Conflict over bike route renovation lands city in court with its neighbours

saint andres

The demerged suburbs are drawing a hard line in the sand with City of Montréal. They are rejecting a bill they’ve been issued to help widen the sidewalks on rue Saint-Andrés in the Plateau, and they’re asking the Quebec Superior Court to intervene.

The city has big plans for Saint-Andrés. The street has been ripped up to make way for bike route that will give priority to cyclists on the road. The Agglomeration Council will pay 35 per cent of the $24.7 million project.

The bike network on the island of Montreal falls under the purview of the agglomeration, and this project was approved last February, according to Montreal-West Mayor Beny Masella, who also serves as President of the Association of Suburban Municipalities.

Masella says he has no issue with bike path project, per se. He takes issue with the cities attempt to tack on a $285,000 side contract to widen the sidewalks on the same street.

“The sidewalks are being enlarged strictly to make it easier for pedestrians on the sidewalks and to allow for easier snow removal,” Masella said in an interview with CJAD 800 News. “That’s great, that’s wonderful. We’re paying for the VéloRoute, what do we have to do with snow clearing on your sidewalks?”

He says the sidewalks have nothing to do with the bike path project itself and should be the sole responsibility of the borough.

The Association of Suburban Municipalities has filed an injunction with the Quebec Superior Court. They are asking the Court to rule that the contract should not be paid by the Agglomeration but rather by the local government.

“We understand it may seem like it’s a small amount,” Masella said, referring to the $285,000 price tag. “We just have to use the court to define some very clear lines where the agglomeration responsibilities end and where local responsibilities take over.”


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