BA quarter of the six highways across the river were zipped for a week, with motorists and workers coping differently. You have left the crossing and have changed their route or schedule.
Not to be missed, there was congestion around the bridges that week. More than usual at this time of year.
But much less than the Ministry of Transport expected.
As MTQ prepares to launch its second job Blitz next week, it will be useful to review the results of the first job.
Anyone who has seen (or expected to see) this site will not find anything more convincing than further proving the need for a third link.
First, here are some facts:
> The drop in traffic on the Laporte Bridge is spectacular: 60% less vehicles during the work week, or 48,000 per day instead of 134,000 at this time of year.
This reduces the number of vehicles to 86,000. This suggests that about 43,000 citizens leave the Pierre-Laporte Bridge each day, taking into account back-and-forth trips.
> There was only one accident on the Laporte Bridge throughout the work week (it happened on Saturday, July 3 at 10:50 am). MTQ played luck here. “A good surprise,” commented Patrick Hull, MTQ director of Sauter-Applause. After 10 minutes the path reopened.
> The “good behavior” of the citizens made it possible to maintain the flow of 1300 vehicles per hour on each of the open lanes. Despite the distractions and obstacles, it is still slower than the regular 1600 or 1700 speed.
> In the worst congestion, on Wednesday, June 30, we waited for an hour to pass at one point. Impatience is enough, but it is far from the scary deadline.
We were worried about emergency vehicles. Corridors and police aids have done their part better. Ambulances and buses from Lewis sometimes pass faster than normal.
> MTQ chose the “best time” for its work because the “window” is low.
Emergency waiting for classes to be over to be quiet.
You must have finished before going to school at the end of August. We like to avoid construction holidays, the time of year when transportation time is high.
It leaves two beaches suitable for work: one in late June / early July and the other in early August. These are the dates chosen by the Minister of Transport to redo the pavement of the Pierre-Laporte bridge.
I have five lessons to learn from work at the end of June:
1. Be prepared for the worst
The ministry prepared for the worst and showed all its potential.
Machiavelli did not come out of Vellianism, for the sake of drama or “strategy of fear” for pleasure. This is the way we do things in terms of public safety.
We need to consider the worst and plan project activities and staff to cover up all cases.
“If we hadn’t told you, people would have blamed us: why didn’t you tell us [qu’il y aurait de la congestion]”, Ministry spokeswoman Emily Lord argues. “We warned the people, we did well,” the ministry said.
In fact, we wanted to know it better than to find it while stuck in the approaches of the bridge.
However, bullying is an excellent process in traffic management.
During the first project meetings at LaBorte Bridge last fall, one participant recalled the “strategy” of Quebec 84. A little humor, but not so much.
That year, organizers warned spectators that they should stop at Drummondville and take the shuttle because Quebec is crowded.
They expect six million viewers. Probably some were scared (or were less interested in taller ships than they thought).
It came down to three times less and there was no congestion in Quebec that summer except for a few major events.
The good thing about predicting the worst is that you can reduce or “minimize” actions if the bad doesn’t happen.
For example, the MTQ found that corridors 20 on the east side of Highway 20 would allow passengers traveling to Montreal to escape congestion.
When work resumes in August, MTQ will be ready to reactivate this pavement if needed, but is likely to wait to see if it is really needed.
Another example: I realized that not all police officers are hired when they go to work.
2. Changing habits to reduce “need”
It is well known that better management of “need” can help reduce congestion at peak times. Here we think about delivery, stumbled hours and so on.
Epidemiology has been an excellent laboratory for this. “We didn’t think we could do so much telecommunications,” observes MDQ’s Patrick Hull. This is an “asset” in reducing the number of vehicles. Probably the most important factor, he suggests.
The business organization “played a key role in the success of the project”.
Companies have paid for hotel rooms to prevent employees from crossing the bridge. Others have changed the hours.
You can’t expect employers to pay hotels year-round to prevent employees from crossing the river.
But evidence is compelling that delivery and staggering work and class schedules can reduce congestion at peak times.
3. Public Transport: Unused capacity
> Buses. During the works the Society de Transport de Lewis (STL) planned to increase its service: additional trips, scheduled buses to the North Coast, extended booking corridors, price reductions.
“We even considered renting transparent buses in Montreal,” said General Manager Jean-Franசois Carrier. “MTQ told us: Get ready”. STL listened and was ready.
However, the results are moderate.
During the works the STL carried 3,900 people a day to the North. Twice as much as June 2020. But less than a normal year like 2019 (6700).
STL also sold another 150 metropolitan passports (up to 25%) for RTC buses and ferries.
Mr Carrier analyzes that these activities “did not serve much.” “The system can take even more […] There will be a real test in August. This is what we fear. “
The congestion did not hurt enough in June to encourage people to take public transportation.
I see two good news: 1) People don’t suffer much. 2) If things get too complicated in August, there is an exploitative ability to improve one’s position by getting on the bus and escape from traffic.
> Ferry recorded a 58% drop in passenger traffic in 2019 compared to the same period. The full capacity of the boat (590 passengers) was not reached during the 428 crossings made while working on the Laporte Bridge.
This is seen as a direct result of the popularity of teleworking.
We may also think that downtown Ferry is not an attractive solution for citizens.
The decline for cars was very low (only 9%).
However, we missed the second boat trip in an emergency.
43 Due to lack of space on the boat (capacity 54 vehicles) during crossing the vehicles were left at the dock enough.
Especially on June 30 and July 1, congestion on the bridges was significant.
The decision to withdraw one of the boats from the Quebec-Lewis line the same summer as the major work on the Laporte Bridge was not the most inspiring decision of the Sociட்டt டெ des Traversiers. One more thing, do we want to say?
4. Make better use of the Quebec Bridge
The department wants to use the Quebec Bridge for a long time to ease congestion on the Laborde Bridge, MTQ’s Mr Hull recalled. Working this summer was an opportunity to test it out.
Conclusion: About 47,000 vehicles a week went over the Quebec Bridge that week (+ 34%). The peak of nearly 55,000 (+ 56%) was measured on Wednesday.
This increased traffic did not prevent ambulances from being able to operate an emergency walkway on the central lane of the Quebec Bridge to pass through. (Were 3 or 4 a day).
The call to change lanes at the Laviolet Bridge in Troyes-Rivers seems to have had an impact: an 18% increase in traffic in the last week of June + 27% on Wednesday 30th.
Passenger and heavy trucks from Montreal may have crossed the river on the Troyes-Rivers rather than Saint-Phoebe.
Others have undoubtedly moved more than 40 to 20 from Montreal. Says Hol. However, there is no data for this effect.
5. Provide additional information in real time
Since Wednesday, June 30, MDQ has been able to display “in real time” the number of minutes waiting for each bridge on “dynamic panels” on roads. The first thing that can become a permanent practice.
For example, instead of reading “Pont Pierre-Laporte: congestion” and “Pont de Québec: fluid circulation” we can read the expected waiting times. Example: 45 minutes to the Pierre-Laporte Bridge; 25 minutes to Quebec Bridge.
Used for the first time on June 30, the system quickly yielded results. MTQ’s Patrick Hull commented, “It was very successful.
It is enough if the department plans to make the information available at all times. The final decision has not yet been made, but the interest is clear.
However, the measurement has its limitations. The announcement of the fast crossing time on the Quebec Bridge will have the effect of diverting some traffic there. The Quebec Bridge and its approaches will quickly become congested. A balance must be maintained.
Based on the results of the first Blitz in June it is not possible to predict the amount of congestion of the second phase works in early August.
On paper, the amount of traffic at the beginning of August (the 33rd week of the year) compared to the end of June (the 27th week). 138,000 per day in August and 134,000 at the end of June.
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