Author and playwright Michel Tremblay laments the pedestrianization of Mont-Royal Avenue in the context of the health crisis. On Facebook and in an interview with Radio-Canada, he criticized the arrangements put in place by the municipal administration to facilitate respect for physical distance.
“I went for a walk on the avenue yesterday like many other people and I am completely devastated,” said Friday morning on ICI Première. Yesterday, the writer, who has lived in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough since his childhood, described the situation on Mont-Royal avenue as a “carnage”, via social networks.
In the last days, the borough has started to pedestrianize the artery, which will continue until the fall. For now, orange and white bollards mark out the pedestrian and cyclist routes. “It is immeasurably ugly and there was nobody on the street at the time I was there,” said Tremblay. The City, however, ensures that more aesthetic fixed facilities will be installed by Saturday.
“We hope it will get better. I’m not saying it’s going to stay that way for the rest of the summer. But for the moment, it’s absolutely sorry, “added Michel Tremblay.
“We closed the street so that passers-by could go for a walk and the walkers did not start to move.” -Michel Tremblay, writer and playwright
Mr. Tremblay is particularly concerned for motorists in the area.
“If we cut traffic on this street, we have to think of the people who live in Plateau-Mont-Royal, the people who have cars to park around. It’s going to be pandemonium for them, “he imagined in reference to a literary expression meaning” the capital of hell. “
Avenue du Mont-Royal is one of the main shopping streets in summer. In normal times, it becomes particularly crowded during trade fairs that take place during the summer season and which cause pedestrianization of the artery.
In interview at Subway this week, the general manager of the Mont-Royal avenue commercial development company, Claude Rainville, said he expects that the pedestrianization of the artery will help boost the revenues of traders, who have suffered greatly of the health crisis.
According to a survey carried out by the organization, only 11% of the customers of this very busy axis go there by car. The rest go there by bicycle (12%), on foot (54%) and by public transport (20%).
Demonstration on Rachel Street
On the other hand, citizens again demonstrated on Rachel Street Friday to denounce the arrangements put in place by the City to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists. They deplore the fact that these are leading to the withdrawal of parking spaces. This health corridor also disrupts the circulation of bus and adapted transportation of the Société de transport de Montréal in the area.
Already on June 10, a similar mobilization on the eastern section of the artery had mobilized around fifty people.
On May 15, the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, presented her Summer travel plan. This provides for the temporary development of 200 km of safe lanes for pedestrians and cyclists.
The plan has since raised many criticisms. The City notably had to backtrack on the pedestrianization of part of Saint-Laurent Boulevard because merchant reviews. The Ombudsman also opened an investigation after receiving numerous complaints. These relate in particular to developments planned on avenue Christophe-Colomb as well as rue Beaubien and rue de Bellechasse.