Lights coming down on Mount Royal, two lanes open on Camillien-Houde
Montreal motorists will be relieved to see the absence of traffic lights when cresting Mount Royal, while cyclists know their trips over the mountain may not be as safe.
The lights, which alternate the flow one direction at a time through a narrow section of Camillien Houde Way, last about two minutes generally, but sometimes vehicles have to wait much longer.
"This is what the city's about," said one motorist. "The city is about spending as much time in the car as possible, and wasting your life in the car in traffic."
Some drivers simply give up and turn around.
"I was waiting in line for what was going to be about 45 minutes, and I ended up going through the cemetery," said another driver. "Is that really where we want people to go?"
The lights are coming down, and city workers will repaint the lines on the road restoring traffic to two lanes, one in each direction.
The change means cyclists will once again need to contend with cars, which some are not excited about.
"Sometimes a bus is going by and you only have that much space going between you and the bus," said a cyclist, who felt it would be less safe now.
The lights were installed originally to better protect cyclists and pedestrians while maintaining access to the mountain for motorists.
It was meant as a compromise solution between the status quo and the Valerie Plante administration's plan to close off a section of the road entirely for through traffic.
Plante was not available for comment Monday, but a spokesperson for her office said the lights were always meant to be a temporary solution for the summer months. The city will continue to monitor the area while it comes up with a permanent solution.
The plastic bollards installed to prevent illegal U-turns like the one that killed a young cyclist in 2017 will remain in place until Oct. 31.
Some cyclists questioned the decision to remove the lights early.
"Life goes too fast, and people should relax," said a woman riding Monday. "It's nothing to wait a few minutes and maybe save a life."