Moulton Hill speed a growing issue: city solutions not doing the job

By Gordon Lambie
Moulton Hill speed a growing issue: city solutions not doing the job

Two residents of Lennoxville’s Moulton Hill Street spoke before the city council on Monday night, voicing concerns about the safety and security of their road. Don Maxwell, returning before council after having come to share a similar message over the summer, said that he has seen no change in the reckless behavior demonstrated by a high volume of drivers travelling down the street and asked what measures the city is going to take to make the residential sector safe for the families living in it.

“People should be talking the 610, but they don’t,” Maxwell said, pointing out that Moulton Hill acts like a main artery for people travelling from Fleurimont towards the University of Sherbrooke and stating that he witnessed five serious collisions on the road between June and October of this year alone. “Families don’t let their children walk or jog along the side of the road because it is too dangerous.”

“You can’t walk on that road, you can’t bike on that road,” agreed Lennoxville Borough President David Price. “It’s like going down the 108 and you don’t want to put people through that.”

Maxwell pointed out that he has been working on trying to get the city to act for three and a half years at this point with no success. Despite strongly advocating for the installation of speed bumps, the resident said that he has only seen speed zones shuffled and extended and police officers come and engage in ticketing campaigns that, while effective at boosting city income, made no impact on the driving habits of those using the road.

Reflecting on the ineffective strategies the city has employed in the past, Maxwell said that he was aware of the fact that the matter was discussed at a recent meeting of the Public Security Committee and asked what has been decided.

“What measures is the city going to take to prevent a serious accident from taking place on Moulton hill?” the resident asked.

City Councillor Marc Denault responded to that question by saying that as of next spring, the city will be installing yellow caution posts in the middle of the road, similar to those installed on College Street near the intersection with Queen, as well as a mobile radar station on Moulton Hill.

“While the committee rarely deals with files as specific as this one, interventions from Mr. Price and the borough’s representative on the committee made it clear that this was a situation warranting attention,” Denault said, stating that installing this kind of approach elsewhere in the city has proven to be effective in the past and adding that it will help to clarify how fast people are travelling down the street.

Though the Public Security Committee President seemed to have great faith in the proposed solution, Price said that the actions are not enough to make a difference.

“We have to look at it on a longer term basis,” the Borough President said, referring to the extension of Highway 410. “Traffic is going to increase there a lot.”

According to Price, what Moulton Hill needs is to be widened and have bike lanes added onto it where people can walk safely. That approach, however, is unlikely to gain much ground in council because of the high costs involved in that kind of expansion.

Both of the residents who spoke before council also criticised the paving that took place on the road earlier this year near Bishop’s College School, stating that the improved road conditions just make things nicer for the speeders.

“That didn’t come from the borough budget,” Price said, sharing that the borough council was not informed that the road work was going to be done and expressing a disappointment with the action because the council generally felt that the rough condition of the road surface was playing a part in helping to control the situation on Moulton Hill.

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