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Montreal driver says it's quicker to drive to the U.S. than the West Island


Richard D'Agostino says all he wanted to do was visit his parents in the West Island.

Sitting in his car in downtown Montreal, on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and de la Montagne streets, the 37-year-old says he was aghast to find out that it was going to take him over an hour to get to Dollard-des-Ormeaux (DDO).

"Getting to the A-720, I believe it was 18 minutes because it was a detour to Crescent Street and down Lucien L'Allier, but then it was one lane with an officer sending people into the highway," he tells CTV News.

He took his rage to Instagram where, in a fit of laughter and despair, the nightclub owner debated whether he should just leave the country.

"I've got to go 29 km and it's an hour and seven minutes," he exclaims in the video. "Wait, I'm going to see how long it is to get to Plattsburgh. How fast I could leave the country before getting home to the West Island."

Bursting with maniacal laughter, D'Agostino reveals it'll take him but a minute more, at one hour and eight minutes, to drive to the United States.

"I could be at duty-free across the border in the same [...] amount of time it takes me to get across Montreal," he cries.

D'Agostino admits he's tried other modes of transport when it comes to paying his parents a visit.

"I tried to jog [to DDO] it because I'm like, 'I can do this. I'm trying to be healthy.' That's like three, four hours," he said. "Even Bixi, I've taken a Bixi."

He laments traffic in and around downtown is getting worse with every passing year.

"My main beef is they do everything at the same time," he said. "It's like, pick and choose your battles."

Traffic expert Rick Leckner says he's not surprised at the GPS' estimation -- and neither should D'Agostino.

"That is the reality of Montreal traffic because many things that we should have done in the past, we haven't done and they're still not being planned for," he tells CTV News. "That's the bottom line. We are going to continue to remain hostages in cars, even on buses, because of the lack of vision and lack of plan."

Leckner says the only thing people can really do is plan their trips in advance.

"There has to be a change of culture in the city and in Quebec so that, at least, there's an indication that authorities give a damn about what's happening out on the roads," he said. "Right now, I don't think they do. They just do the work and don't really care what the consequences are."

CTV News reached out to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante for comment but was told she was unavailable.

Standing on the corner where D'Agostino shared his frustrations, City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin says he understands why traffic could get backed up on de la Montagne Street.

"I cannot comment on this specific situation, but one thing is sure: downtown Montreal, you have one of the highest concentrations of construction work," he said.

Sabourin echos Leckner's advice, saying people should organize their routes ahead of time.

He notes people can go to the city's new interactive obstruction and construction map to find out what works are taking place along their routes.

"Maybe it's a good idea to take a cocktail of transport," he muses. "Take your car to reach the Metro Côte-Vertu and then you take the Metro to reach the downtown."

In response to CTV News' request for comment, Quebec's Transport Ministry said, "We are going to decline your interview request."

"Maybe the City of Montreal might have more to say on the topic," said spokesperson Louis-André Bertrand. Top Stories

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