October 18, 2017 7:24 pm

Montreal elections 2017: Pierrefonds-Roxboro traffic plan a hot-button issue

WATCH: Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayoral candidates Justine McIntyre and Jim Beis face off over how best to deal with traffic congestion in the borough.Global's Phil Carpenter reports.

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Traffic congestion is an election issue for some residents on the West Island.

On Wednesday, Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayoral candidate Justine McIntyre outlined her plans to fix the problem in the borough.

Besides promising to do a better job of planning road work and improving service for public transit, she wants to move forward with an urban boulevard, a fourth link, in addition to Sources, St. Jean and St. Charles, that will connect to Highway 40.

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The idea has been discussed for years and plans were announced eight years ago to have it built.

Incumbent Jim Beis said: “we’ve worked towards it since 2009 when we had the groundbreaking ceremony.”

The land, just west of Chateau Pierrefonds Avenue is owned by the Quebec Ministry of Transport, and McIntyre thinks that’s part of the problem. She has her own proposal to get around it.

“We would like to negotiate with the Ministry of Transportation so that we would become the owners of that project,” she said so that they wouldn’t have to wait on the transport minister.

But Beis says delays are due to changes in government since the groundbreaking, and he says work can’t go ahead before the public is consulted.

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“In 2018, the bureau d’audience publique is gonna be holding public consultations on the urban boulevard, and that has been because we’ve been pushing for it,” Beis said. “Nothing can be done until the consultations take place.”

Another problem is, not everyone wants a road built in an area they see as a sanctuary.

Resident Ernest Cook, who was out walking his dogs said: “Basically, we don’t want any development to go on here.  It’s a great green space and the West Island is running out of green space. It’s a no-brainer!”

He adds that no matter what’s done, there will always be congestion.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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