Pointe-Claire seeks to get ahead of light-rail traffic woes

Traffic is already terrible on St-Jean Boulevard, especially during rush hour. Add to that two new major rail stations and residential and commercial development, and the gridlock could become untenable.

Traffic is already terrible on St-Jean's and the light-rail project could make it worse, mayor says

Pointe-Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau said the changes that come with the light-rail project represent new opportunities for his city, but also a slew of challenges. (CBC)

The City of Pointe-Claire is asking the provincial government for help to improve traffic flow and overhaul existing interchanges in time for the inauguration of the $5.5-billion light-rail project.

Traffic is already terrible on St-Jean Boulevard, especially during rush hour. But the light-rail project could make matters worse, as there are plans to build two major stations close to the boulevard.

With further residential and commercial developments planned for the area, municipal officials fear the gridlock could quickly become untenable. 

Mayor Morris Trudeau said the changes that come with the project represent new opportunities for his city, but also a slew of challenges.

"There's no question, there will be a lot more traffic because people will be attracted to this new mode of transportation," he said.

Solving problems before they start

Pointe-Claire tabled a brief with the Quebec environmental review board, known as the BAPE, asking for the province's guidance to solve potential issues before they become long-term problems.

Trudeau hopes not only to tackle north-south traffic woes, but make existing interchanges more pedestrian- and bike- friendly as well.

He also wants to move the planned location of the Pointe-Claire station from the west side of Fairview Avenue to the east side, closer to the shopping centre.

A computer-generated sketch of the light-rail train at St-Jean Boulevard and Holiday Avenue in Pointe-Claire. (Submitted by the City of Pointe-Claire)

It's a suggestion that CDPQ Infra — the subsidiary of Quebec's pension fund that will plan, finance, develop and operate the rail project — is considering.

"We think it's a good point and a good solution," media director Jean-Vincent Lacroix said.

"After we present a first draft of the location and the path, the goal for us was really to sit down with each municipality to make sure it makes sense for them."