• John Jantak

Pincourt residents mostly positive about Duhamel Avenue conversion


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

The northbound stretch of Duhamel Avenue in Pincourt was converted two weeks ago into a bicycle/pedestrian path complete with street markings, brightly coloured yellow concrete blocks and new road signage that prohibits motorists from accessing the multi-functional path.

The consensus among city officials is that the recent conversion of Duhamel Avenue in Pincourt into a one-way street northbound for motorists with the other half set aside as a multi-functional bicycle/pedestrian path has been positive overall.

Town Manager Michel Perrier told Your Local Journal following the Tuesday evening council meeting on July 12 that the town has received several comments from residents since the conversion officially took effect on July 1 and that the overall consensus was positive, although not everyone is pleased with the changeover.

Comments posted on social media immediately after the changeover showed a fairly equal divide among people who supported the conversion and those who opposed it. Perrier said some residents have also contacted the town to express their opinions. “It’s been mostly very positive so far,” said Perrier.

The conversion of Duhamel which officially took effect on July 1 resulted in the conversion of a four kilometre stretch of the former bi-directional, two-lane riverside roadway exclusively into a one-way road northbound from Cardinal-Léger Boulevard to Monseigneur Langlois Avenue at Bellevue Park.

The northbound stretch of roadway was converted into a bicycle/pedestrian path complete with street markings, brightly coloured yellow concrete blocks and new road signage that prohibit motorists from accessing the path. Grooves were also dug into the centre of the road to keep cars from straying into the reserved path.

Security personnel were stationed at the intersection of Duhamel and Langlois the first two days when the conversion became official to advise motorists of the new configuration. A one-block stretch of Bellevue between 9th Avenue and Langlois next to Bellevue Park was also converted into a one-way street northbound with the southbound section reserved as a multi-functional path.

The changeover on Bellevue was made to address traffic and speeding issues that have plagued residents living on that stretch of road and to keep the path that runs along the riverside through the park exclusively for pedestrians. One resident congratulated council for the change saying that vehicle traffic on that section of road has dropped substantially.

But another resident who lives on Duhamel said that while having a reserved bicycle path is a good idea during the summer, he felt it was impractical and unnecessary to have it during the winter because it could create problems for motorists especially during ice and snow storms.

Even though the changeover is being touted by the town as a pilot project, Perrier said the one year trial period is to gather as much information about problems as they arise so the town can modify their plans accordingly when work begins next spring to permanently modify and repave Duhamel.

Perrier said that while people may not be bicycling on Duhamel during winter, pedestrians do walk on the roadway and they need a safe zone. “The plan is for it to be a year-round facility,” Perrier told Your Local Journal. “This is why we call it a multi-functional path. It’s not strictly a biking path. It’s also for people who take walks, walk their dogs, or push their baby strollers.”

Mayor Yvan Cardinal said the emphasis is to provide its citizens who regularly use Duhamel to bike and walk with a sense of security that they didn’t have before because of its previous two-lane vehicle traffic configuration.

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