Pedestrianization of Notre-Dame St. reversed following pushback from merchants, community

A truck removing the pedestrian walkway set up on Notre-Dame St. overnight, after pushback from local merchants caused the city to reconsider

By Katelyn Thomas, CTV Montreal

MONTREAL -- After facing major pushback from local merchants, the mayor of Montreal’s Sud-Ouest borough announced that the pedestrianization of Notre-Dame St. will be reversed. 

The news comes a day after the set up was erected with no notice. Merchants, drivers and pedestrians alike were surprised to see that the street – a main artery in the borough – had been transformed overnight between Wednesday and Thursday into a one-way headed west.

Despite the enthusiasm of the groups involved in the setup, “it seems like this installation is not appreciated by local merchants and we have therefore made the decision to remove the temporary installation and explore other ways of supporting local businesses,” Sud-Ouest Mayor Benoit Dorais posted to his Facebook page. 

The installation was part of the city’s effort to support local businesses through the pandemic by setting up a few temporary pedestrian walkways and bike paths in different boroughs. The city claims there's proof these types of installations actually benefit merchants, despite the fact that they disrupt parking. 

 “The numbers are there, the clients are there, so it’s good for business," said Plateau-Mont-Royal city councillor Luc Rabouin. 

Dorais said in his post that businesses who have installed terraces can hang onto them, and others who'd like to set them up are allowed to. 

"The year 2020 presents unique challenges and it represents an opportunity to try out developments and rethink the city," Dorais said. "We will continue to work with merchants in the Sud-Ouest to ensure we support them and find the best ways to allow them to shine despite the current health crisis."

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