I often go to the gym on the way home on week nights. To do this, I take the St. Charles exit off westbound Highway 40 in Vaudreuil-Dorion . Driving along the off-ramp from the highway, the lineup of cars taking the exit is usually quite long.
The backup is due to two things:
1. An ever-increasing number of people moving to the area.
2. A road network that has not kept up with this population growth.
As a member at Physical Park, located at the end of Joseph Carrier St., I drive right past all the cars lined up in the left-hand lane of the off-ramp. The majority of commuters at this time are heading home and, therefore, have to turn left onto St. Charles Blvd. They have all noticed how the city of Vaudreuil-Dorion rebuilt the exit ramp last year, adding lanes to the exit ramp leading up to St. Charles St. But the problem is that there is still only one lane that turns left onto St. Charles. The ideal situation would be to allow two lanes to turn left. This would reduce the backlog and allow traffic to flow through the exit at a faster clip. But for that to happen, the St. Charles overpass over Highway 40 would have to be widened. That will come, but when?
It is a subject of concern as the town of Vaudreuil-Dorion continues to develop. Especially now, when the town is focusing its future development on increasing residential units in what it considers its downtown core – the area around De La Gare Blvd. and the commuter train station.
New condo buildings continue to be built in this area, the popular shopping strip. But the next phase will include 12-storey high-rises. The towers would be a mix of residential and commercial units. The aim is to increase density and promote more pedestrian traffic. The idea is to have everything one would need within walking distance – home to shopping, commercial offices and, if you need to commute, the train. It’s a nice plan. But will Off-Islanders leave their cars in the condo parking lots?
The lineups at the St. Charles exit during the evening rush hour paint a different picture.
Your comments are welcome.