Drivers and commuters heading over Mount Royal say they’re having a hard time navigating the new configuration on Camillien-Houde Way — and it’s causing traffic congestion.
In May, several safety measures were implemented on Mount Royal. Most notably, the narrowest part of the Camillien-Houde Way, which is a two-way street, was reduced to a one-way lane with a traffic light.
“The city is asking car drivers, if they want to go and access downtown very quickly, they should avoid the area. Camillien Houde is not a highway any more,” said Philippe Sabourin, a city spokesperson.
“The idea is to slow down the traffic and to secure the area.”
WATCH: Montreal cyclists worried about changes on Mount Royal
Cars now to take turns to drive through. Yet, commuters say the alternating traffic is confusing and slowing them down.
Some drivers claim they’ve waited as long as 15 minutes to pass the traffic lights since the changes came into effect.
“It’s more room for bikers and stuff like that, but for cars and trucks, not really good,” said driver Laurent Jette.
“I don’t think it’s a great idea to do it like that.”
However, Sabourin says he was on Camillien-Houde Way Wednesday morning and at its peak, there were about three cars on the street.
Other safety measures include flexible, vertical posts installed to deter motorists from making illegal U-turns, speed bumps, larger shoulders and additional radar speed signs.
“If people are upset because it doesn’t go fast enough because there’s a light and some speed bumps, well, take another road,” Mayor Valérie Plante said at the announcement in May.
WATCH: Montreal adopts new safety measures for Camillien-Houde Way
The new configuration is part of the city’s efforts to slow traffic on Mount Royal after a decision to keep the route open following a five-month pilot project in 2018 that saw the road partially closed.
The controversial project was panned for being poorly implemented and lacking any regard for public opinion.
Nevertheless, city officials defended the project, arguing that it allowed residents to reconnect with nature, curbed traffic and made the mountain safer.
The plan to make Camillien-Houde Way safer came about after months of debate prompted by the death of 18-year-old cyclist Clément Ouimet, who was killed in a 2017 crash by a car that was reportedly making an illegal U-turn.
WATCH: Debate continues over what to do with the road that cuts through Mount Royal