May 18, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

REM: Essentially, nothing changes

REM: Essentially, nothing changes

We now have sketches of what the REM promoter would like to see urban development, but did not want to pay. We can immediately draw two conclusions: 1) In particular, the project has not changed; 2) CDPQ Infra once again sent the big bill to someone else.

Posted at 6:00 p.m.

Now that we’ve seen the all-Soviet beauty of REM West, CPDQ has provided a new, beautiful version for the Infra East version. More rounded corners for the apron, better hidden catenaries, a linear park on the ground under the REM.

But, for the most part, nothing changes. Despite the excellent recommendations of an advisory committee, very few are kept intact and important issues such as the use of steel for the pillars are completely ignored.

We make beautiful concrete pillars, OK, but even though they are made of carved marble, REM remains a big scar, a clumsy urban crack that makes some neighborhoods in Montreal.

On the other hand, on the 10% route, we realized that we would have to install “semi-opaque” noise barriers bordering the apron at a height of four meters. In short, when we want to make the project more elegant, we have what looks like a tunnel on stilts. It’s really beautiful and in the city center!

On the other hand, the most controversial route elements, such as Morgan Park or Chinatown Crossing, which the Quebec government intends to classify as heritage, have not been modified.

This week’s beautiful sun drawings provided by CDPQ Infra show a linear park with bicycle paths and a picnic for pedestrians. All this under and around the concrete deck. What the beautiful design could not show was the noise, vibrations and dirt that trains go through each route every two and a half minutes. Not sure if there is a beautiful linear park below Tracks Becomes so popular …

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All of these upgrades cost money. And CDPQ Infra does not want to pay anything because it is not related to the “transmission component” of the project. On the one hand, it does not count towards the total cost of REM de l’Est. On the other hand, we will send the invoice to the city of Montreal.

This is an issue of transparency. However it is also an administrative issue. We are going to dispose of them all in the city yard, have no opinion on this matter, but have yet to pay.

The risk is that not all of these developments will be carried out, especially due to the lack of endless resources in the city and other priorities, especially the aging of the necessary infrastructure. This is what Pierre Corrio, president of the Order of Architects, says: “We risk halfway through the project and we do not necessarily want to have. ⁇

In addition, the “one does not necessarily want to have” project has its important features.

To be profitable for its promoter, Metro’s green line will be forged between the city center and its terminus. In short, there is no other word: we cannibalize the green line. Let’s get down to the competition rather than compliment Metro.

In a typical governance situation – that is, if the CAQ government does not sell the body and soul to the promoter of the project, as the Coillard government did before it – it is enough to ask that we do our homework.

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Instead, the developer is allowed to ignore a reality on the ground: most of the eastern residents’ trips are to the east, not to the city center. With the exception of CDPQ Infra, the most lucrative is the central tour.

In particular, the government is ready to subsidize the promoter unequally. For West REM, it is 72 cents per passenger kilometer. For REM de l’Est, due to the low ridership, it will probably be even higher. In comparison, the STM Metro passenger gets a discount of 42 cents per passenger kilometer. Almost twice as much.

Under the guise of a route change requested by citizens, we understand why the connection with the Green Line in Honore-Beaugrand or Radisson was rejected – which is more appropriate. CDPQ Infra’s business model needs to keep its passengers as long as possible, which means doubling down on the metro along the way.

We also understand why the government and promoter REM do not want to give the city of Montreal a full partner governance system: the city does not want to sing the same song as the CDPQ-government choir. Tandem.