When you have no choice to be ecological
It is fascinating to see how quickly solutions can be deployed when faced with a problem that affects us directly.
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” said Plato.
It is also the engine of political will and changes in behavior.
Alternatives to solo driving
To alleviate the congestion expected with the partial closure of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel, seemingly radical solutions are considered not only logical, but necessary.
Who would have thought that one day the president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, would propose a ban on solo cars in the tunnel during rush hour?
That the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, suggests free public transport in the east end of Montreal and an increase in the frequency of buses?
What about the free incentive parking lots set up in Touraine, Beloeil, Mortagne, Sainte-Julie and Montarville?
And that the supply of buses, metros and river shuttles was going to be improved?
The climate crisis was not enough to activate the implementation of such solutions. There had to be a traffic problem. It is more concrete and immediate than the destruction of life on Earth.
Clearly, the fear of being stuck in monster traffic inspires more action than the catastrophic scenarios described by scientists for the future of our children.
Need for structuring measures
If we can make each crisis an opportunity to improve, let’s organize ourselves so that the problems of congestion combined with the need to reduce our GHG emissions serve to put in place sustainable alternatives to solo driving.
Because that is the real problem. Our addiction to the solo car. In the absence of effective alternatives, it generally remains the best way to get from point A to point B.
To say that the immensity of our territory explains the mediocrity of public transport services is false for a majority of citizens who live in the greater Montreal area and in urban areas. The population density would justify massive investments there, as in Europe. Locally and regionally.
Especially since in Quebec, we build buses and trains. But no car.
To be efficient
Remember that on average in Quebec a car carries 1.1 people.
As Catherine Morency, full professor at Polytechnique Montréal and a great specialist in mobility, rightly says: “We clog our roads with empty and increasingly large cars that are parked more than 95% of the time. »
What inefficiency! Not to mention all the spaces that could be better used than parking lots.
What’s more, transportation is the second most important item of expenditure for families after housing and just before food.
In these times of inflation where many families are struggling to make ends meet, it is time to invest heavily in alternatives to solo driving.
Launching a major project for sustainable mobility in Quebec would be an excellent way to have a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment. Everyone wins when we reduce congestion and pollution.