Residents argue Turcot traffic spilling into Montreal West, clogging small streets

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While traffic has been lighter than expected around the Turcot Interchange, residents in Montreal West argue their neighbourhood is looking more and more like a highway every day.

Traffic has increased in the area since closures on Highway 20 started Sunday.

READ MORE: West Island commuters avoiding Turcot Interchange turn to public transit, risk overcrowding trains

“There is no such thing as ‘against’ traffic anymore. It’s everywhere,” said Montreal West resident Kevin Alladin.

He works in the West Island, but says he still feels the effects of the closures.

READ MORE: West Island commuters turn to train as alternative to Turcot Interchange

Residents insist the problem is that drivers are using Montreal West as a shortcut.

Instead of facing traffic at the Turcot Interchange, many exit at the Ville Saint-Pierre Interchange, ending up on Westminster Avenue before using smaller side streets to get downtown.

“Drivers knew it was coming, but they’re trying to find an alternate route through the city,” said Alladin.

“It’s making the side streets and streets that aren’t used to carrying that volume of cars much more difficult.”

READ MORE: Turcot Interchange down to one lane until 2018

The amount of traffic on residential streets is a surprise even for Montreal West mayor Beny Masella.

“I don’t even know why people are on them, frankly,” he said.

“People are just coming in to town and looking to get out and on side streets and they shouldn’t be there.”

READ MORE: Is construction on the Turcot Interchange making Saint-Henri residents sick?

New speed warnings have been installed on Brock South Avenue, Ballantyne Avenue and Ronald Drive.

“I hate to say that public transit is a problem,” said Alladin.

“If they’re adding trains on the train line and the gates close, there’s going to be that much longer a line. There’s just constant traffic at the level crossings.”

Masella agrees having three AMT train lines pass through Montreal West is a double-edged sword.

READ MORE: A-720 east will close in November as Turcot Interchange project continues

“It’s not just people from Montreal West coming to get the train. We have people from NDG, Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead all looking for ways to get to the highway,” he said.

The town has been pushing for a redesign of the level crossing.

READ MORE: ‘It has a huge impact’: Residents living near the Turcot interchange prepare for the future

While that would be a long-term, million dollar project, Masella said he is also trying to impose immediate changes, including installing a new traffic light.