• John Jantak

Grimaudo says traffic on Cité des Jeunes in St. Lazare will worsen as regional development increases


JOHN JANTAK

St. Lazare resident Richard Meades asks Mayor Robert Grimaudo what the city intends to do to improve the worsening traffic situation on Chemin Cité des Jeunes during question period at the Tuesday council meeting on February 3.

St. Lazare residents who regularly use Chemin Cité des Jeunes for their weekday morning and afternoon commute can expect to see traffic worsen on the two-lane provincial roadway as more vehicles are expected to use the major artery in the future due to continuing regional development from St. Polycarpe eastward towards Vaudreuil-Dorion, said Mayor Robert Grimaudo.

He made the grim assessment during question period at the Tuesday evening council meeting on February 3, when resident Richard Meades asked what the city intended to do to alleviate the existing traffic congestion and whether there were any imminent plans to expand the two-lane highway into four lanes. Meades said the expansion is desperately needed to handle the anticipated overflow of traffic from the new H-300 residential project when construction begins later this spring.

The project calls for 400 houses and an elementary school to be built in a cleared area just southwest of Chemin Cité des Jeunes and Chemin Ste. Angelique. The anticipated increase in traffic as residents begin moving into the area will exacerbate an already serious situation because Chemin Cité des Jeunes was originally built as a rural road and can’t handle more vehicles because it was never intended to be used as a major urban roadway, said Meades. He added it would have been more logical to begin expanding the roadway before the start of the H-300 residential project.

Grimaudo agreed with Meades’ assessment but said the city cannot do any expansion work on Chemin Cité des Jeunes because it falls under provincial jurisdiction as Highway 340 and the Ministry of Transport (MTQ) has indicated it will not do any upgrades for at least another two to four years. City officials met with MTQ representatives in Chateauguay to discuss the situation last fall.

“We presented our file and asked when and how they intended to look into the problem,” he said. “We were basically told it was not on their radar at the time. They said the Turcot Interchange in Montreal is their priority and represents 90 per cent of their budget which leaves about 10 per cent for emergencies.”

Grimaudo said he met with Soulanges Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois two weeks ago to present detailed information regarding the city’s meeting with the MTQ and hopes the report is passed on to the respective Ministers of Public Security and Transport in Quebec City. Traffic gridlock on Chemin Cité des Jeunes is also being compounded by a steady increase in commercial traffic along the entire stretch of Highway 40 from Vaudreuil-Dorion to St. Polycarpe which will further exacerbate the situation, Grimaudo told Your Local Journal after the meeting.

“What we have to remember is that Chemin Cité des Jeunes is the major commercial artery between these two municipalities,” said Grimaudo. “It’s not only St. Lazare that is looking at development. Other municipalities also have to fall in line with the Montreal Metropolitan Community’s PMAD regional development plan and the use of this road. “We can’t blame one situation for the overall problem,” Grimaudo added.

“Yes, the H-300 project will increase traffic, but so will all the developments in the other municipalities along Chemin Cité des Jeunes. We told the MTQ that the road needs to be looked at seriously and they basically told us not to hold our breath.”

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