Just less than a week after the historic Climate Strike that took place in Montreal on Friday, September 27th, 2019, Montreal mayor Valérie Plante has announced an ambitious and inspiring plan for the City of Montreal, with the goal of increasing mobility and decreasing greenhouse gases.

Mayor Plante announced yesterday a groundbreaking "Plan local de déplacement" (or PLD), a local plan of movement, which re-imagines of the borough of Ville-Marie with a focus on accessibility and safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Also woven throughout the PLD is a desire to give Montrealers more options when it comes to how they get around, and a plan to use public and shared transport to make the whole Island of Montreal, and even surrounding islands, more connected. 

The plan is set to roll out from 2020 to 2030, in line with the City of Montreal's commitment to "ecological transition," as well as the project Vision Zéro which is a philosophy that essentially states, "it is unacceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when they move through our public network of roads." 

This touches on the high number of trucks that are often in this area and the continuously high number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths that occur in this borough. The plan also considers that Ville-Marie is a connector, of sorts. It is a way in and out of several other prominent boroughs in the city's downtown core.

So, focusing on Ville-Marie as a foundation for the rest of the city, Mayor Plante has provided a concrete, 10-year plan, starting next year, for the City of Montreal when it comes to decreasing greenhouse gases by transforming the way people move through the city. (Well, Ville-Marie. For now.)

Here are the 6 steps Montreal is taking to transform...

The PLD sets out 6 objectives, which you can see in the diagram below.

In just this one tiny intersection there is a multitude of potential change, namely through this 6-step action plan:

  1. Optimize pedestrian paths
  2. Continue the development of the cycling network
  3. Support the key players of public transport
  4. Contain car transit and optimize parking
  5. Promote intermodality and improve options for multimodality 
  6. Minimize the negative impact of trucks on quality of life

The document, released by the city, notes that "with this plan, Ville-Marie is equipped with a tool that supports the 1.2 million trips that take place within its borders every day."

So how exactly do they plan to achieve the six things above? Take a look below.

1. Optimize pedestrian paths

In order to make walking more favourable, even if it's just between the metro and your work, is by creating larger sidewalks that are universally accessible and intersections that are safe.

This diagram also highlights opportunities connecting to the RESO or grabbing a bike from the bike parking lot.


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2. Continue the development of the cycling network

The bike parking lot is just one of a couple things that the PLD mentions in terms of continuing to develop the cycling network in Montreal.

The safe intersections also protect cyclists from turning vehicles, and a developed cycling network also includes protected bike lanes and more a bike-friendly traffic flow.

There's also mention of a bike-network app, which includes a map of bike shelters, lock stands and tire pumps stations, shown in the illustrations above.

3. Support the key players of public transport

The PLD also aims to increase Montrealers connectedness with the public transport systems available, including the public bus and metro system.

The diagram above also highlights a reserved public transit lane.

4. Contain car transit and optimize parking

The goal of many of the aforementioned objectives is, at the end of the day, really just to decrease solo-car traffic. The hope is that if you work in Ville-Marie but you don't live there, you leave your car at home (if you have one) because taking any other transport option has become so stupidly easy and unavoidable, it would be backwards to try and drive.

The PLD also includes the development of more charging stations for electric cars, and more designated car-sharing hubs around the city. There's also a nice little map that will display the transit system as it connects to the "arterial network."

5. Promote intermodality and improve options for multimodality 

In a similar vein, the PLD hopes to encourage people to embrace multiple forms of transit throughout their day. Essentially, you don't need to drive the whole way or you don't need to own a car, because so many alternative options are available.

This intersection, in particular, is a hub of mobility, with the metro and bus, a bike lane, a bike share and a car share.


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6. Minimize the negative impact of trucks on quality of life

One of the biggest changes that Ville-Marie would see with the completion of the Plan local de déplacement would be the squeezing out of large commercial trucks.

Spacially, the sidewalks will be bigger and more green spaces will be integrated into the downtown core.

This 6-step action plan has the ability to completely transform Ville-Marie, which would then create a solid core foundation for subsequently transforming the rest of Montreal to be more green, more adaptive in our transportation and all-around more accessible to human life.

Other notable mentions of the PDL include a "Mobility Passport" that would offer 1-year of service with the STM, BIXI and Communauto.

(I'm like... sign me up for that one right now.)

The PDL also mentions the improvement of access to Mount Royal and Jean-Drapeau Park as well as the continued development of Old Montreal and the Old Port as hubs of the city.

In terms of real action plans... I'm 100% behind this new vision of Montreal.

Check out the full plan (in French) here.

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