Plateau takes more steps to restrict traffic
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:13PM EDT
MONTREAL - The Plateau is continuing its campaign to keep cars to central streets.
Following last year's redirection of traffic flow on Laurier Ave. the borough is taking more steps to limit options for drivers by restricting left-hand turns and making it difficult for drivers to get onto residential streets.
Among the changes to come are limiting left-hand turns from north-south residential roads like Lanaudière, Chambord and St-Andre Sts.
Borough mayor Luc Ferrandez said he is not sure it will work, but he is determined to change Montreal's car culture.
"The solutions we're proposing are not radical," he said. "We're putting some-- a constraint to the possibility. They can still pass, but because they can still pass, they will still pass and at which rhythm, how many of them, we don't know."
He said the plan is to get more people walking and bicycling through the densely populated neighbourhood, and convince drivers who are only passing through to abandon side streets.
Borough officials admit it will create headaches for some drivers, but they calculate being forced to take a major artery will add only one or two minutes to most commutes, and acknowledge that in the worst case, some drivers will spend an extra ten minutes driving through the Plateau.
Ferrandez said as drivers adapt, the borough will continue to make adjustments.
"We're still confident that we can work on an itinerary that will be difficult enough that they will stick to the arteries," he said.
However, drivers passing through are not the only ones who are finding the new rules irritating. Local businesses say they are also feeling the pinch as potential customers find it more and more difficult to get to their stores.
"We rely a lot on foot traffic at this point because people can't just come and park," said Valerie Legge of O Jus. "If it becomes more of throughway, people will consider it just a way to get from point A to point B rather than stopping and using it for neighbourhood shopping."
On May 14 Christophe-Colombe Ave. was turned into a one way street between St-Joseph Blvd. and Laurier Ave. in an attempt to send drivers onto St. Denis St. and Papineau Ave.
Instead drivers took residential Chambord St.
Last summer the Plateau introduced parking meters on many mixed residential-commercial streets which angered some residents and merchants.
Here is a list of the changes coming by mid October:
• St-Grégoire – No right turns for eastbound traffic on Chambord of Fabre Sts. between 7 and 9 a.m.
• De Mentana St. – Speed bump installed between St-Joseph and St-Grégoire
• St-André St. – One way reversed to southbound between St-Joseph and Laurier
• Chambord St. – One way reversed to northbound between Gilford and St-Joseph
• De Lanaudière St. – One way reversed to southbound between Gilford and St-Joseph
• Garnier St. – One way reversed to northbound between Gilford and St-Joseph
• De La Roche St. – Reduced to one lane of traffic between de Rachel and St-Joseph.
• St-Joseph Blvd. – Closing the median at the corner of Garnier, westbound traffic forbidden from making left turns onto Marquette from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Gilford St. – All eastbound traffic will be forced to turn right onto Chambord while all northbound traffic on de Lanaudière will be forced to turn onto Gilford. One way westbound between Chambord and de Lanaudière, one way eastbound between de Lanaudière and Papineau.
• Rachel St. – Eastbound traffic forbidden to turn left onto de Lanaudière from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In addition to these changes, the borough has asked Montreal for the following:
• Allow southbound traffic on St-Denis St. to turn left onto Laurier, St-Joseph and Mount-Royal 24 hours a day
• Synchronize the traffic lights at the intersections of St-Grégoire with St-Hubert and de Mentana
• Reconfigure the bike path at the corner of Laurier Ave. and de Brébeuf St.
• Set up a bike lane heading west on Laurier between Papineau and de Brébeuf.