• John Jantak

Ste. Anne’s council makes left-turn restriction permanent


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A left-turn restriction that was implemented last September as a pilot project that prohibits motorists from turning onto the Galipeault Bridge onramp from St-Pierre Street northbound weekdays between 4 and 6 p.m. was made permanent by city council at its monthly meeting on Monday, September 9.

Ste. Anne de Bellevue council adopted a resolution at the regular Monday evening meeting to permanently prohibit left turns onto Highway 20 westbound onto the Galipeault Bridge from St-Pierre Street northbound weekday afternoons between 4 and 6 p.m.

The permanent restriction comes almost one year after council adopted a pilot project to determine whether its left-turn ban would help the reduce the severe traffic congestion motorists encountered each weekday in the south sector of the city including the village.

Very successful pilot project

Mayor Paola Hawa said the pilot project has been very successful in eliminating the bumper-to-bumper traffic that used to clog the sector’s main roads and side streets in the late afternoon. There were also concerns that emergency personnel and vehicles would be unable to respond promptly to a situation in the sector because of the heavy traffic.

“I’m ecstatic,” Hawa told The Journal during an interview on September 10. “It was more successful than we ever imagined. It did exactly what we were hoping it would do. It cleared the village. Even the Service de police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) from station 1 and the specialized group that focuses on traffic issues with the SPVM were very surprised.”

Bottlenecks never materialized

Some opponents to the left-turn restriction were concerned the safety measure would cause traffic mayhem in other sectors of the city including a backlog of vehicles on Highway 20 westbound from the Morgan interchange in neighbouring Baie d’Urfé, but it never materialized. “We thought if you block one artery it’s going to have an impact somewhere else, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen,” said Hawa.

“We were confident we were going to get some positive impact from it. Sometimes you just have to go with what you believe and what the data proves to you. You have to have the courage to try something. If you always listen to the naysayers you’re not going get anywhere or move forward,” Hawa added.

‘This is the right thing to do’

The city analyzed the traffic situation in the sector before implementing left turn restriction. “A lot of people brought up valid points, but at the end of the line when you’re confident you’ve done your homework, analyzed the data, spoken with the professionals and experts, and they say this is the right thing to do, you have to do the right thing. I’m very happy. What a relief,” she said.

The 4 to 6 p.m. weekday left turn restriction from Boulevard des Anciens-Combattants North onto Rue Demers at the train station will also be maintained.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

A section of damaged cobblestone sidewalk on Maple Street in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is presenting challenges to those with reduced mobility and anyone pushing a baby stroller.

Maple street sidewalk repairs

The city’s public works department is continuing to look into repairing the heaving cobblestone sidewalk on Maple Street. Resident Paul Schneider, who is confined to a wheelchair, asked council at the August meeting to consider making repairs to the sidewalk to even it out.

Schneider said the uneven sidewalk surface makes it difficult to safely navigate with his wheelchair. He’s also concerned that parents who bring their young children in strollers to a nearby daycare centre could also suffer a mishap.

Tree roots caused sidewalk to heave

Mayor Hawa said the city will have a better idea of how the sidewalk should be repaired after the evaluation is completed. The roots from maple trees growing alongside the curb have caused portions of the cobblestone sidewalk to heave upwards causing an uneven surface.

Schneider worries that a wheel could become wedged in one of the grooves and cause his wheelchair to tip over. Hawa said the city is committed to repairing sidewalk as soon as possible but acknowledged there may not be enough time to do the repairs this fall before the onset of winter. “I know it’s not that simple to fix but it will be done at some point,” said Hawa.

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