbaines; and Vélo Québec have already advocated for this bridge.
Speakers for this event include: Patrick Asch (biologist) talking about “Connectivity and environmental justice potentials;” Sam Boskey (ex-city councillor: NDG) – “History of the falaise St. Jacques;” and Jason Savard (NDG Association of Pedestrians and Cyclists) – “Potential of the bike / pedestrian bridge connecting NDG with the South-West.”
The evening will focus on how residents of NDG, the South-West, Lachine, LaSalle, Verdun, as well as those of Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West and Westmount, could use this corridor to connect their neighborhoods in ways never been done before. Admission to this assembly is free and light refreshments will be served. The public assembly will be on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 from 6-8pm at the Trinity Memorial Church: 5220 Sherbrooke St. W., NDG (Vendome Metro).