12/06/2012 03:49 EST | Updated 02/05/2013 05:12 EST

Décarie plans draw lukewarm reaction

A Montreal city councillor is asking the city to review new plans to redevelop the areas around the McGill University Health Centre and close a part of the Upper Lachine Road to vehicles.

The city unveiled its plan for the region surrounding the new superhospital and the Décarie Boulevard in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Côte-des-Neiges (NDG) borough on Thursday.

Among its plans, the city wants to close traffic access to Upper-Lachine Road between Crowley Avenue and the Décarie and De Maisonneuve intersection. The area will be transformed into a public space for pedestrians and cyclists.

NDG councillor Peter McQueen said the new plans won't improve safety for cyclists.

McQueen said he wishes the lack of bicycle lanes near the Vendôme metro station and a pedestrian bridge above the Décarie Boulevard were addressed in the plans.

Alain Tassé, the member of the Montreal executive committee responsible for urban development calls the current setup a “no man’s land.”

“We want to make it more convivial for cyclists and pedestrians, and make it a more livable space,” said Tassé.

In a news release, the city said it will create new one-way bicycle lanes and protected zones for cyclists to improve safety.

Nearby bus routes will also be adjusted to better serve the neighbourhood.

The boulevard has been causing headaches for drivers and residents since construction crews began working at the MUHC site last year. The city was forced to close off nearby roads and re-route traffic.

Last June, cyclists demanded more lanes and claimed the current configuration was dangerous.

The city said minor work on the Décarie will begin next spring but the full-scale project should begin in 2014.