Vaudreuil street barrier calms traffic and riles neighbours

A traffic-calming barrier on Tonnancour Street in Vaudreuil is dividing the neighbourhood that it was meant to help.

Homemade spike-belt takes tensions to a new level on Tonnancour Street

Homeowner Motti Bembaron says the barrier that he lobbied the City of Vaudreuil to erect on Tonnancour Street has improved quality of life in the neighbourhood. (CBC)

A traffic-calming barrier on Tonnancour Street in Vaudreuil is dividing the neighbourhood that it was meant to help.

The situation took a turn for the worse recently with the appearance of homemade spike-belts on the street after some drivers began ignoring the barrier and driving through.

The City of Vaudreuil installed the barrier in February after lobbying by residents on the north end of Tonnancour Street.

Homeowner Motti Bembaron led the campaign for the barrier, which he said was needed to cut down on the more than 2,000 cars a day that were passing through the neighbourhood.

He says those opposed to the barrier don’t understand the improved quality of life that it’s brought to his end of Tonnancour Street.

“For them their inconvenience is the most important thing and they refuse to understand that for us it's really life-changing,” he told CBC News.

It’s a different story for residents on the south side of the barrier, who say they now have to drive more than two kilometres out of their way to get in and out of the neighbourhood.

A spike-belt made from nails driven through a piece of rubber was found on Tonnancour Street after cars began driving around the barrier. (CBC)

Resident Maxime Besner says that route takes cars past a popular park full of children.

“Many cars go by the park where many kids are playing because the street is closed,” said resident Maxime Besner.

Vaudreuil’s Mayor, Guy Pilon, said the detour is a small price to pay for improved safety on Tonnancour Street.

“At the end of the day the safety of the population is more important to us,” he told CBC News.

Mounting friction in the neighbourhood, however, has some wondering just how safe things are in the neighbourhood.

The appearance of the homemade spike belt has Rose-Marie Annett concerned.

“Right here, where the children walk and the dogs, so it's actually become more dangerous than it ever has before,” she told CBC News. 

Annett says what’s needed is a compromise, like a residents-only permit to drive around the barrier.