In the Limoilou sector in Quebec, the future tram will significantly disrupt traffic patterns, especially in the alleys that surround the route.
The passage of the tram in Vieux-Limoilou poses a “particular challenge”, summed up the team of the project office during a presentation in camera for the media, Thursday morning.
The tram must run on a dedicated track in the center of 1st Avenue. However, to the south of the Videotron Center, the lack of space means that cars will only be able to travel south.
Certain streets perpendicular to 1st avenue will therefore be transformed into dead ends (between 7th and 12th streets) or part of the local traffic will be moved to the lanes closest to 1st Avenue. Work in this area is expected to begin in the spring of 2023.
In return, the City offers affected residents to repave these alleys with a design mixing concrete and grass, in addition to greening the approaches to the driveway. It also proposes making dead ends green spaces for socialization in addition to defraying the costs of snow removal currently borne by residents.
The fate of the owners who live on 1st Avenue in this sector remains uncertain. Refusing to speak of “expropriations”, the director of the project office, Daniel Genest indicated that “acquisitions” are still on the program, but did not want to say how many residences are affected.
At a press conference, Mayor Régis Labeaume argued that the streets of Vieux-Limoilou would be “quieter” despite the diversion of cars from 1st avenue to the rest of the neighborhood. “The ability to develop the end of the streets, the alleys as such, I think it will calm the neighborhood. Transit traffic through the alleys, I don’t believe in that. […] In principle, there will be less transit traffic through the premises. “
According to data provided by the city, half of the residents of Vieux-Limoilou already use active transportation to circulate morning and evening.
For the leader of the opposition Jean-François Gosselin, the changes proposed for the alleys are likely to “distort the soul of Limoilou”.
Abandonment of the operating center
The project office also expects that a majority of cars traveling normally in a northbound direction will trade 1st Avenue for the Laurentian highway. This would have a “marginal” impact on congestion, since we are talking about 200 vehicles per hour with a capacity of 6000, argued the director of the project office, Daniel Genest.
Beyond Vieux-Limoilou towards Charlesbourg, the impact of the tram on traffic looks less, since 1st Avenue is wider and allows cars to circulate in both directions on either side of the tram. On the other hand, the turn to the left will not be possible either in these sectors at the intersections with 1st Avenue.
Recall that the structuring network is a public transportation project of 3.3 billion dollars which provides for the addition of a 22-kilometer tram line, trambuses and dedicated infrastructure. The schedule provides that the site begins in 2022 and that the complete network will be commissioned in 2026.
The Project Office has also announced that it will not build a rolling stock maintenance center at 41st Street as planned, and that it will be satisfied with that planned in the Chaudière sector at west end of the course.
This announcement aroused the concern of Jean-François Gosselin of the Quebec 21 party who feared that it would take more time to resolve service outages with a single center at the end of the route. “If there is a break in the east, half of the tram will be paralyzed,” he pleaded.
Despite the abandonment of the center project on 41st Street, the City decided to acquire the rights-of-way of Hydro-Québec at this location to build homes. Already $ 15 million has been released to finance this project, which would link the districts of Lairet and Saint-Rodrigue.