Peel Street to be transformed: fewer lanes for vehicles, more space for pedestrians and cyclists

There are more changes on the way for another downtown street- this time it's Peel Street.

A plan presented to the Montreal executive committee earlier this week features fewer lanes for traffic and parking and more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

There are three options for the area between Réné-Lévesque and Sherbrooke: all of them only have one lane of traffic going north - right now there's one lane in each direction. Then it's a matter of two, one or no bike paths.

All parking will disappear from Peel north of Sherbrooke where there will be wider sidewalks and there'll only be one lane of parking south of Réné-Lévesque with two bike paths. There is now parking on both sides.

The four lanes of traffic below Réné-Lévesque will be cut to two - one northbound, one southbound.

"The vision is really to give priority to pedestrians first, and to cyclists and then to motorized traffic," said Pierre Sainte-Marie, division head responsible for major urban projects.

"The idea is really to give more importance to active transportation."

These proposals are in addition to the current revamp of Ste Catherine Street West which will also see reduced lanes for vehicles, less parking and wider sidewalks.

"It is a recipe for serious congestion that we already have," said traffic expert Rick Leckner in an interview with CJAD 800.

Leckner said the plan for Peel south of Réné-Lévesque needs to be studied more thoroughly before going ahead, especially with a possible new baseball stadium in the Peel Basin.

"I think you need the two lanes in either direction to accomodate the traffic to the sports arenas, to accomodate the traffic to the Victoria Bridge, and just a general flow of traffic from Griffintown to the center of the city," said Leckner.

The entire project is expected to cost around $65M and wrap up in 2021.

Public consultations are under way including discussions with merchants and property owners.

You can take a look at the proposals and have your say at the city's website.