East-enders get traffic chaos for a month

East-end commuters will be gambling as they decide on a route for their commute this summer, say cops.

“We’re not recommending anything,” said Ottawa police Sgt. Mark Gatien.

“From what the experts are telling us, it could take anywhere from two weeks to a month to sort things out and get people set in their ways.”

Lane reductions began Monday on Hwy. 174 as part of LRT construction and is expected to last until the end of August.

Westbound traffic is down one lane, west of the 174 Blair Rd. on-ramp to the Hwy. 417 split.

Gatien said he was in the city’s traffic control centre on Loretta Ave. watching it live.

On Monday, “obviously, everybody took the 174 and it got a bit backed up,” he said.

“I think the worst it got was backed up to Montreal Rd.”

On average, drivers were delayed for 30 minutes.

Tuesday was better — kind of.

“Everybody was on the ball and took alternate routes,” said Gatien.

“You watch the cameras, and all of a sudden the 174 is running pretty smooth at peak hours but then you look at another camera, and Innes and Blair was just a zoo.”

Gatien said he doesn’t know what to tell people in terms of recommending alternate routes.

“I think it’s going to flip-flop back and forth for awhile,” said Gatien.

Police have also been eyeing aggressive motorists.

“There’s all kinds of people that are driving down the on-ramp from Blair Rd., they’re scootin’ down, where they’re supposed to get off to go to Montreal, and at the last second they’re squeezing in,” said Gatien.

That’s an offence, he warned, titled “driving off roadway.”

“Once you pass a certain point on a highway, it now becomes an exit lane,” said Gatien.

It’s also unfair to the drivers already lined up.

“They’re doing what they’re supposed to do and then you get all these people … cuttin’ people off, and pissin’ people off, more than anything else,” he said.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

WEDNESDAY’S DRIVE IN:

The Sun did the morning drive to our office on Hunt Club (near Prince of Wales) from Orleans, purposely avoiding the 174/417:

8:02 Left Place d’Orleans Park & Ride. Taking St. Joseph. Raining, very light traffic.

8:10 Turned from Orleans Blvd. onto Innes. Busy.

8:15 Stop-and-go near Blackburn Hamlet.

8:21 Passing Blair. Heavy rain.

8:23 Traffic clearing after Cyrville/417 on-ramps.

8:27 St. Laurent is packed.

8:32 Walkley looks good.

8:34 Cutting through St. Laurent. Conroy next. Rain died down.

8:38 Reached Hunt Club.

8:42 At Bank. Going 25-30 km.

8:58 Passing Riverside.

9:02 Arrive at Antares Dr.

-Kelly Roche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/05/29/east-enders-get-traffic-chaos-for-a-month

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