Montreal's Ste-Catherine Street being revitalized, Is this Montreal project, for the better?

I did not know, consultations had started back in June 2014. Most probably many people in and around Montreal did not know this fact either, unless you are …. I am very often downtown and I have never seen anyone questioning passersby, a hidden secret.

I find the project interesting, innovative in design compared to what we have at present. The city states they want to show exemplary project management for the work to come and better communication with the citizens. We will give them a chance!

Basically a year ago the city started an active consultation of thousands of Montreal citizens, organization representatives were actively participating in the consultation in order to define with the city the revitalization concept that will contribute for decades to come, to the vitality of downtown Saint Catherine Street.

With the kept revitalization concept, the city poses a strong gesture for the future of Saint Catherine Street West. Choosing audacity, innovation and flexibility offering Montrealers a new layout, a bigger space for pedestrians (6.5 meters), a Saint Catherine Street embellished, friendlier and more dynamic.

The city wants to thank, the experts, and socio-economic actors, retailers, street users, residents and to Montreal citizens that have giving time and energy in defining this project.Ste_Catherine_at_Eaton_center

Presentation of the Saint Catherine Street revitalization Project “French only”

Comments on certain elements of the project

A few things come to mind with this project especially after reading and watching the promotional video (video at end of article). Firstly, I know we are in a French environment, many of the people are English, why is the video not in both official languages, you would capture a bigger spectrum of people, NO?

What is the estimated cost for the revitalization of Saint Catherine Street? What is the estimated (realistically) time frame for the execution of this well managed project?

The heated sidewalks for Saint Catherine Street. Does this mean, I will be able to walk bare foot during winter? The project is being presented with heated sidewalks. What for and why? For our foot comfort when wearing boots?

Project people, have you thought of the energy cost to use such a system? I know this system will not be electric, but, heating concrete blocks takes a lot of energy, especially at -30 celsius. Heated sidewalks will not attract more people on Saint Catherine Street. When it rains or snows it fall on us heated sidewalks don’t help this from happening. If the heated sidewalks are built to melt the snow or ice, this is NOT A VERY GOOD idea and far from being cost efficient to build and maintain. You want more people to go shopping or walking on Saint Catherine Street, rain, snow or shine. Build a clear roof over a portion of the sidewalk, up to the trees and benches (similar to St-Hubert Street).

1-    If there is a break, it will be easier to repair rather than digging the sidewalk.

2-    It will cost less to build a covered sidewalk versus a heated sidewalk.

3-    No need for snow removal on a sidewalk that is covered, we are saving there also.

4-    Even with rain/snow people will be able to walk about, retailers have a possibility of having more customers, thus doing better business and more satisfied.

5-    Longer life span to the deco blocks comprising the sidewalk.

I am awaiting comments from city project officials, Saint Catherine Street retailers, anyone that was involved or not in the project concept. I don’t know all the intricacies of the project and would like to hear your thoughts on the Saint Catherine Street project.