Second traffic study raises eyebrows

New study costing $11,500 the second in twelve months

By Matthew Guité

The monthly council meeting held in Beaconsfield Monday night began on a slightly different note than usual as Commandant Richard Thouin, the police chief of PDQ 1, took a few minutes to speak to the public about a recent drug bust in Centennial Park that he said could not have happened without information brought forward by the public.

The intervention occurred May 28, after tips from the public prompted the police to send plain clothes officers and unmarked vehicles to patrol the park, allowing them to gather further evidence and proof that drug dealing was going on. According to Thouin, the dealers were mainly selling hashish and amphetamines, and all were over 18, were not carrying weapons and were not from Beaconsfield.

“With this intervention we arrested five drug traffickers,” he said. “This was not just people who were consuming drugs, but dealers who were not from here. Thanks to this information we caught five of them, which is fairly good.”

The five dealers have been charged and are awaiting trial according to Thouin.

During the course of the meeting an item on the agenda dedicated to funding a new traffic study at the corner of Elm and Woodland became obviously controversial for some as residents questioned the decision to spend $11,497.50 on such a study when another had already been completed at the same place in the last year.

Additionally, the Association for the Protection of Angell Woods (APAW) provided the city with its own traffic study for the area, which some residents felt further reduced the need for a traffic study to be funded by the city, especially when it would be done over summer when the traffic levels would be different from the rest of the year.

When it came time to vote on the study, only councillor Rhonda Massad voted against the motion. Speaking to The Suburban after the meeting, Ms. Massad explained that while she had been originally for the motion, the comments from residents and additional information brought forward by APAW that night had changed her mind.

“I feel that CIMA is a reputable company, so I would not expect them to be biased. I also agree with the citizen who said we already know it’s a overload and I don’t think it’s going to help us to spend that extra money,” she said. “When we started I was voting for it because it’s responsible to have it in-house, but when APAW gave up their study for us I think it makes sense to share and it’s cost-effective.”

During question period, APAW chairman Stephen Lloyd brought forward a petition containing over 2500 signatures gathered online and in person asking the Beaconsfield council not to rezone Angell Woods for development. Speaking to The Suburban afterwards, Lloyd explained that the petition was meant as another reminder that the citizens of Beaconsfield did not want to see Angell Woods disappear.

“This is a petition that’s been ongoing since 2012, and we’re currently up to about 2500 citizens signing and giving comments, firmly in favour of saving Angell Woods. Just in case there was any doubt about how citizens of Beaconsfield and the island of Montreal feel, we thought we’d give another reminder of how the citizens who vote for this council feel,” he said.

As well as the petition, Lloyd also brought up the fact that the City of Montreal had funds set aside for the purchase of land such as Angell Woods, something that he hoped could help preserve the area.

“The city of Montreal has confirmed to us and has confirmed to the city of Beaconsfield, that there are funds available to buy Angell Woods,” he said. “These are funds that have already been spent and have been set aside for this. Why are we not using these funds to save Angell Woods? What is the problem?”

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