The main access to the summit of Mount Royal, the Camillien-Houde route, will be closed to vehicles in 2027, Valérie Plante confirmed on Wednesday. Remembrance Road will become the only way to access the mountain by car or bus.
Confirming information published by The Press, the mayor unveiled a project for the total redevelopment of this artery, where some 10,000 motorists drive every day.
In place of the current road, “we will create a large promenade for pedestrians with a parallel and separate path for cyclists,” said Mr.me Plant, evoking a “massive greening” of the artery. “We show courage. »
Emergency vehicles will be able to circulate, but not cars. They will have to use Remembrance Road, on the other side of the mountain, in the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district. So do Société de transport de Montréal (STM) buses.
“We are taking our responsibility and taking the concrete and ambitious actions that are expected of us to respond to the challenges of our time and the needs of future generations,” said the mayor. The Mountain will no longer be a shortcut, but it will remain an international-caliber destination. »
“At the heart of the vision we are presenting to you today is the safety of the most vulnerable: pedestrians and cyclists,” added Ms.me Plant. “The mountain belongs to everyone. To all Montrealers. »
The decision comes after years of procrastination over the future of the main access to Mount Royal, amid concerns for ecology, safety and accessibility.
In the past, Valérie Plante has often shown herself to be open to the redevelopment of the Camillien-Houde route, where the death of Clément Ouimet, a young 18-year-old cyclist, during a collision with a motorist had left its mark in 2017. another cyclist died at the foot of the hill in 2021.
Two years later, after a pilot project blocking through traffic, the mayor argued that the status quo was “no longer possible”.
Firefighters opposed to complete closure
At the end of August, The Press revealed that the Plante administration had asked Montreal firefighters for their opinion on the possibility of completely closing the road to vehicles.
“A new option consisting of developing the Camillien-Houde lane for the exclusive use of pedestrians and cyclists” is being studied by the City, revealed a note from the Montreal Fire Safety Service (SIM). The service, however, was opposed to the idea: “According to our studies, there will be an increase in our travel times. »
At the end of the document, the SIM stated that it favored the status quo. “In the event that there is a modification”, the development of an “emergency road six meters wide and cleared of snow in winter” would be “necessary”, said the service. This width would allow “a vehicle to pass pedestrians even if there are snow banks”.
Last spring, the municipal council voted for a loan of 45 million to finance the design and construction of redevelopment work on Camillien-Houde Road and Remembrance Road, to be carried out by 2026.
The documents given to elected officials before the vote, however, did not say a word about the possibility of completely closing the Camillien-Houde route to cars – the person responsible for mobility within the Plante administration simply mentioned a “very exciting proposal”.
The following month, Mayor Valérie Plante lamented that the project was taking longer than expected to see the light of day. She spoke while a cousin of Clément Ouimet had just been himself the victim of a motorist who lost control of his vehicle. He was not seriously injured.