Street planning always seems to have winners and losers. West Islanders who are tired of being stuck in rush-hour traffic are constantly complaining about the missing but long-promised Cavendish extension which would link Ville Saint-Laurent with Cote Saint-Luc, N.D.G., Hampstead and Montreal West.
And I’m sure some of these same people are bemoaning an extension of their own. This Week Beaconsfield voted to open up James Shaw Street (look at all those swimming pools!) to Highway 40 near the Chemin Sainte-Marie exit. The street’s residents are unhappy of course because it means more traffic for their protected suburban enclave.
It’s kind of silly how cities manipulate traffic flow to apease residents’ concerns, even to the point of nonsense.
Take Jacques-Bizard Boulevard for example. One might think that “Boulevard” would mean a lot of vehicular traffic. And a quick look at the street shows it has enough space for a good five lanes of traffic. A look at the map would show that the boulevard leads to a bridge to Ile Bizard on one end, and a medium-traffic street with a blank field beside it which is clearly designed for future expansion into more lanes.
Despite this, people bought houses on Jacques-Bizard Boulevard in Pierrefonds, and its extension Sommerset St. in Dollard des Ormeaux. Then, when the traffic coming off the bridge from Ile Bizard started driving up their wide boulevard, they complained to the city.
My response would probably have been something along the lines of “you know what you were getting into when you bought the place”, but clearly I don’t know how to deal with homeowners. Instead, the city forced all traffic to turn left or right onto Pierrefonds Boulevard, adding to the already clogged St. John’s and St. Charles thoroughfares.
I wonder: what would traffic be like in this city if homeowners weren’t so greedy?