Coolopolis has an interesting post on Richard Bergeron, summing up with the following observation: “The weakness of the Montreal Projectionarian Party [ed: Projet Montréal] is that they are anti-car and to be anti-car is to be anti movement and cities require people to move around.”  Anecdotal evidence of the impact of parking price increases, the difficulty of running multiple errands involving hockey equipment, and the unreasonable doubling of parking ticket prices (up to $82!!!) lead to the conclusion that cars=movement and that any policy not catering to drivers will be harmful to the city.

While auto access to commercial streets is certainly an important part of the picture, it’s definitely not the whole thing.  Studies done by Convercité on Montréal’s commercial streets reveal that in many cases, the vast majority of patrons arrive on foot, rather than by car.  On Sherbrooke in NDG, only 12% of respondents arrived by car.  While ensuring easy and affordable automobile access for short shopping trips is important, it shouldn’t be over-estimated, nor should it preclude consideration of the alternatives, from the conversion of a handful of parking spots to restaurant terrasses or bike parking to Projet Montréal’s trams.  It strikes me that Bergeron is less against cars than he is in favour of other forms of mobility, which have been largely ignored in the last sixty years in favour of a car-centric conception of street spaces that has done a significant amount of harm.

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