I used to live downtown back when I worked near the Airport in Dorval, so I'm not stranger to traffic. But recently traffic has just been completely out of control.
2 weeks ago I was trying to make my way from Decarie to Saint-Laurent street which would normally take 20 minutes but it took me close to an hour and a half. I could have driven to Mont-Tremblant in less time.
Checking the Montreal construction won't help either because there simply aren't any alternate routes left to take.
Take a look, everything is under construction and basically Montreal is fucked.
In fact I've thought of 3 new slogans for Montreal:
Montreal: We're busy, come back next year
Montreal: aka Lego Land Jr.
or my personal favorite:
Coming Soon: Montreal
And it's going to get exponentially worse during the next 2 weekends.
That's because the city will start the demolition of the St. Jacques Street Bridge, a project that's only 3 years late.
And although construction is supposed to take place after 10:00 pm, Transport Quebec is asking drivers to avoid Highway 15 altogether for the next 2 weekends according to CTV.
Here are all the new closures you can expect:
Highway 15 southbound between Sherbrooke and the Turcot interchange
The Royalmount entrance to Highway 15
The Jean-Talon entrance to Highway 15
The Cote-St-Luc entrance to Highway 15
The Girouard entrance to Highway 15
The Exit ramp for the Champlain bridge on Highway40
Transport Quebec recommends drivers use Highway 13 as an alternate route.
The City of Montreal has announced that it will be moving forward with investments on seven projects that were selected by Montrealers.
The investment will come from the city's first-ever participatory budget, which allowed citizens to choose their favourite projects.
Over a two-year period, $10 million will go to seven projects that got the most overall votes from the population. Six projects will be spread out over 14 boroughs and one project will encompass the entire territory of Montreal.
"What emerges from the selected projects is the importance that people place on improving their living environment, protecting nature in the city and reclaiming public spaces for the benefit of the entire population," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.
The following projects were selected for investment:
A budget of $2.7 million will be used for building more than 125 water fountains that will allow for refilling reusable water bottles in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard and Ville-Marie.
Because Quebecers have to mostly stick to domestic travel for the time being, the police force is expecting even more people to take to the roads this year.
And the additional traffic can be deadly.
The SQ says "the construction vacation period is the time of year when fatal and injury collisions are highest."
It counted eight deaths due to collisions in its jurisdiction during the two-week vacation period last year, according to the news release.
"We remind you that helmets must be worn by all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts and that it is strongly recommended to wear a personal flotation device at all times when boating," the provincial police force added.
Bike lanes may be little more than narrow strips of asphalt, but on rue Saint-Denis, they have become fodder for a tense debate over the future of the neighbourhood.
After a group of shop-owners threatened to sue the city to remove a controversial bike lane through the Plateau over fears that it could hurt business, the borough’s mayor, Luc Rabouin, and a local entrepreneur are saying their fears are misguided.
The cycling lanes on St-Denis are part of the Réseau express vélo (REV) project, which will see the integration of 184 kilometres of bike paths across Montreal, including 17 paths that will be accessible year-round.
Supporters say the lanes are a good thing that will revitalize the street, keep people safe, and help beleaguered merchants.
Bike lanes will beautify the street and improve business
Before the bike lanes, Saint-Denis was essentially a highway with four lanes of traffic and was not a friendly place to shop, said Jacques Nacouzi, the owner of Code & Café.
“It was noisy, polluted, and even visually speaking, four lanes, it was not fun to be sitting out on the terraces,” he said.
Nacouzi said the REV is going to breathe new economic life into the neighbourhood and transform Saint-Denis into one of the most accessible commercial streets in the city.
His beliefs are backed up by a number of studies that show bike lanes increase sales for retailers.
Not a lot of parking will be lost
You’ll still be able to park on both sides of Saint-Denis when the REV is complete. The only things being removed are two lanes of traffic.
According to Nacouzi, of over 300 parking spots on Saint-Denis, only 26 were sacrificed to make way for pedestrian crossings.
“In a single parking spot for a car you can put about ten bikes, so this is ten customers instead of one,” he said.
Some merchants have argued that, unlike cafés or small shops, their businesses need street parking to survive, but Nacouzi said his business also relies on vehicular traffic, especially for the robotics day camp for kids he operates called Les Ateliers Kikicode.
“People tell me ‘you have a café, you’re not a destination shop, but yes I’m a destination shop,” he said. “For the coding, people come from Gatineau, even this weekend I had people coming in from Granby.”
Most merchants support the project
Plateau–Mont-Royal borough mayor Luc Rabouin said the city did extensive consultations with Saint-Denis merchants about the REV about a year and a half ago.
“We went door to door,” he said. “Every merchant was consulted about what had to be done to improve the vitality of the street [...] Not all the merchants were in favour, but the majority of them were in favour.”
The city has promised an additional $1.2 million in economic aid to help the merchants on Saint-Denis through this difficult time.
“We are now working to find a way to give them a coup de pouce during this tough period for them," said Rabouin. "We are working to reduce the impacts and support our merchants because we know that we need them.”
Rabouin didn't comment on the group of rue Saint-Denis businesses threatening to sue the city.