• John Jantak

Some motorists still disregard one-way street changes in Pincourt


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal said he’s hopeful that motorists who have been driving the wrong way along Bellevue Avenue and Duhamel Road during the winter will adopt safer driving habits with the arrival of spring and respect the one-way status of both streets.

Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal is hoping common sense will eventually prevail among motorists who intentionally drive illegally in the wrong direction along two former bi-directional streets that were officially converted to one-way status early last summer.

The wrong way issue was raised by resident Michel Ménard during the public statement forum at the start of the Tuesday evening council meeting March 14 where he spoke about dangerous situations that have occurred on Bellevue Street.

A 500-metre stretch of Bellevue between 9th Street and Monseigneur Langlois Avenue adjacent to Bellevue Park was converted into a one-way artery northbound to reduce traffic flow and speeding. The southbound lane was converted into a reserved bicycle path.

Not everyone, however, is complying with the one-way designation, said Ménard, who says he’s witnessed several motorists drive in the wrong direction since the conversion took effect.

In one incident, a resident apparently stood in the middle of Bellevue ready to confront an approaching motorist who stopped just inches away. They continued to inch forward towards each other until the motorist relented and changed direction.

Families versus motorists

Similar encounters have happened between motorists, and pedestrians, cyclists and other sports enthusiasts, who use a temporary multifunctional path along Duhamel Avenue. A three kilometre stretch between Cardinal-Léger Boulevard and Monseigneur Langlois Avenue was also made one-way northbound last summer.

Families with children and mothers pushing baby carriages along the path have come upon motorists who are driving the wrong way towards them. Many people stand their ground and refuse to give way until drivers reverse direction, said Ménard. But in one incident, a group of motorcyclists apparently continued to drive in the wrong direction while ignoring citizens’ complaints.

The entire former southbound section of Duhamel was reserved last summer exclusively for cyclists, pedestrians, and other sports enthusiasts as part of a one-year pilot project to get residents accustomed to the new configuration.

The change will become permanent later this year after the roadway is upgraded and modified to accommodate a permanent multi-functional promenade that will be built later this summer, said Cardinal, who added there will be better distinction between the roadway and the promenade.

Motorists taking advantage

Motorists also may be taking advantage of the winter months when pedestrian activity is low to make the dangerous manoeuvre which is illegal under the provincial Highway Code. Violators are subject to fines, demerit points on their licences, and higher auto insurance premiums.

Cardinal said he hopes motorists begin exercising better judgement as spring approaches because if a driver is caught by the police, there’s no excuse that will justify driving the wrong way on a one-way street, especially if someone is injured or killed.

Stop sign removal cancelled

Mayor Cardinal said the town has decided not to remove three stop signs after several District 3 citizens made a second consecutive plea to council last month that removing the signage in their residential area would unnecessarily increase speeding because most motorists don’t make complete stops.

The matter was reviewed by the town’s public security committee who decided it was best to keep the status quo. Cardinal agreed with the committee’s recommendation and is pleased to have complied with the residents’ request, and the addition of two new stop signs.

Councillor Sam Ierfino who supported his residents’ stance congratulated the town for installing the new stop signs and keeping the original ones. He also encouraged residents who witness speeding, stop sign and one-way traffic violations to report all incidents with as much information as possible to the town via internet through its SVP, MERCI public sensitization webpage at

www.villepincourt.qc.ca/en/43/svp-merci-program.

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