City officials cave in to 100th Ave. ‘lane reduction’ petitioners

Unpopular traffic calming measure won’t be back next spring, say Khalil and Dib

A simmering dispute between the City of Laval and some Chomedey residents over traffic calming near the corner of Hurtubise St. and 100th Ave. reached a boiling point last Saturday when dozens of supporters signed a petition demanding the traffic department remove “lane reduction” markings that were painted onto the street in hopes of slowing speeding motorists.

According to Peter Caruana, who started the petition with his daughter Gabrielle, he and others had been complaining that a stop sign should be put in at the corner to replace yellow lines and traffic bollards the city painted on 100th between Couturier and Hurtubise to slow cars down by reducing the traffic flow to one lane.

Simple solution wanted

Caruana said a stop sign that used to be in place at the corner was removed around a decade ago. “What we want is a simple thing: a three-way stop sign,” he said in an interview with The Laval News. “It would help ease the pain.

“It would slow the race track that we have here now,” he added, noting that this section of 100th Ave. has become a virtual drag strip for an increasing number of motorists who’ve discovered that the three-kilometre-long street beginning at Samson Blvd. in the south has become a handy shortcut to get to Autoroute 440 at the north end.

Another resident, Jim Katsigiannis, who’s lived in the neighbourhood 27 years, agreed that ever since 100th Ave. was opened up from Saint-Martin Blvd. northward towards the A-440, 100th has become a speedway. “The police can only do so much,” he said.

Traffic makes its way northward on 100th Ave. between Couturier and Hurtubise, with the controversial closed lane for traffic calming on the right of the photo. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

‘It’s not working,’ said Dib

The elected official responsible for the area, Saint-Martin city councillor Aline Dib, was invited to the gathering by the petition organizers. Several candidates running for city council or for the mayoralty in the Nov. 7 election also turned up. “I had a lot of complaints about speeding and racing and the people called the city about this,” Dib said.

She said a city council traffic committee set about to resolve the problem. They came up with the idea of closing the north-bound left-side lane beginning at Couturier. “But I’m telling you, it’s a pilot project,” she insisted. “So, now we’ve figured out it’s not working. So, we are working to find help and to give solutions.”

Sainte-Dorothée city councillor Ray Khalil, who sits on the executive-committee with responsibilities for traffic engineering issues, said he was aware of the complaints over speeding, and that some residents had suggested a new stop sign would be the right fix.

Stop signs not obeyed

“But we’ve had past experience in the area where people were burning through stop signs,” he said. “So, what the services said is instead of adding a problem to a problem, let’s try a measure that’s a bit more aggressive, like a calming measure, in order to slow down traffic. But we’ll do it just with paint and bollards just to test it out and see how it goes, the winter is coming, we know we have to remove it for snow clearance, and we’ll see how people react to it.”

Residents from near the corner of 100th Ave. and Hurtubise St. turned out in large numbers last Saturday to sign a petition demanding the removal of a traffic calming pilot project at the corner. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

Khalil said if the pilot project had answered to the demand for slowing the speed and was judged satisfactory, then the city would have proceeded with something more permanent eventually. But if not, they would at least have learned from applying a traffic calming method other than a conventional stop sign.

However, after implementing the measure, Khalil said that what the city realized was that because of the configuration of houses along 100th Ave., the lane reduction “wasn’t ideal and was causing other types of issues.

‘We’ll re-evaluate,’ said Khalil

“So, I don’t think it will be kept in the future,” Khalil added. “We’ll re-evaluate. We’ll go back to the drawing board and see how we can answer people’s needs for slowing down traffic, but also having the fluidity of coming in and out of the sector.”

Councillors Dib and Khalil gave their assurances that the painted areas and bollards were going to be removed by the city before winter in any case to allow for proper snow removal, and that they won’t be restored next spring.

Some residents say that ever since 100th Ave. was opened up from Saint-Martin northward towards the A-440, 100th has become a speedway

Nicolas Macrozonaris, who is running for Action Laval in Saint-Martin, agreed the pilot project should be cancelled and the traffic calming infrastructure removed immediately.

“This is very unpopular,” he said. “When people are complaining about it – and citizens are putting together a petition today on their day off – it means it’s extremely unpopular and probably also unsafe.”