This weekend marks the unofficial kick-off of Montreal’s tourist season as the Formula One circus rolls into town. Hundreds of thousands of race fans descend upon the city wearing F1 garb, driving expensive sports cars and spending wads and wads of money. Bring it on!
During an average F1 weekend the traffic situation in Montreal is absurd, but this year promises to be even more ridiculous due to massive sections of downtown being closed for work. Add to this the traditional closing of several streets to accommodate stages and various events and you have a recipe for traffic mayhem.
One of the long-term traffic situations that has just been introduced involves work being carried out to redo the entrance to a Metro/Train station. Fortunately this is not downtown, but close enough to cause trouble.
The entrance is just part of the project, the main goal is to build an underground passageway between the transit hub and a large, recently opened, “super” hospital. The hospital, or hospitals, are located about a nine-iron from the Metro station, but currently to get from one to the other requires a circuitous trek.
Needless to say the hospital campus was not built overnight. Did no one, during the planning and construction, think it may have been a good idea to connect these two entities? Montreal is a city that has been the subject of much tourism bumf regarding our Underground City. The city has a labyrinth of subterranean shopping concourses that provide easy, warm, and dry access to what appears to be several million shoe stores, yet it was not deemed important to connect a health campus to public transit.