Rockland Overpass | Residents stand up against through traffic

The project to reconstruct the Rockland overpass, one of the busiest in Montreal, worries the population and elected officials of Outremont, who fear that the next version of the structure will continue to send thousands of vehicles every day transit in areas with high residential density.

“Our fear is that it will be a consecration of what is happening today,” says Louis Pistono, a resident of Davaar Avenue, in the Outremont district, for 33 years.

Every morning, from 5:30 a.m., Mr. Pistono hears vehicles driving at 60 or 70 km/h on his residential street limited to 30 km/h.

It’s a speed paradise. It’s incredible. The educational radar is in the red. They don’t care, there are no consequences.

Louis Pistono, resident of the area

Then come the thousands of trucks and vehicles, a significant proportion of which arrive from Laval and the northern suburbs of Montreal and pass through the borough to reach downtown Montreal.


“We are talking about thousands and thousands of vehicles per day. And every year it’s worse than the year before. Why do we have to agree to live like this? »


Many motorists pass through Outremont to reach downtown Montreal.

Alain Roy, his neighbor, agrees. “We have the impression that our quality of life is being sacrificed to give the streets to people who don’t even want to be here, who just want to save 5 or 10 minutes in their day. »

Laurent Desbois, mayor of the Outremont borough, notes that 25,000 vehicles per day use the Rockland Bridge, a number which has increased significantly in recent years.


Laurent Desbois, mayor of Outremont

It’s essentially an exit from Highway 15 which flows into Outremont. This is complete nonsense.

Laurent Desbois, mayor of Outremont

According to the mayor, 80% of the requests from borough citizens regarding the security of streets in residential areas and around schools are linked to through traffic coming from the Rockland Bridge.

“It’s a scourge. There are 4,500 vehicles per day passing on Davaar Avenue, and 9,000 per day passing on McEachran Avenue, two streets where families live. The sidewalks are full of children. These are not streets that were made to accommodate so many vehicles. »

“Like in 1960”

In October, the central city met with residents and elected officials of Outremont to share its vision for the new version of the Rockland overpass, which must be started in 2030, because the current structure, erected in 1966 , is reaching the end of its life. The costs of constructing the structure could amount to $200 million.


The Rockland overpass, in Outremont

The project presented at that time included four lanes of motorized traffic, as is the case today, in addition to the addition of a pedestrian link and a bicycle link.

“It surprised me enormously. We are putting the car at the heart of travel, like in 1960,” said Mr. Desbois, adding that the central city must, according to him, give direction to civil servants and consultants so that they can propose “modern” solutions to the problem of transport in this sector.

“We are working on our Local Travel Plan (PLD), and we want to make the area safer for citizens, but if there are so many cars, we are not solving the problem. »

Marie-Chantal Doucet, a resident of Outremont who organizes a group of citizens opposed to identical reconstruction, notes that action must be taken to eliminate transit on the Rockland Bridge. “Traffic is already intolerable, so with an identical reconstruction, it will further increase transit in our small streets,” she said.

Not identical

Robert Beaudry, City councilor, member of the executive committee and member of the Montreal agglomeration council, notes that the City is working on several projects in Montreal to facilitate transportation in the metropolis, including that of the future Rockland overpass.

“We are talking about a highway infrastructure that will be replaced,” he said. We want to encourage other types of travel, and also encourage residential development and social housing in this sector. »

The options presented to citizens last October were “preliminary options,” notes Mr. Beaudry.


Robert Beaudry, councilor of the City of Montreal

We worked with Outremont, with Mont-Royal. We will come back in 2025 with presentations of concepts, the final layout, the geometry of the street, the number of lanes, etc. We are working on them.

Robert Beaudry, councilor of the City of Montreal

Mr. Beaudry says that the version of the project which will be presented in 2025 will not have four lanes of motorized traffic, and therefore a reduction in the space provided for motorized vehicles on the structure is to be expected.

“Will it be two lanes? Will it be two lanes, with a bus lane? It’s not finalized yet. One thing is certain, we want to avoid solo driving, we want safe travel for everyone. »

The elected official notes that responsibility for travel safety is shared between the district and the city center.

“We have to work hand in hand. I can’t wait to see the Outremont PLD, for the moment, there is none. We continue to secure, we continue to plan well. »


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