(Newsfirst) An association of mayors from Laval and the Lower Laurentians reacted positively last week to news the CAQ Transport Minister Chantal Rouleau has decided to open a project office to oversee the creation of measures to deal with growing traffic problems on highways and autoroutes leading from Montreal to Laval and the North Shore.
A strategic move
“This project office is of strategic importance for more than a million citizens who must get around on the territory,” Laval mayor Marc Demers said in response to the announcement. “It will allow us now to deal in a very real way with problems of congestion.”
In their announcement, the mayors said the welcome eagerly an investment by the government of Quebec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to finance other measures that will come into effect beginning in 2020.
Gov’t paying the costs
“We are pleased that the government has taken into its charge the costs related to the various mitigation measures,” said Terrebonne mayor Marc-André Plante. “It was important for us to spare our citizens additional expenses which would have been added to inconveniences they already will be facing during the work on the REM.”
All the same, a lot of work remains to be done, added Deux-Montagnes mayor Denis Martin, who is also the prefect for the Deux-Montagnes MRC. “The consequences of the work are already being felt,” he said.
Impact on travel times
“It thus remains all-important that the government continues to work in narrow collaboration with the municipalities in order to arrive at a strategy that is quick and efficient in its measures,” added Mayor Martin. “These should not slow down in a significant way travel times for users of public transit.”
Beginning in January 2020, commuter trains on the Deux-Montagnes line will be going no further than the Bois-Franc station in Montreal. Then in 2021, the entire length of the Deux-Montagnes line will be out of service. As for the Mascouche line, trains will go no further than the Ahuntsic station beginning in January next year.