The Suburban

January 8th, 2014

When it comes to the long-awaited but still not even close Cavendish extension between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent, there have been more false starts on this project than a car’s in the coldest of Montreal winters.

Promises have been heard over and over again from various mayors, and especially during the merger era (2002-2005), when an indirect link — as suggested by Côte St. Luc — was agreed upon and a $5 million project bureau set up.

And yet, the project remains on the shelf, notwithstanding Mayor Denis Coderre’s inclusion of the link on his wish list during his election campaign

“It’s indeed hard to keep track of Montreal’s wishy-washy promises when it comes to extending Cavendish Boulevard,” longtime Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen accurately stated on his blog this past fall. However, he does add that “any promise to put Cavendish back on track is indeed a positive step.”

Some believe that the planned Hippodrome housing project not only raises hopes for Cavendish, but make the link a necessity, as the homes would be in very close proximity to where a link would take place. Côte St. Luc councillor Dida Berku is a proponent of this view, also recently saying the development could yield a rapid public transit bus line for west enders to the Namur Metro station near Jean Talon, which would be accessible through a separate link road from an extended Cavendish.

Another sign of hope is the announcement that $1.2 million was approved by the Montreal executive committee in its capital works budget to update the $5 million merger-era study. On the other hand, Montreal has not yet — as is called for the Hippodrome project agreement — approved $44 million in the capital works budget for Phase 1 of the link.

In more than 45 years of ups and downs where Cavendish is concerned, 2014 brings a slight up, in that the project is at least being studied again and not forgotten. But the progress of the Hippodrome project over the next several years could possibly bring better news.

Or not.