Saint-Laurent adopts a local Transportation Plan focused on more equitable sharing of public roads



    SAINT-LAURENT, QC, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - At its general meeting on June
2, 2009, Saint-Laurent Borough Council adopted a local transportation plan.
The result of work begun two years ago, in response, notably, to an invitation
that the Ville de Montréal issued to the boroughs to put in place a local
transportation plan aligned with the city's own transportation plan,
Saint-Laurent's Transportation Plan marks the culmination of a process focused
on joint action, consultation and partnership.
    From the very start of the transportation plan initiative, in the fall of
2007, Saint-Laurent organized public workshops and focus groups to identify
major transportation issues and solution pathways. To this end, citizens,
companies, community partners and other local stakeholders were invited to
voice their concerns in the matter of local transportation. A second
consultation session, attended by more than a hundred people, was held in
March 2009 in order to validate the broad orientations being proposed prior to
the presentation of the final version of the Transportation Plan.
    "We consulted residents from the very start of the process in order to
include their concerns in our analysis," stated the Mayor of Saint-Laurent,
Alan DeSousa. "In addition, we took the time to hold meetings in different
sectors to discuss specific problem issues and to find solutions. For example,
we met with residents in the Toupin sector regarding the extension of
Boulevard Cavendish. Finally, we worked closely with all partners involved in
the initiative. In this regard, we were pioneers because we took care to align
our Action Plan with the Société de transport de Montréal's action plan, a
first in the development of a local transportation plan."

    Diagnostic portrait of the territory

    To achieve its local Transportation Plan, the borough began by asking the
consulting firm Tecsult to conduct a detailed diagnostic study of the
territory. The study made it possible to highlight the significant number of
individual trips made in the borough-400 000 each day, all transportation
methods combined.
    Trips made by residents, most of which involve travel outside
Saint-Laurent, account for 40% of all travel. However, the great majority of
trips in the territory are made by people travelling to Saint-Laurent for
their jobs. Indeed, Saint-Laurent is a major employment hub within the
metropolitan region, the second-largest such hub after downtown Montréal. The
approximately 3500 companies located in the borough account for some 110 000
jobs.
    Also worth noting is the fact that the Saint-Laurent community is growing
fast. The community recorded the highest growth rate-at 9.6%-among all
Montréal boroughs between 2001 and 2006. Today, Saint-Laurent has a population
of 87 000 and it is expected that this number will rise steadily. Based on
known development projects, around 5300 dwellings and one million square feet
of industrial and commercial space will be built over the next few years.

    Taking a variety of actions to foster better coexistence

    By adopting a transportation plan, the Borough of Saint-Laurent aims to
foster better coexistence among all modes of transportation on public roads
while at the same time putting the accent on its citizens' safety and quality
of life.
    "The local Transportation Plan takes account of characteristics specific
to the territory of Saint-Laurent, of projected development and of the
necessity to integrate public transit and active modes of travel-by foot and
bicycle-into residential and industrial projects," stated Mayor DeSousa.
    It was from this perspective that Saint-Laurent developed a three-year
Action Plan stemming from its Transportation Plan. Titled For better sharing
of public roads, the Action Plan provides for concrete measures to:

    
    - expand public transit, notably by improving service in several areas
      where needs are great, chiefly in industrial sectors and on high-usage
      transit routes;
    - foster the collective use of cars, especially by promoting the Centre
      de gestion des déplacements de Saint-Laurent (Saint-Laurent travel
      management centre) and by increasing the number of Communauto service
      points:
    - improve pedestrian travel conditions, more specifically by installing
      permanent road markings and by increasing the number of two-stage
      pedestrian crosswalks in targeted areas, by improving signage in school
      zones and by improving safety in streets around parks;
    - undertake a major expansion, within 10 years, of the bike-path network;
    - better manage truck traffic and introduce traffic-calming measures
      (narrowing of pavement, speed indicators, speed limit reduced to
      40 km/h in residential areas);
    - optimize use of the road network by, among other ways, bringing
      traffic-light synchronization up to standard and by improving signage
      on the arterial network;
    - improve the way parking is managed, notably by introducing a new policy
      on parking stickers in certain sectors and by adopting, over the next
      few weeks and in tandem with the Transportation Plan, a new policy on
      off-street parking.
    

    Ten times as many bike paths within 10 years

    "One of the highlights of our local Transportation Plan Action Plan is
our willingness to significantly expand our bike-path network in the near
future," indicated Mayor DeSousa. "As such, we plan a tenfold increase in the
number of kilometres of bike paths in our territory-from 8.2 km today to 82 km
within the next 10 years. We're also planning to implement a local action plan
in favour of pedestrians, which will include universal access. The plan
includes a variety of measures, such as better development of pedestrian lanes
and giving priority treatment to zones where accidents are more likely to
occur."

    Development of green neighbourhoods

    Finally, the development of "green" neighbourhoods is one of the
solutions being proposed to safeguard the safety and quality of life in
residential sectors. This concept involves the installation of specific
signage, the development of public space that aims to make travel by foot and
bike a pleasant experience, offering easier access to public transit, and
restricting automobile traffic to local travel.

    Several million dollars' worth of investments

    At the Borough Council meeting, Mayor DeSousa also announced that Council
will inject major sums to implement priority actions that are identified in
the Transportation Plan Action Plan-$1 million this year and $1 million per
year over the next two years.
    "The Transportation Plan is one of our most important achievements of the
last few years, and we're very proud of it," said Mayor DeSousa in closing.
"The Plan is compatible with the main lines of Montréal's transportation plan,
which aims, notably, to meet the mobility needs of all Montrealers by ensuring
that the agglomeration is an enjoyable place to live as well as a prosperous
and environmentally respectful economic hub. It takes account of the reality
of life in Saint-Laurent and, especially, of concerns voiced by all community
stakeholders."

    To consult the complete version of Saint-Laurent's local Transportation
Plan, visit the website at ville.montreal.qc.ca/saint-laurent and click on the
"Transportation Plan" graphical link on the home page.




For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with Mayor DeSousa:
Johanne Houde, Chef de division, (514) 855-6000, ext. 4304, (514) 928-8798
(mobile); Source: Direction des relations avec les citoyens; Division du
protocole et des relations publiques


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