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The train, an ecologically responsible transportation choice in Montreal

Optimizing public transportation

Pedestrians and cyclists first

Discouraging fossil-fuel-intensive transportation choices

Cars take the back seat

A rail station just steps away is possible

Prioritizing safety and security

Access to all transportation systems

Optimizing public transit.

One strategy envisioned by the Petite Rivière project is to maximize the potential of active transportation (human-powered transportation). Building upon the City of Montreal initiatives, we would enlarge the network of bicycle paths and increase connections between paths that lead to the site and those on the site itself. Optimizing public transit by extending some bus routes, introducing shuttles to serve existing railway stations and/or creating a new station on the site will also be carefully considered. Equally important will be efforts to greatly reduce traffic and private automobile ownership, through car-sharing and car-pooling options, and by providing jobs, recreation and shopping within easy walking distances of homes.

  Montreal’s bixi bikes

Fostering a clean transportation community won’t be easy, and will require close collaboration with the authorities responsible for existing public transit infrastructures. For more information, please consult Points of References, which summarizes all the physical plans for the site.

Pedestrians and cyclists first

The Petite Rivière project’s transportation strategy assigns priority to safe and convenient walking and cycling, as the abundance of interlinked paths and trails on site demonstrates. Better connections with adjoining neighborhoods and the public transit system can further improve the social and environmental performance of a community. Vehicles will have limited priority, and there will be more choices for non-polluting mobility in an active transportation network. By emphasizing our paths and trails over roads, we give more people an opportunity to get fit and get around safely in a family-friendly natural setting.

Discouraging fossil-fuel-intensive transportation choices.

Our goal at Petite Rivière is to eventually eliminate carbon emissions and air pollution resulting from travel within the neighborhood and to greatly reduce, wherever possible, emissions from residents or visitors travelling off-site. Within the site, the convenient proximity to shopping, jobs, and recreation, the thoughtful design of the natural and urban environment along with clean transportation strategies like electric shuttles and car-sharing should - over time - significantly reduce our community’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Cars take the back seat.

Future owners at Petite Rivière will find it easy to free themselves from costly dependence on cars, and will be encouraged to seriously consider it through educational programs that outline the convenience and benefits of the whole range of transportation alternatives. The configuration of streets and parking lots, heightened resident awareness and the availability of alternative transportation solutions will work together in the new Petite Rivière neighborhood. Wherever possible, our project will limit parking lots since they place severe constraints on urban design and offer little aesthetic appeal.

A railway station just steps away.

Petite Rivière’s unique proposal for the creation of a new station on the AMT’s commuter train lines, near the southern border of the site, would greatly reduce the time it takes to travel between the site and downtown Montreal.

It’s not the first train station on a site that has abundant rail heritage. While the site is bounded and bisected by highly visible rail lines, today there is no stop on the site itself. Once upon a time, a train station on-site connected downtown to the small city then known as Ville Saint-Pierre; later, when the site became the Canadian Pacific Recreation Club, a stop gave direct access to the site. Today, the stops have been moved away to Lachine and Montreal West. These municipalities adjoin the site but access to the Lachine station would require crossing the railway line to the south and the west and the Montreal West station is a long walk or a short bicycle trip away.

On a line that links downtown Montreal and other points on the West Island, a railway station with direct access to the Petite Rivière site is possible and would be an invaluable improvement for the surrounding urban area.


At present, it takes an average of 45 to 60 minutes to travel between the site and downtown at rush hour, depending upon the route taken. Re-establishing a railway stop on the site would be the key to an integrated transportation system strategy and our vision for a greener, healthier community. A station could also provide a place where the tracks could be safely crossed, thus reconnecting the site to the rest of the Lachine Borough and helping revitalize northern Lachine’s job market. A train station located at Petite Rivière would also conveniently serve residents of neighbouring municipalities.

In addition to this potential major link, a pedestrian and bicycle path to the Montreal-West Station and the extension of the express bus line on Côte Saint-Luc Road would improve connections with the regional network.

What about rail vibrations?

Our studies show that the vibrations produced by nearby rail activity do not necessitate changing the development plans for the site. In fact, 78 % of all the vibrations measured fall below the threshold of human perception and those over it are still below the annoyance threshold. The plan to introduce wetlands, earth embankments and trenches and to plant many trees will further reduce vibrations, making them even less noticeable to future residents of the developed site.

What about the noise level?

The acoustic measurements taken on the site tell us that there should be no problems for a residential development there, and the landscape features described above will further mitigate noise.

Prioritizing safety and security.

Buildings have been oriented to optimize solar gains (in winter) and solar protection (in summer) from the sun. Several emergency access routes will heighten safety and security in the neighborhood and adjoining cities. Our emphasis on creating a closely-connected, outdoor-oriented community through shared programs, like gardens, will help develop what the great Canadian urban sociologist Jane Jacobs called “eyes on the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street.” This desirable social phenomenon increases safety, encourages the exchange of ideas, and makes the world a better place.

Access to all transportation systems.

The new Petite Rivière community will quickly become a seamless part of the greater Montreal West, Côte Saint-Luc and Lachine region. Public access to all these sectors will be ensured by a system of streets, squares, pedestrian lanes, walking paths and parks. Residents of neighboring cities will have easy access to the running, walking and cross-country skiing trails and parkland, as well as to the proposed rail station and its adjoining retail shops and little public market.


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