A group of concerned citizens from Park-Extension gathered at 407 Ogilvy’s second floor, numbering over 100 individuals. They anxiously awaited the announcement from public servants representing the City of Montreal. The news they received was disheartening – the borough would lose more than 250 parking spaces to make way for the construction of bike lanes on Ball Avenue, Querbes Avenue, and De l’Épée Avenue.
Among those in attendance was Mary Deros, the City Councilor for Park-Extension. In an interview with Newsfirst, she expressed her disappointment at the proceedings, stating that the public servants seemed to present the decision as a fait accompli. Despite the objections and concerns raised by the gathered residents, the officials indicated that they would have to adapt to this new reality, just as other boroughs in Montreal had done in similar circumstances.
Mary Deros extended an invitation to the community, urging them to attend the upcoming borough council meeting on July 4th. It would provide an opportunity for residents to express their concerns directly to the Mayor.
“These people were never consulted, and there was no consideration given by city officials regarding the impact this would have on their quality of life,” Deros remarked.
On the city’s official website, it is stated that Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension possesses a cycling network that facilitates enjoyable travel within the neighborhood, providing access to numerous parks, educational institutions, and the popular Jarry and Frédéric-Back parks. The cycling network supports both north-south and east-west travel and includes several connections to neighboring boroughs, enabling cyclists to seamlessly navigate their way throughout the city.
The cycling network is currently undergoing significant expansion, with several new routes scheduled to be added in 2023, primarily in the Saint-Michel and Parc-Extension neighborhoods. Specifically for Park-Extension, the newly proposed cycling routes will be situated on Ball Avenue (between Stuart Avenue and Durocher Street) and De L’Épée Avenue (between Beaumont and Ogilvy Avenues), as well as on Querbes Avenue (between Ogilvy Avenue and Crémazie Boulevard).
The loss of parking spaces in favor of bike lanes has generated considerable controversy and dissatisfaction among Park-Extension residents according to Deros. Many feel that their concerns were not adequately considered during the decision-making process. The July 4th borough council meeting will serve as a platform for the community to voice their opinions and engage in a meaningful dialogue with local authorities.
As the debate surrounding the development of cycling infrastructure continues, it remains to be seen how the community’s concerns will be addressed and whether alternative solutions can be found to balance the needs of both cyclists and motorists in Park-Extension.