• James Armstrong

Rigaud receives official complaint regarding pedestrian safety


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Crossing Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street East, the main artery through the centre of Rigaud, is risky business for pedestrians of all ages according to an official complaint lodged with the town.

A resident from the neighbouring town of Très-Saint-Rédempteur underlined pedestrian safety on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street East, the town’s main thoroughfare, during the council meeting held Monday, August 13.

“I know the street belongs to the MTQ (Ministère des Transports, Mobilité durable et Électrification des transports du Québec) but the town needs to put pressure on the ministry,” said Bianka Dupaul as she described to council how she and her three-year-old son were nearly struck by a vehicle while crossing the street during a trip to Rigaud the previous week. She said increased road traffic and recent housing developments have contributed to the situation as she deposited a formal letter of complaint with the council.

MTQ and pedestrian safety issues

“We are very much aware of the situation,” responded Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. as he invited District 5 Councillor Danny Lalonde to give an update on the progress with the ministry.

“We are currently working with the MTQ to improve the situation,” replied Lalonde who has been communicating with the transport ministry. He noted the town and the MTQ have been working on a bike path project for over two years for the same street. Lalonde said the province had conducted a study of cyclist and pedestrian use of the street in January, 2018 and he has questions regarding whether or not it was the best time of year in which to carry it out. According to Lalonde, his questions have not been answered.

He noted that whatever solution the MTQ proposed, including a pedestrian crosswalk with lights or signs indicating a crossing, it was not the town’s decision. “We are working towards Rigaud taking responsibility for that street,” added the mayor.

“As citizens, what can we do?” asked Dupaul stating that she was willing to sign a petition if that would help.

“How it works for us, as a town, is that we start by speaking with our MNA Lucie Charlebois,” said the mayor emphasizing steps had already been taken and meetings held with Charlebois to advance the file.

“We are pushing very hard to make this happen,” said the mayor. He also noted the behaviour of motorists towards pedestrians needed to improve.

Boulevard Carmen extension

The plan to extend Boulevard Carmen to J.–René-Gauthier Road moved a step forward as council approved a request to the MTQ to lift a servitude preventing access to J.–René-Gauthier. With the lifting of the servitude, the town will be able to proceed with extending Boulevard Carmen in an easterly direction to connect with the access to J.–René-Gauthier that currently exists near the IGA grocery store. The extension of Boulevard Carmen is expected to reduce the amount of traffic on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street East.

Sewage treatment plant expansion

Council granted a contract to Axor Experts-Conseils for professional services in regards to increasing the capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plant. “These are the people who are going to redesign the sewage treatment plant to increase its capacity,” said the mayor in an interview following the meeting. “I expect results before November,” he said adding that once the plans are created, they have to be submitted to the Ministry of Environment for approval.

Natural gas leak

On Tuesday, August 14, a natural gas line was accidently broken on the construction site for Rigaud’s municipal garage on de la Coopérative Street.

“The main line was ruptured by excavation equipment,” Gruenwald told The Journal on Wednesday, August 15.

“No one was injured and everyone did their job in a remarkable way,” he said. “It’s the line that will be serving the new municipal garage.” He said that Hydro Quebec cut service to approximately 2000 customers in the area as a preventative measure. According to the mayor, construction of the municipal garage would be completed before the end of December.

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