Metropolitan traffic committee looks to tackle congestion
With construction cones making life miserable for Montreal motorists, Mayor Gerald Tremblay and provincial Transport Minister Sam Hamad announced Wednesday the creation of a committee to look at the traffic problem and better coordinate road work in the metropolitan area.
The 15-member committee will include Hamad and six mayors from the Montreal area – Tremblay, Longueuil's Caroline St-Hilaire, Laval's Gilles Vaillancourt, Chateauguay's Nathalie Simon, Bois-des-Filion's Paul Larocque and McMasterville's Gilles Plante.
A member of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake will also sit on the committee, along with the presidents of the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridge Corporation, the STM, the AMT, the Quebec Trucking Association, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
The committee will also work with federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel, though he is not listed as a member.
"Now what we're saying is that we're going to speak with one voice, we're going to have an evaluation of everything, and as a result of that, we'll have a collective responsibility," Tremblay said. "What we're saying now today is that it's not individually - we are all responsible. We have to know the information and we have to better share and communicate what we have to do. That's the main difference today."
The committee is being formed in the wake of the emergency closure of the outbound span of the Mercier Bridge due to critical structural problems, something that has had ripple effects on traffic throughout the Montreal area.
The official mandate of the committee includes establishing a short and medium-term solution to ease traffic to the South Shore, to propose a plan to put in place in the event of major emergency road work and find a way to better coordinate construction projects across city lines.
"The current context is not only important for the South Shore, but the entire metropolitan area," St-Hilaire said. "It compromises its economic vitality and constitutes an important environmental issue. It is why we need to look at all possible solutions, and that is exactly what this committee plans to do."