CDN-NDG to Quebec: Prioritize Cavendish link
Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
March 7, 2012
Côte des Neiges-NDG borough council passed a resolution at their public meeting Monday night urging the Quebec government to prioritize the long awaited Cavendish-Cavendish link between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent. The resolution passed four to one, with councillor Peter McQueen voting against. The matter has been debated publicly for more than 40 years.
For years, Côte St. Luc opposed it for fear of added traffic in their area, but then supported it beginning in the 2000s under then-Mayor Robert Libman with a proposed indirect route. Now, all those affected – Côte St. Luc, St. Laurent, Côte des Neiges-NDG and Town of Mount Royal- are on side.
Snowdon Councillor Marvin Rotrand, who asked that the resolution be on Monday night’s council agenda, pointed out to The Suburban that Montreal considers Cavendish a priority. “The city feels it would solve traffic flow problems in much of the centre west of the island to have another north-south link west of Decarie,” he said. “There’s a consensus now -there wasn’t many years ago. We feel the Cavendish extension can unlock the developmental potential of a large part of the centre-west of the island, benefitting all the boroughs and all the communities.”
Rotrand says there is a consensus as well in favour of the link from frustrated members of the population who have to travel far east, north and then west, to get to a point that would be directly north if the Cavendish link existed. “All that’s necessary is for Quebec to say it’s a priority and get moving,” the councillor added. “The city council has, in the past, voted support for the Cavendish- Cavendish link, it created a project bureau, began working on plans, and the vision that the city council has is one of an urban boulevard where there will be a large role for public transit infrastructure, possibly a bus lane. It won’t be a mini-autoroute.”
Rotrand said it is important to reaffirm to the Quebec government that the Cavendish dossier has not been forgotten. “For us, it remains a priority and we’d like them to look at it more as a priority. Our thinking is, it’s on the government’s side – they haven’t come up with the bucks for it and we don’t feel there’s even been serious negotiations on it.”
Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather says his city has passed similar Cavendish resolutions several times. “We would be happy to pass [one] again if it was judged productive,” Housefather added. “We are undertaking whatever lobbying efforts we can in concert with TMR and the other municipalities.”
In my opinion: The Cavendish extension remains a major unkept promise by those who pushed for the forced mergers. Regardless of what was, the extension today is supported by all of the municipalities involved but it will take much more effort by Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay (who came to CSL to sell this project with his mergerites 10 years ago) and especially Jean Charest’s government. With the prospect of a looming provincial election there must be greater public pressure on this vital link that straddles two important ridings held by the Quebec liberals. D’Arcy McGee and St. Laurent.