• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion restores some parking spots for commuters at Centre Multisports

After a weeklong review of the parking situation at Centre Multisports, Mayor Guy Pilon announced at the Monday evening council meeting March 20 that at least 50 current spots will have no time limit and can be used by commuters to park adjacent to the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT) Gare Vaudreuil train station.

The increasing popularity of the commuter rail service and the A40 bus line has led to the AMT parking lot being filled to capacity weekday mornings, resulting in motorists parking at the Centre Multisports throughout the day to the chagrin of the centre’s clients who complained they couldn’t find parking.

As a result, the city announced early last week that parking spots at the recreational facility would be reserved for its clients exclusively. Numerous signs indicating a four-hour maximum parking restriction had already been installed.

After reviewing the matter, the city determined that at least 50 spots at the centre could be used by commuters. “It will not in any way bother the clientele who use the Centre Multisports. We’ve been doing a survey each day and what we found is that there are plenty of spaces available,” Pilon told Your Local Journal.

Some motorists disregard lines

The 50 spots available at the centre now is less than the approximately 120 spaces that were being used before the restrictions took effect Monday. One of the more exasperating aspects regarding the parking shortage is that some motorists disregard the lines and take up two spaces, said Pilon. “They don’t see the lines and because of that, we’re losing about 20 per cent or at least 60 parking spots,” he said.

While the parking situation at the Centre Multisports has been resolved, Pilon acknowledges the lack of parking spaces at Gare Vaudreuil is a problem, noting that some people now have to walk further to the station after finding a suitable place to park because of the shortage.

Pilon also made it a point to show the city has been actively involved in trying to get funding from the provincial Ministry of Transport for the past 20 years to build more parking spots at Gare Vaudreuil by holding up a thick folder during the council meeting containing documents and proposals from both the ministry and AMT which never materialized.

Despite the lack of action in the past by the AMT and ministry, Pilon is optimistic a solution will be announced in the next few weeks. “We have to resolve the problem. We will do so but we had to take some decisions to solve one problem and now we’re going to make decisions to solve the other problem,” he said.

Stranded motorists

The situation which happened along Autoroute 13 south where over 300 people were stranded in their vehicles for several hours during last Wednesday’s snowstorm would probably not have happened in Vaudreuil-Dorion, said Mayor Pilon.

The issue was raised during question period when a resident asked whether the city would be able to respond promptly to a similar situation. Pilon said he discussed the situation with his fire commander the day after the Autoroute 13 incident made national headlines and said the city’s fire department would have been dispatched immediately and additional personnel from neighbouring municipalities could have been brought in if necessary, including snowmobilers from a nearby organization.

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