Vision zero: a greater participation in the second day of the consultations

Vision zéro: plus grande participation à la seconde journée de consultations

Trois-Rivières — This is the Saturday that was taking place the last day of public consultations on Vision zero, to the industrial Building of Three-Rivers. This exercise, conducted over two days has mobilized more than 300 citizens at round tables where they could express their views on the controversial project, which aims to improve road safety in the city of Laviolette. The following things, that is, how will it apply to Vision zero to Three-Rivers, is therefore in the hands of the city council, which expects, however, that either produces a summary of the ideas and opinions shared during the consultations.

The day of consultations Saturday, however, has the same findings as at the first: if there is not consensus on the measures contained in Vision zero, there is one on the existence of a problem of road safety and sharing of public life in Trois-Rivières. Many citizens have also proposed solutions, which are mainly, according to them, by one or more awareness campaigns on road safety, both by car, bicycle and on foot.

“There is education to be done with people, both on foot by bike or by car. There are still a lot of things to do before Vision zero”, has hammered a citizen.

Several Trifluviens have also proposed to the City of Three Rivers, to conduct consultations, district by district, so that citizens can help to identify the problems and the solutions that seem appropriate, rather than imposing a single vision for the whole area. “I think that the citizens are in the best position, as well as the police and ambulance services, to know which corners are dangerous,” summarized a citizen.

“It is important to have a proper diagnosis to properly respond to the issue, to act at the source,” added another participant.

The speed was Saturday again, a topic that is often brought back by participants. The majority of them, as was the case during the first consultation session, are opposed to this that the speed limit be lowered to 40 km/h on all streets in residential neighborhoods and collector streets. Rather, they have expressed the hope that the police are more present in the streets of Trois-Rivières. Some, however, were willing to accept a reduction of the speed limit, but in some areas only.

Counting the 189 participants in the round tables that were held in the morning and in the afternoon, 326 people were presented Saturday at the industrial Building.

More citizen participation

This Saturday, the deputy mayor of Trois-Rivières, Ginette Bellemare, was satisfied with the way things had gone the two days of public consultations. “I was less present than last week, but I’ve still heard people say that yes, there are measures that must be put in place and yes, there are problems in our streets that they ask us to adjust. I find it interesting that people have brought different solutions and avenues and it illuminates us, the advisors.”

Ms. Bellemare is waiting with impatience the report which must be prepared from the reports of the roundtables, the comments received and the briefs submitted by the citizens.

“I’m looking forward to the report to be produced to guide us and direct us. What we hear, these are things that meet what we want to do with Vision zero,” she said.

The deputy mayor promises that this kind of event-focused on citizen participation will be repeated in the future.

“We are going more and more towards the participation and consultation of citizens in the City of Trois-Rivières, as evidenced by the creation of the communications Directorate, which also includes in its mandate citizen participation. We visited here with our citizens, they want to participate and tell us what they think of the decisions taken by the council. Vision zero is the right year to start this type of consultation and it is sure that there will be others.”

In all, over 500 citizens came out to attend to one or the other of the two days of consultations. Of this number, 315 people participated in the round tables, for which they had to register in advance.

Skeptical of the sampling

If he commends the City of Three Rivers on the way in which were held the public consultations, the co-trustee of the group on Facebook “Trifluviens against Vision zero”, Stéphane Guay, doubt the representativeness of the approximately 300 people who took part in the round tables. “We had done a survey home which 1100 people participated and even if it had been indicated that this was not scientific, it was done to demolish it. But here it is a sample pretty minimal. I do not think that it represents completely the population of Trois-Rivières.”

Mr. Guay has, however, hope that good ideas emerged from the consultations and that the city council will take this into account.
The group “Trifluviens against Vision zero” has also benefited from maintaining its information booth for the two days of consultations to gather new signatures to its petition against the reduction of the speed limit to 40 km/h for local streets and collectors. Mr. Guay believes that this petition has collected nearly 4,000 signatures since it was launched last November.

Julien Vassalo, founder of the group Facebook “Trifluviens for road safety and a vision for the future”, in favour of Vision zero, would also have desired a greater participation of citizens, especially the young families trifluviennes. It considers, however, that the exercise of public consultations was constructive. “I believe that we joined, the for and the against Vision zero, on some points, on the issue of road safety, among others. It was very interesting and I think it’s important that we were able to talk together, have a debate.”

Citizens who wish to participate in this consultation have until 1 march to submit their comments or a brief to the City of Trois-Rivières. The latter will also take account of the comments received on the social networks. The firm engaged to conduct the consultations is committed to producing a comprehensive report on these in the next two months. The City also intends to implement shortly on its website a video that shows the issues and measures of Vision zero, as well as the opinion of the exhibitors present in the public consultations.

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