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Fine dining and cars don't mix

“I’ll have a side of exhaust with my foie gras and hold the drunken drivers.”

In Projet Montreal’s reasonably sound campaign against all things four wheeled, the local Plateau Montreal borough council may have just come up with a boner of a bad idea.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the local council has agreed to allow restaurants on St. Laurent Blvd. and Mont-Royal Blvd. to install terrasses that extend into the street. That’s street as in where cars, buses and trucks go whizzing by.

Now just as a refresher, St. Laurent Blvd. not too long ago underwent a redo that effectively widened the sidewalks and narrowed the road way on an already well trafficked major artery. No such redo to widen sidewalks on Mont-Royal Blvd.

The idea behind widening the sidewalks was, in part, to allow for those very same terrasses that were already creeping onto the much narrower pre-existing sidewalks.

And while there’s much to be said for eating outdoors, these summertime terrasses only add to an already existing jumble of sidewalk activity.

Take a stroll down St. Laurent in May and you’ll run into – sometimes literally – bicyclists, roller bladers, skateboarders, waiters, assorted canines, perpetual deliveries, feasting pigeons, valets, the less fortunate pan handling, and, yes, traffic.

Loads and loads of those aforementioned cars, buses and trucks weaving the very same obstacles, as they try to reach their destination or, presumably in the cases of the Lamborghinis, just to be repeatedly seen and admired.

And now to make this experience all the more fun, local residents will actually get to eat in the middle of it instead. Literally.

Sorry this is a good idea, dumbly applied. Cars and dining do not go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

If you really want to eat in the middle of traffic, then open terrasses on the Metropolitan expressway for rush hour commuters.

But if you want to eat on St. Laurent Blvd. and Mont-Royal Blvd. then local council would be well-advised to do what Ville-Marie council has already done in the Gay Village and close the streets to traffic all together.
 

Comments

  • Carol Roach, Montreal Mental Health Examiner 4 years ago

    I don't usually frequent that part of the city, I do eat at terraces on Monkland Boul and that seems to be working fine. I agree with you as nice and European as the idea is, if it hampers traffic it is not a very good application of the idea

  • lise 4 years ago

    On Laurier Ave., East of Parc Ave. there are terrasses taking up parking spots and it works just fine.
    The people complaining the loudest for parking on St-Laurent are the restaurant owners, and they are the ones who have requested these same parking spots for terrasses.
    Ideally, we'd have fewer cars driving up St-Laurent (or any other Plateau street). Having fewer parking spots will result in people who drive to the Plateau switching to alternate transportation, then we all come out winners. Those drivers who decide not to come to St-laurent to eat, they will be replaced by those who appreciate the vibrancy on the street that these terrasses will contribute to. Another bonus is that fewer people will be getting in their cars after having consumed alcohol and that will not only improve life on the Plateau but will protect life wherever those cars with innibriated drivers are heading. So, I say Go Projet Montreal, Go! And to their detractors, I say get with the times: adapt and enjo