How to Rethink Our Streets

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Boulevard, Montreal, Spring 2011

Urban design proposed for the boulevard, February 2012

Last year, my team and the planning service of Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles borough worked to rethink the design of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Boulevard. It is located east of downtown Montreal, where it crosses old districts from the early 1900s and suburbs from the 1960s. It was planned for 2,200 cars per hour, but only 700 cars per hour use it at its peak. In other words, it poses a considerable challenge.

This five-kilometre boulevard starts in the old urban district, bordering the St. Lawrence River, then passes through a commercial area typical of the 1960s, before furrowing through an industrial park, crossing a future train station and then ends up against the Rivière des Prairies in the far east end of Montreal.

Our project evolved for a few months, then was presented to merchants who now fear an economic slowdown caused by an increased risk of congestion on the boulevard. They basically see the projet as a very bad opportunity for them.

As often is the case, we must defend the idea of ​​rethinking how to build the city and encourage merchants to understand the added value created by the renewal of the urban structure, explaining the benefit of trees and vegetation along the streets, not only for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, but also for the good of all by working to create a city that is part of a sustainable development of our natural environment: the compact city, populous and dynamic. The green city.

As I write this paper, the project continues to evolve and is now promoted by the Transport Department of the City of Montreal, which seeks to capture the benefits for all to modify this wide boulevard. Our conclusion is simply to look forward to thinking of green and multifunctional streets.

This entry was written by Daniel Corbeil , posted on Sunday June 17 2012at 12:06 pm , filed under Architecture, Art and Design, Canada, Environment, Transportation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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