July 13, 2018 1:33 pm

Pierrefonds residents worry green access road will add to traffic woes

WATCH ABOVE: The City of Montreal announced a new stretch of road connecting Pierrefonds' Antoine-Faucon Street and Highway 40, which will only be open to public transportation, pedestrians and cyclists. As Global's Dan Spector reports, some residents feel betrayed by the city's decision to exclude them from the new roadway.

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Alexies Lazar lives on Antoine-Faucon in Pierrefonds.

Every day, she has to back her car into her driveway. With all the traffic on her street, nobody would let her back out of her driveway.

“If I were to park my car the other way, it would take 10 minutes just to get out of my driveway,” she said before leaving for work Friday morning.

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Lazar has long hoped for something that would ease traffic on her street. Friday she learned for the first time that there will be a new connection between Antoine-Faucon’s western tip and the new REM station planned for Kirkland.

“That would make me so happy!” she said.

She also found out the new road won’t be open to cars.

READ MORE: ‘It’s useless’: Pierrefonds residents rip new plan to build green access road

On Tuesday, the city and the province announced the new road will only be for public transit, pedestrians and cyclists.

People who live on Antoine-Faucon and in the surrounding area are angry.

“Now that they’re not including traffic, it’s going to be hell around here,” said local resident Gary Brown. “They haven’t stopped developing in Pierrefonds west and it’s just getting worse.”

There was a steady stream of cars on Antoine-Faucon Friday morning, but Brown said the traffic in the fall and winter months is far worse.

“In the winter, you’ll be backed up 500 or 750 metres down here, bumper to bumper to bumper,” he explained.

Authorities hope people take public transit or walk to get to the eventual REM station in Kirkland. Some are not on board.

READ MORE: Green access road set for future Kirkland REM station

“No one’s going to walk to the bus, wait 15 minutes, then take the bus another 5 minutes to the train and wait there,” said Thomas Gacsi, who also lives in the area.

“It’s not logical just to count on public transport to get around,” Brown argued. “We’re a car society in the West Island.”

City hall opposition leader Lionel Perez told Global News the new plan shows Valerie Plante is “disconnected from West Island Montrealers’ reality.”

A spokesman for the Plante administration said having better active and public transit is the best way to decrease traffic in the sector, and pointed to the approval of the project by the mayors of Ile Bizard, Kirkland and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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