Proposed Dalle-Parc pedestrian and bicycle bridge – Proponents of the proposed Dalle-Parc (pedestrian and bicycle bridge) over Highway 20 are keeping up pressure to ensure the structure gets built. Some 40 people turned up on June 11 in front of the Quebec Transport Ministry (MTQ) offices on René Lévesque Blvd with a large banner, asking for answers about the project
“In 2010, former Liberal MTQ Minister Sam Hamad promised this bridge as part of the multibillion dollar Turcot project, but then it was quietly dropped from the plans,” said Lisa Mintz of Sauvons la Falaise. “For years, we have been fighting to get the government to honour its promise; we are now worried the bridge will be ‘unpromised’ a second time.”
“It is one year since the 2017 Grand rassemblement pour le retour de la Dalle-Parc took place. Since then, the file has advanced…the City of Montreal has committed to this. MTQ Minister Fortin, as well as Premier Couillard have said that the project will be realized, said Tania Gonzalez of the Conseil régional de l’environnement (CRE) de Montréal.
“While these signs are encouraging, we still do not know the timeline of the project and have not had a formal financial commitment in the provincial budget,” added Gonzalez.
Mintz expressed frustration that neither the provincial government nor Montreal is ensuring that the next step—public consultations—will take place soon.
“This $40 million bridge represents only about 1% of the total cost of the $4 billion Turcot reconstruction. It is also essentially the only part of this mega-project that is for cyclists and pedestrians, but in 2010, it was the first part of the Turcot to be cut.”
Mintz also suggests that the Dalle-Parc is symptomatic of a larger problem; the MTQ has no target for how much of its overall budget is allocated for active transport. “Amazingly, the MTQ does not even seem to be keeping track of what it is spending on active transport. But from what we can determine, that number is well under 1% of its budget across Quebec.”
“Quebec gives lip service to encouraging walking or riding bicycles, but is simply not spending on the necessary infrastructure for this to ever happen,” she lamented. Still, Mintz said she is encouraged that an announcement on the Dalle-Parc project will be made soon as reported by Global News.
While the Liberals have now said they are in favour of the Dalle-Parc, Gonzalez wants other Quebec political parties to commit to the plan.
The Dalle-Parc bridge would begin near the intersection of St. Jacques Street and Cavendish Blvd in NDG, crossing over the new CN train tracks and the new Highway 20. From there, a bike and pedestrian path would link to the Lachine Canal bike path, less than 1km from St. Jacques Street.
An existing pedestrian bridge already crosses the Lachine canal here, near Irwin Street in the Southwest, providing easy access to Angrignon Park and metro station as well as to LaSalle. In French “Dalle” can mean “stepping stone” and that is what the name refers to. Currently, it is about an 8km bicycle ride from the bottom of Cavendish Blvd to Irwin Street, and cyclists must traverse some dangerous intersections to get there.
By: John Symon – firstname.lastname@example.org