Tag Archives: Cartierville

The Toupin Blvd. plan

It’s about to get just a bit easier, and yet more difficult, to drive through Cartierville and Ville-Saint Laurent.

The city has presented its plan for making sure the residents on or near Toupin Blvd. don’t get overwhelmed with through traffic when Cavendish Blvd. is extended north to Henri-Bourassa.

The main focus is to get people coming to and from Laval to use the arteries: Highway 13 and Marcel-Laurin/Laurentien.

For the full details, you can see the slideshow (PDF), which has crazy details like counting the number of cars through each intersection and including the width of lanes and stuff.

But here’s the skinny for drivers:

  1. Vehicles will not be allowed straight through from Toupin onto Cavendish and vice-versa. Period.
  2. A dedicated bike lane will be installed on the Cavendish extension, and one of those middle-of-the-road bike lanes on Toupin Blvd. in both directions.
  3. A concrete median will be installed on Henri-Bourassa preventing traffic from turning left onto side streets to get around the restriction.
  4. Two streets east of Toupin will be made one-way (the directions above are random; it’s unclear which road is in which direction)
  5. A second left turning lane will be installed on Henri-Bourassa at Marcel-Laurin to accommodate an increase in traffic. Marcel-Laurin will be modified to better accommodate the traffic as well, including synchronized lights.
  6. Public transit on Henri-Bourassa will be modified in some mysterious way, also to coincide with a new train station at Highway 13 on the Montreal-Deux-Montagnes line.
  7. A troll will be stationed during rush hours on Toupin Blvd. and will spit at your car if it thinks you’re trying to find a shortcut to Laval.

OK, I made that last one up.

The Toupin Blvd. “solution”

Faced with growing opposition from local residents, the city has come up with a solution to the northern Cavendish extension to Henri-Bourassa Blvd.: Fudge it.

Toupin “solution”

The solution to the problem of traffic barrelling down Toupin Blvd. toward a non-existent bridge to Laval would be to simply disallow it. Traffic heading north on Cavendish would be forced to turn left (toward Highway 13) or right (toward Marcel-Laurin Blvd., Route 117), the nearest roads with bridges to Laval. Traffic heading south would be unrestricted.

Meanwhile, a couple of “environmentally friendly” additions to the plan include reducing the width from three lanes to two in each direction (Toupin is two lanes, Cavendish is three), and adding bicycle paths in both directions (which is great and all, but they don’t go anywhere on either side).

Making the case for a quieter Toupin Blvd.

This week I spoke with Nicolas Stone, a resident of Cartierville three houses away from Toupin Blvd., who is one of many in that area opposed to a northern extension of Cavendish Blvd. The plan would connect Cavendish, through a new development in Bois Franc, to Henri-Bourassa Blvd. at Toupin Blvd.

Toupin Blvd. … not so whiny

The residents (whom I dubbed “concerned citizens” as you see above) oppose it for the obvious reason that it would turn Toupin Blvd. into a throughway (even though there’s nothing beyond the neighbourhood — the closest bridges to Laval are at Marcel-Laurin to the east and Highway 13 to the west).

Stone (a husband with three hyperactive toddlers I found after he made a comment on this blog) makes a compelling case. His concerns mainly revolve around philosophical objections to creating more roads and encouraging single-passenger traffic. He takes public transit to work and used to bike everywhere.

He was a good sport about the interview, even when I flat-out accused him of being part of the problem by contributing to urban sprawl.

The other Cavendish extension

We keep hearing about the Cavendish extension, a long-awaited road link between Ville-Saint-Laurent and Côte-Saint-Luc which will solve a lot of motorist (and public transit) headaches and get some traffic off the oversaturated top of the Decarie Expressway.

But at the other end is a similar connection waiting to happen. This one is much shorter and doesn’t cross any tracks, but residents are complaining of the same problems.

Cavendish extension onto Toupin Blvd.

The issue, as the Chronicle explains, is pure suburban greed. Residents in the northern part, a middle-class neighbourhood of western Cartierville with some very affluent areas, are panicking at the thought of cars taking their boulevard. I’m not quite sure where all this traffic is supposed to go. To the west is the Bois de Saraguay, followed by Highway 13, and to the east is Sacré Coeur Hospital followed by Laurentian Blvd. But hey, outrage doesn’t have to be logical, right? Maybe they just don’t like ambulances on their street.

We’ve seen all this before. James Shaw Street in Beaconsfield, where residents oppose a connection to Highway 40. Broughton Road in Montreal-West, where residents ludicrously complain of giant nonexistent trucks barrelling down the twists and turns of the residential streets to reach a far-off Highway 20. Not to mention at least some opponents of the other Cavendish extension.

Their logic is simple. They have no problem using the streets other people’s homes sit on to drive their SUVs to and from work. But if those other people want to use their streets, suddenly it becomes a child safety issue. Their street deserves protection. Their street must remain a dead-end. For the good of their children.

In case you couldn’t tell by my sarcasm, it’s hypocrisy pure and simple. Greedy suburbanites who want the government to legislate a de facto gated community and have the entire world built around them.

Fortunately, the borough sees right through their arguments. Next time you want to live on a street without traffic, make sure you choose one without “Boulevard” in its name.

UPDATE (Sept. 23): A follow-up story from the Courrier’s Catherine Leroux

UPDATE (Sept. 28): A video posted to YouTube shows traffic on the street, but except for some drivers failing to make complete stops at stop signs, nothing particularly incriminating.