With the hopes of easing noise levels, Beaconsfield is asking Quebec to
reduce the speed limit on Highway 20 and is also requesting that rail
track users cut the speed of trains passing through the municipality.
Council voted 4-2 in favour of asking Transport Québec to reduce the
speed on Highway 20 to 70 km/h from 100 km/h and to install photo
The city is also requesting that Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, VIA and the AMT reduce train speeds to 70 km/h.
Passenger trains can pass through as fast as 160 km/h while freight
trains can go as fast as 100 km/h, said city manager Patrice Boileau.
As for the chances train operators will agree to the measures, Mayor David Pollock told The Gazette he is hopeful. “We’ll see.”
Regarding highway speeds, councillor Wade Staddon weighed in that
although noise might only drop a few decibels it could be enough to
bring levels at a number of homes near the highway below 65 decibels, a
standard set by the province. He admits the city faces an uphill battle
to persuade Transport Québec to reduce the highway speed in
Beaconsfield. The criteria used by the ministry to determine speed
limits take safety issues and highway traffic lights, such as in the
Île-Perrot area, into consideration, but they don’t include noise
pollution, he added.
Greg Stienstra, head of the Beaconsfield Citizens Association,
pointed out that large trucks deploying compression braking would
negate any potential noise reduction from lowering the speed limit.
“You are voting for a 43 per cent increase in commute time,” he
said. “You are voting for an increase in the cost of transporting goods
- and a longer rush hour. I don’t think the (transport ministry) would
ever approve this.”
Responded Councillor Rhonda Massad: “We need to at least try and help these people out. We can make it work.”
However, councillor Karin Essen, who voted against reducing highway
speed, said the only viable solution to cutting noise levels is a sound