Friday, August 28, 2009

PDP #92: The Autos' Route

One thing that really surprised me about Montreal was the nature and number of its urban expressways. Toronto has only the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, and given the plans Metro Toronto intended to follow, the city is better off without the remainder of the once-planned network. Montreal, by contrast, is criss-crossed by urban expressways, though they don't necessarily have the same liabilities as those in Toronto.

This is Autoroute Ville-Marie, looking north from a fourth-floor window in the Palais des congrès de Montréal. I didn't recognize the significance of it at the time - it wasn't until I had boarded the shuttlebus to Trudeau Airport that I realized the southbound lanes of the autoroute, the roofed-over portion I had originally thought to be part of Place-d'Armes station, are actually tunneled directly beneath the Palais, and a great deal of downtown Montreal besides.

A tunnelled Gardiner wouldn't be that bad of an idea after all.

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