We are a collective of neighborhood coalition groups, community organizations, institutions, and concerned citizens that have been meeting to discuss and fully understand the impact and implications of rebuilding the elevated highway structures constituting the Turcot interschange, including its many access ramps. Member groups of Mobilisation Turcot come from various parts of the Southwest of Montreal:
- from St-Henri and Côte-Saint-Paul,
- the "Village des Tanneries" on the north end of St-Henri, on the edge of the 720, and
- the Galt sector south of the Turcot interchange, beneath autoroute 15.
We are united as a "Partnership table mobilized for the Turcot project" and have been concentrating on the following points:
Inform the public, with respect to the various studies conducted by experts who have analysed the impacts of the Turcot Project as currently proposed by the Quebec Minister of Transport.
Prepare ourselves for the meeting with the "Bureau des Audiences Publiques sur l'Environnement (BAPE)" organized by the Ministry responsible for sustainable development, the environment and parcs (consultations held in June 2009).
We are mobilized against this project, because we believe the South-West will be even more exposed to the ill effects of pollution, in the form of increased traffic and the production of greenhouse gases. One cannot ignore the negative impact this new project will have on the development of this area, numerous apartments and houses will be expropriated and destroyed, forcibly causing citizens from these affected areas to leave their neighborhoods.
It is essential that special measures be taken to ensure that any project, of such large scale, not only protect but actually improve public health conditions. Measures such as: the reduction of local pollution, the increased availability of public transit (which would in turn reduce our dependence on automobiles), the safeguarding of current levels of affordable housing, are all important elements to incorporate into any such project.
In fact, many cities around the world have demonstrated their ability to create large scale projects that benefit the future health of the local population, by reducing traffic flow while ensuring better access to public transport. The benefits of this kind of approach are felt at both a local and global level.
Isn't it about time that Quebec, particularly Montreal, take significant steps towards a greener and more sustainable future? Isn't it time for progressive -- and not regressive -- transportation policies?