Dorval residents debate over Cardinal Avenue bike path

There’s a debate raging in Dorval, especially among residents who live close to Cardinal Avenue.

It’s over a separated lane for cyclists along that street, which runs from des Sources 2.5 kilometres to Albert-de-Niverville Boulevard next to the Trudeau Airport.  As a result, Cardinal is now one lane in each direction, and residents claim it’s causing traffic jams during rush hour.

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“From the Dorval circle to get to Sources, it takes 45 minutes,” fumes one resident who says she hasn’t seen many people use the lane.

People who live in the area say the increased traffic has made the street unsafe.

“When they’re backing out of their driveways,” explains Sarah Campeau, who lives close by, “they’re backing into oncoming traffic in both directions.”

On top of that, town authorities also installed signs prohibiting drivers from turning on side streets, to avoid the traffic.

“That means even residents can’t drive into the neighbourhood,” says Campeau, “so that’s a problem for a lot of people who are trying to get to their homes and can’t get there.”

So she started a petition to get the City of Dorval to make changes.

“Definitely reduce the width,” she says. “I think it could be moved over to the fence so that drivers have more room on the road.”

But others say the main problem is that trucks are using Cardinal Avenue illegally, to avoid Highway 20.

“The city and the police, they have to enforce the existing rule,” resident and avid cyclist Michel Lespérance says.

He also thinks a narrower street slows down traffic. So he started another petition to prevent any changes to the lane. But City of Dorval officials say the bike path is under the jurisdiction of the City of Montreal, and they can’t do much.

Beaconsfield had a similar issue with a bike path on their territory. Their officials say their hands were tied.

“It would perhaps be a good idea that the contract management be given to the local municipality,” Mayor Georges Bourelle said at the time.

Dorval officials say they will wait until the two petitions are presented at the next council meeting on Dec. 17, to review the matter.

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