Starting Sept. 17, drivers heading northbound on des Anciens-Combattants Boulevard in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue will no longer be able to turn left at the intersection of the ramp for Highway 20 west during the evening rush hour.
The ban will be in effect Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
City council voted in favour of the one-year pilot project at a council meeting Monday evening.
The aim is to relieve traffic congestion in the village during the evening rush hour.
The city says it’s a question of ensuring citizen safety; that congested roads slow down emergency vehicles and leads to increased response times.
The Montreal Fire department supports the measure, but nonetheless, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa says she realizes not everyone will be happy.
“We are aware that the new measures will impact the habits of drivers who regularly use this ramp to get onto Highway 20 West,” she said. “Although we are receptive to critiques, the safety of our citizens remains our first priority and leaves no room for compromise.”
The project will be re-evaluated periodically during its one-year run.
The city blames a growing population and outdated infrastructure for much of the congestion on Highway 20 and its access roads.
Citing data from the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges, authorities say the population increased by 16.8 per cent between 2006 and 2015, but the infrastructure dates back to the 1970s.
Hawa said ultimately a long-term solution is the responsibility of the provincial government.
“As a municipality, Sainte Anne de Bellevue’s authority is limited to local streets. In this context, the short-term mitigation measures put in place seem to be the most appropriate,” she explained, adding she hopes all parties can work together to put in place measures that will solve traffic issues on Highway 20.
The Town of Baie-D’Urfé said in a statement the influx of vehicles was not anticipated and was not discussed.
The pilot project will make drivers head two kilometers east to neighbouring Baie-D’Urfé, where drivers can head back on to Highway 20 West by taking the Morgan Street exit.
Baie-D’Urfé officials say they will now monitor the situation at the Morgan Street and Lakeshore Drive intersection.
They said they will also take all the necessary measures to counteract the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue pilot project if it causes increased traffic in the area.