Concrete roadblocks have Rosemont residents seeing red over traffic calming measures

Click to play video 'Concrete roadblocks have Rosemont residents seeing red over traffic calming measures' Concrete roadblocks have Rosemont residents seeing red over traffic calming measures
Some residents in Rosemont are unhappy with new concrete barriers that have been put up on Laurier Avenue as a traffic calming measure. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

Recently-installed concrete roadblocks have Rosemont residents seeing red over the borough’s traffic calming measures.

Laurier Avenue was transformed over the summer into a one-way street, with bike paths running along either side of the road.

In mid-November, the borough placed large barriers to direct vehicle traffic at the intersection of Laurier and 12th Avenue.

Additional dividers were also placed at Laurier and 2nd.

The move has angered numerous residents who are affected.

“We saw some signs go up one day but we didn’t know what was going to happen,” resident Nick Tsakalakis said.

“Than we saw this monstrosity.”

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Helene Roux has lived off Laurier for 20 years and said the new measures have forced her to consider moving.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s ugly and you would never see this in Westmount or Hampstead,” Roux said.

It’s a sentiment felt by many.

“I feel that the people in office leading this change have no idea what the people need,” Tsakalakis said.

The borough says the conversion of the street was done after being studied by an outside firm.

The firm CIMA + was responsible for analyzing and evaluating the project and its impacts on the surrounding area.

According to the borough, the speed and traffic were an issue, hence this new configuration.

“(It improves) the cohabitation of the different users of Laurier Avenue by creating a safer environment around the Pelican park, the Lafond park and Saint-Jean-de-la-Lande school,” spokesperson Laura Boily-Auclair said.

Roux says she has never noticed any traffic issues in her area.

In fact, she claims more have arisen thanks to the frustration drivers have with the new installations.

Large vehicles such as garbage trucks can be seen rolling over the plastic medians to avoid the detour, residents claim.

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In June, residents were notified of the changes in a notice sent to them by mail.

“It clearly mentions that two bypass islands will be installed soon as part of Vision Vélo,” Boily-Auclair said.

While Tsakalakis acknowledges this, he claims residents opposing the idea were not listened to.

“The most polite people said it doesn’t make sense; the less polite people said the mayor’s office must be smoking a lot of stuff,” Tsakalakis said.

He worries about the snow and how the street will be cleared with a large concrete barrier in the way.

“Are you sure that the trucks will be able to clear these streets properly? I don’t think so,” he said.

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In response, the borough said it understands that the situation will require a period where people will need to adapt.

“But these are essential measures for the safety and comfort of the most vulnerable users of the sector,” Boily-Auclair said.