A new measure to clamp down on traffic near Pointe-Claire’s three train stations is being met with mixed reactions from residents and commuters in the area.
The City of Pointe-Claire is introducing a paid street parking area, known as Zone 50, which will be reserved for residents around the Cedar, Pointe-Claire and Valois train stations beginning March 9.
“This initiative aims to control access to street parking for public transport users and vehicle owners living in these areas, given the work underway to develop the Réseau express métropolitain (REM),” the city said in a statement.
Restricting access to parking is also necessary as the Mount Royal tunnel is set to close at the end of March, according to the city.
The closure is expected to create a longer and more difficult daily commute for passengers on the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train lines, which could bring an influx of train users to the Vaudreuil-Hudson line that runs through Pointe-Claire.
Under the plan, drivers who park in Zone 50 will require a special permit to do so between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. from Monday to Friday. It will not be in effect on the weekends.
Caroline Shepard doesn’t agree with the city’s initiative. She thinks paid parking will discourage the use of public transit.
“I think that’s totally wrong. We pay enough taxes in Pointe-Claire and we’re not in the city,” she said. “I think it’s totally uncalled for.”
The city, however, argues the measure is a necessary response to the high volume of traffic in the area. Officials say residents will have priority access to parking on the streets.
Commuters and residents who live near train stations are being encouraged to apply for the permits, which will be available as of Feb. 10.
For commuters, the permit costs $20 per vehicle for a two-year period. For residents who live in the zone, the first permit is available at no costs.
Leroux Theron, who has taken the train from Valois station every day for the past six months, said parking quickly fills up in the area and that he’s open to the city’s plan.
“If it means that I will have parking available and not have to worry about it, then I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “It might work.”
— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines