Mount Royal Accessibility

Photo : © Les amis de la montagne

In our capacity as trusted friends of Mount Royal, Les amis de la montagne calls for easy and safe access to the mountain. Whether users travel on foot, by bike, by bus or by car, Mount Royal should be accessible to everyone.

Accessibility and Safe Mobility Solutions for Mount Royal

Les amis de la montagne has been involved in discussions about the accessibility of Mount Royal for over 30 years. The debate intensified in recent months with the tragic death of a young training cyclist on Camillien-Houde in the fall of 2017, which brought attention to safety and cohabitation issues of our various park and mountain users.

More recently, the City of Montréal has announced a pilot project to stop car transit traffic on the Remembrance/Camillien-Houde roadway. Scheduled from June 2 to October 31, 2018, this project is accompanied by a consultative process (Les voies d'accès au mont Royal) conducted by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) to feel the pulse of Montrealers on this subject and on the future of Remembrance/Camillien-Houde.

The City is also working on two other projects related to mountain accessibility:

  • the redevelopment project for the Côte-des-Neiges/Remembrance interchange sector, which will start in the spring of 2019 and last one year;
  • the development of a global vision of accessibility and mobility for the Mount Royal territory to be adopted in July 2019.
We understand that the City has decided to carry out the pilot project in parallel with the development of its global vision in order to rapidly take concrete action. In a bid to ensure that the operation is as fruitful as possible, Les amis de la montagne has shared our recommendations—developed jointly with several Mount Royal territory stakeholders—so that the pilot project enlightens the future of accessibility on the mountain.

Public participation in the OCPM's consultation process will have a significant impact on the City's decisions regarding the future of mountain accessibility, which is why we encourage citizens to participate in large numbers.

For our part, we will continue promoting our vision for the repurposing of Remembrance/Camillien-Houde as a scenic roadway that provides an experience of the mountain that lives up to its status as heritage site and meets today’s accessibility and mobility needs. Moreover, access by public transit or active transportation to the Mount Royal summit vicinity, where one of the main entrances to Mount Royal Park is located, still requires additional measures to make it efficient, safe and user-friendly.

Our recommendations:

  1. The redevelopment of the Remembrance/Camillien-Houde roadway must result from a strategy and action plan encompassing the territory as a whole.
  2. Public transit service on Mount Royal needs to be significantly improved to meet the needs of all mountain users - families, people with reduced mobility, picnickers and outdoor recreational sports enthusiasts with their equipment, etc.
  3. The redevelopment choices for Remembrance Road and Camillien-Houde Way must be made for the benefit of all users coming to Mount Royal for the mountain experience. It is therefore unnecessary to attribute sports equipment functions to these access roads that would exclude certain uses or users and constitute a form of appropriation of the public domain that runs counter to the vision of universal access to Mount Royal.
  4. Road safety reform on the Mount Royal territory must incorporate the goals advocated by the global Vision Zero road safety movement, which Montréal has adhered to since 2016 and has begun deploying as part of its transportation plan. In this spirit, the Remembrance/Camillien-Houde roadway will have to be redeveloped foremost to ensure the quality of the cohabitation experience between its various users: pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users, motorists, etc.
  5. In light of its repurposing, the Remembrance/Camillien-Houde roadway must contribute to the overall quality of Mount Royal users’ experience and integrate the heritage values ​​of the Mount Royal Heritage Site, as specified in the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan and Atlas du paysage du mont Royal. It will thus become an inviting means of access and travel to enjoy the exceptional landscape and natural qualities of the mountain.
  6. The vehicular access function of Remembrance Road and Camillien-Houde Way to the Mount Royal summit sector must be maintained. However, through traffic must be significantly reduced by means of traffic calming design or toll fees, or eliminated at  certain times of the day, perhaps even definitely if the experience is conclusive.

It is clear that accessibility and road safety on the mountain are real concerns for many Montrealers. Potential solutions, such as increasing public transit to and over the mountain, developing incentive parking lots on the outskirts and distributing information on pedestrian accesses to Mount Royal, must equally be evaluated and implemented.

This is an opportunity for the City to adopt an exemplary approach in the implementation of a visionary redevelopment project of high quality for Montréal and its citizens. Les amis de la montagne is more than ready to make an informed and constructive contribution to this process.

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