Hampstead forces motorists off its side streets and back to Fleet (Belsize corner of Netherwood)

Add another 5 or 10 minutes of frustration to your daily commute along Fleet and Van Horne courtesy of the Town of Hampstead. Earlier this year Hampstead increased restrictions on through-traffic north of Fleet. This fall they went further by forcing morning traffic turning north at Queen Mary (via Holly and Belsize) back to Fleet.

What’s more, Hampstead has ordered Montreal Police to ticket those vehicles caught in the ridiculous maze if they make a U-turn on Netherwood Cr. to get back onto Belsize.  Were Police officials consulted to determine if all these changes were advisable in the first place? 

Just last week, Hampstead eliminated the flashing green signal at Fleet and Dufferin.  Lefts will still be permitted from Fleet eastbound onto Dufferin, but drivers will need to wait for a break in the Fleet westbound traffic before turning, further aggravating a growing bottleneck along the major east-west artery.

This affront against good neighbourliness is adversely affecting many CSL drivers, as well as other West End motorists, including a fair number of Hampsteaders too.

Furthermore, the Borough of Cote-des-Neiges-NDG reacted to Hampstead’s restrictions by adding new “no left turn” signs on Van Horne approaching Decarie Blvd. 

How long before official relations between the neighbouring towns deteriorate further?

Hampstead Council should consider the number of their residents that regularly drive to schools, daycare, religious institutions, shopping centres, hospitals, clinics, friends and family in Cote Saint-Luc each and every day.  There’s also the library, arena and sports facilities.  And don’t forget all those Hampstead dump trucks filled with snow ripping up our CSL roads. 

CSL allows them to access the snow dump at the end of Kildare Road (albeit at a fee) since Hampstead sorely lacks available space to dump its own snow on its territory.  Chalk this up to a goodwill gesture by CSL towards its neighbour.

While Hampstead has acted in an unfriendly fashion to keep CSL vehicles off their streets, and even to have many ticketed, don’t expect to see toll booths anytime soon to penalize Hampstead drivers entering CSL. 

Hampstead ought to reconsider these absurd measures in the interest of all of its own residents and its neighbours too.