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Petition: NO to the Dalhousie Corridor

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Read it now!  NO to the Dalhousie Bus Corridor

We citizens, associations, unions are calling on Montreal’s political forces and their candidates: We are asking for a moratorium on the implementation of the exclusive bus corridor known as the Dalhousie Corridor, tied to the autoroute project known as Quartier Bonaventure.

We are making an appeal to this end, and would like to launch a citywide debate on transportation. Choices on these issues have to be consistent with the socio-economic and ecological context of the 21st century.

Over 1000 buses a day would go through this 700-meter corridor located in a residential zone, thereby monopolizing the life of the neighbourhood and jeopardizing development of the last downtown area that still can be developed, in addition to threatening the survival of an architectural complex of great heritage value.

The Corridor would needlessly drain public resources.

The Dalhousie Corridor would use up enormous financial resources that could be better spent elsewhere. It has been announced that building this 700-meter passage would require an 86 million dollar budget, amounting to over $120,000 per meter. At the stage of traffic studies, several much less expensive alternative routes were too hastily considered, and innovative new routes keep on appearing. All these routes deserve to be more closely evaluated, to see if their costs can be justified or not in relation to the benefits they would bring.

The Corridor would create a new barrier between the Sud-Ouest and Ville-Marie, at the cost of the safety of users and the people living nearby.

Even as the Société du Havre de Montréal wishes to put on the ground an urban autoroute so as to « re-establish transversal links and recreate a new living environment » , it is now recommending setting up a bus corridor that will act as an even greater barrier than the one currently imposed by the autoroute structure. Furthermore, the Dalhousie corridor would present new complications due to the serious lack of visibility experienced at intersections, particularly at rush hours, thus putting at risk the safety of the people living nearby, of car drivers, of bus drivers and their clients, of pedestrians and of cyclists. The alternative routes mentioned above feature safer solutions, for bus drivers and car drivers as well as for the people living nearby and those moving on foot or on bike.

The Corridor would harm the health of the people living nearby.

According to a report published in 2007 by the Direction de la santé publique (ASSSM), pollution by airborne particles increases the mortality risk in Quebec. Atmospheric pollution significantly increases the risk of death in the city.

As the number of buses circulating in the corridor and of the significant slowing down of vehicles on the urban boulevard increases, so would the generation and concentration of polluting gases.

While we must encourage car drivers from the South Shore to use public transit instead, this should not be at the expense of the local population, and the solution adopted should take into consideration the health of the people living nearby, especially if one of the major objectives of the Quartier Bonaventure project is to create 2,800 new dwellings in the neighbourhood and to encourage families to live there.

We demand that local development and the citizens’ well-being be taken into account in transportation planning.

Public investments have to favour local development, help distribute activities in the whole area, adapt means of transportation to the new realities of the dawning century.

We applaud the SHM for having acknowledged, through the Quartier Bonaventure project, that autoroutes are a symbol of a dying era, that of cheap energy and unmindfulness of the ecological consequences of economic activity. It would now be time for the political forces in Montreal to also denounce this era of authoritarian rule by elected officials in setting public policy. We are in the age of sustainability and local development. We demand that our leaders and elected officials listen to us and that they take into account these new dimensions, with which the setting up of the Dalhousie Corridor is not compatible.

You will find attached the signatures of different citizens, associations and unions which are in agreement with this petition.