A new community group has sprung up in the Mile-End neighborhood with the ambitious goal to reduce auto use.
Other urban areas, most notably Berkeley, CA have managed to dramatically reduce auto use by aggressively installing berms, stop signs and barricades where only bikes and pedestrians can pass. There is also a more aggressive vandalism/propaganda campaign that has been in effect for many years (see photo, right). It is simply annoying to drive through that city, which was by design.
Mile-end must navigate the murky Montreal political process to achieve its ends.
Source: Car Free Mile-End
Clinging to car-dependence as a way of life or as an economic model for growth is like climbing the smokestack on the Titanic. But I hesitate to extend the metaphor to include the proverbial “lifeboat community” as a way of casting the Mile End. None of the seemingly catastrophic changes that seem to loom is going to happen overnight. Yes we should try to reshape our neighbourhood according to sustainable, sensible principles. And yes, this should involve a dramatic reduction in car use by us all. But this will never happen in a vacuum to the exclusion of our neighbours. Perhaps as a motivating factor we can think of a Mile-End striving to be car-free, or going “car-lite”, as a matter of setting an example for those neighbours who must ultimately be a part of our future.