The contentious matter of parking spaces at the Kirkland REM station has intensified in debate as designated spots for Kirkland residents have been put aside. The City agreed with developers Broccolini and RioCan that 200 spots would be reserved for residents in exchange for the development of the Cineplex Colisée.
Renderings of the future Kirkland REM station.
PHOTOS: Réseau Express Métropolitain
The West Island News reached out to Kirkland District 8 Councillor Karen Cliffe, who is happy for Kirkland residents; however, believes that the parking cannot accommodate the needs of West Islanders. She believes the CDPQ-Infra, who is responsible for the planning, financing, completion, and operation of the network, should have considered parking as a necessity for all West Islanders. "Initial promises were not respected."
The current Centre Kirkland plaza, where the station is under construction, will be redeveloped and consist of an assortment of different infrastructures. A public plaza that may include terraces and restaurants will be situated nearby, surrounded by green spaces, and residential areas will be built mainly to the west of the station. The location of the future parking has yet to be revealed.
PHOTO: City of Kirkland
The CDPQ-Infra claims that the purpose of the REM is to encourage public transportation, thus leaving cars behind. Kirkland initially wanted 500 spots reserved, but it was not part of the CDPQ-Infra's vision for the sustainable transport-driven project.
Cliffe responded: "I agree with trying to reduce our carbon footprint. But unfortunately, the average person needs a car in suburban areas."
The question of sufficient and efficient enough public transportation has been posed to the City.
According to Kirkland, "the S.T.M. is presently reviewing their bus routes in preparation for the arrival of the R.E.M. in the West Island. However, final plans have yet to be confirmed. In addition, the Town of Kirkland is currently developing its sustainable mobility plan to improve accessibility, including public transit."
SOURCE: CDPQ-Infra, City of Kirkland.