Boulevard Lucerne sees road regulation changes to improve safety
Gatineau reduced the speed limit on Lucerne Blvd. for security reasons. Specifically, the speed limit was reduced to 50 km/h, between Pine St. and a point 100 meters east of Riesling St., which includes the stretch of road with a daycare and the intersection of Riesling St. This means the 50 km/h zone on Lucerne was extended by approximately 500 meters going east. The rest of Lucerne towards Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain that previously had a speed limit of 70 km/h, has been reduced to 60 km/h.
Gatineau says that the speed limits were reduced for safety reasons, specifically for those who walk or ride bicycles along the road. Local resident Jean-François Lepage noticed another safety issue at the Fraser and Lucerne intersection. He told the Bulletin he frequently crosses the intersection as a pedestrian and has had a close encounter with a vehicle turning right on a red light onto Fraser from Lucerne.
In May 2021, Lepage submitted a petition to the city indicating that the stop line for vehicles was too far from the intersection which obstructed visibility for drivers wishing to turn right. Many drivers would then stop past this line which would obstruct the pedestrian path. He highlighted that many vehicles would not stop at all.
Gatineau states that following the request, a team was sent to the location and confirmed that the intersection was insufficient for a vehicle to make a right turn on a red light without having to block the pedestrian crossing. No accidents were reported at the intersection in the past five years; however, the intersection was still highlighted as a security issue.
“The process took over a year and a half and, even after the city confirmed the intersection was cause for concern, the process did not seem to move forward faster,” said Lepage. “It is even more concerning as many students cross the intersection to get to the new school on Fraser. There is something wrong with the procedure if it takes the city that long to address a traffic security issue.”
The solution approved would prohibit a right turn on a red from Lucerne onto Fraser. The bylaw was approved by the City Council on October 18, 2022. Gatineau says, “The integration of elements to ensure safety in relation to traffic and parking has caused additional delays in its adoption.”
Lepage told the Bulletin the signs prohibiting right turns on a red were mistakenly installed prohibiting drivers on Fraser from turning onto Lucerne. “This did not solve the problem; in fact, it caused more traffic on Fraser and doesn’t address the issues,” he said. Gatineau says that this was an error, and the problem has since been corrected.
Photo: Fraser and Lucerne intersection.
Photo: Sophie Demers