Montreal's Mobility Squad interventions way up in 2020

You may not notice them, but inspectors with Montreal’s Mobility Squad have been picking up the pace, intervening more often than in previous years according to its 2020 report.

The squad was formed in 2018 to keep Montreal’s streets clear of obstacles, such as misbehaving drivers, to keep traffic flowing smoothly throughout the city, including areas where construction is underway. 

Since it started, the squad’s 16 inspectors, including six on bicycle, have intervened in precarious road situations more than 30,000 times. According to the report, two-thirds of those interventions were carried out in 2020, even though traffic had decreased significantly because of the pandemic. 

“The pandemic has changed our travel habits, but the need to be able to do so efficiently and safely remains the same,” said Eric Alan Caldwell, in charge of urban planning and mobility on the City’s executive committee.

The inspectors carry out tasks, such as getting unauthorized vehicles off streets where they may be blocking traffic, or aren’t respecting traffic signs.

The report also notes that nearly 2,000 interventions were carried out in ‘health corridors’ that were set up in a number of boroughs, to make sure residents had enough room to stay physically distant when getting around.

The squad’s inspectors were given the power to hand out tickets back in 2019. They’ve since doled out more than 6,000 tickets.

The inspectors also report roadways that haven’t been cleared sufficiently after a heavy snowfall.

“With our aging infrastructure, some projects are inevitable,” said Sylvain Ouellet, Vice-President of the executive committee. “On the other hand, it is possible to minimize the impacts to make life easier for Montrealers. The team does not work miracles, but its work, often carried out before you are even awake, is essential.”

The Mobility Squad plans to increase its activities in 2021. Its inspectors will be working seven days-a-week and it plans to increase its surveillance of certain roads, sidewalks and bike paths during winter storms.

“The Mobility Squad will be even more present and alert in 2021,” Caldwell said 

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