"On such a busy boulevard, the sidewalk on the south side is not a luxury, it is a necessity," says Bachir Azzi, seen standing on the sidewalk curve that will be removed, along with several feet of his property, on the corner of Gouin Blvd.

The residents’ beef is with the city’s decision to alter a 40-year promise to lay sidewalks on Gouin W. through the Bois-de-Saraguay Nature Park. The project that is forging ahead will see one sidewalk built on the north side, while the sidewalk on the south side was dropped to make room for a protected two-way bike path.

“On such a busy boulevard, the sidewalk on the south side is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Bachir Azzi, who lives on a side street at the corner of Gouin in the 1.7-kilometre stretch that will be redone. A bike path exists one street south, on Jean-Bourdon Ave.

The stretch of Gouin to be rebuilt, between Toupin Blvd. and Martin Ave., is heavily travelled by cars and public transit buses in both directions. But it has only narrow shoulders along most of it. Neighbours on Gouin say they’ve witnessed numerous traffic accidents. The Société de transport de Montréal says the 68 bus and the 468 express bus that run on Gouin each averaged 3,000 passenger boardings a day before the pandemic.

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