Twenty centimetres of snow made traffic worse than usual last week in Montreal.
Concordia students depend heavily on the 105 bus to get to and from the Loyola campus. When it begins to snow, their usual method of transit gets way more complicated. On Nov. 11 and 12, Montreal received 20 centimetres of snow.
“I almost died yesterday,” said Huda Hafez, a student at Concordia University. “There was a big pile of snow covering the sidewalk, and I didn’t know where the sidewalk ended and the road started. So, I was actually standing in the bus’s way and the driver looked so angry, and he was going really fast.”
With snow, buses struggle to respect regular schedules in NDG, in Saint-Laurent, and almost everywhere in Montreal, according to public transit users.
Three construction projects on Côte-Vertu Boulevard in Saint-Laurent have been making traffic unbearable for most people in the area since April. Now that it has snowed, it’s making it even worse.
Although the three projects’ are meant to speed up public transit, the work will continue adversely affecting residents and workers until Dec. 15.
“The first project, at the Côte-Vertu metro station, consists of changing the permeability membrane to prevent water from getting in,” said Aref Salem, city councillor and vice-chair of the Commission sur le transport et les travaux publics. This project was complete by the beginning of last week.
The second project is the service rapide par bus (SRB), which is a 24/7 reserved bus lane.
“The whole point of the SRB between Côte-Vertu and Sauvé [stations] is to speed up buses, especially the 121. It has around 40,000 users every day, and we want to help them save time,” said Salem.
The third project is under the Montpellier REM train station viaduct and consists of changing the pillars.
“We want to strengthen the bridge to support new trains and a closed station so people can’t get access to the train without a valid ticket,” said Salem. Passengers will have to scan their tickets before entering the station.
Daily commuters of Côte-Vertu Boulevard are complaining the projects are causing traffic and the snow is making transport unbearable.
“I just want them to finish with all the construction,” said Maryam Bairouk, a resident near Côte-Vertu Boulevard. “I had a car accident a few weeks ago at the Jules-Poitras and Côte-Vertu light. A car was reversing because they were stuck in the intersection, and they smashed into my car.”
These projects are also affecting public transit users.
HEC student Annie Marcel said that before it snowed, the only annoyance was the detour the bus had to take near the metro. She said she’s glad this project ended before the snowstorm, but that the snow alone is a struggle.
“I had to wait over 10 minutes for the 121 to show up when it was only three minutes away. It was stuck at the same light for five minutes,” Marcel said.
Demix Construction, a division of CRH Canada Group Inc., is the contracting company of these projects.
Though The Concordian tried to reach the company, engineer and project manager Marco Pelle said the STM asked to redirect journalists’ questions to them, who also refused to comment.
These projects are expected to end by Dec. 15, and the SRB should be operational starting January 2020.
Feature photo by Britanny Clarke