More information


514 871-4000


Exclusive study by the Chamber: How to restore traffic fluidity in downtown Montréal

Montréal, January 19, 2023 ‒ The Chamber unveils a study entitled Blocage minimum : pour une gestion innovante des chantiers publics et privés afin de rendre le centre-ville de Montréal plus attractif et accessible (minimum traffic jams: Innovative management of public and private construction sites to make downtown Montréal more attractive and accessible). The study proposes various solutions to improve traffic fluidity, which has been impacted for years by the increasing obstacles to public arteries. It was conducted as part of the “I love working downtown” initiative, with the support of the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie.

“Accessibility issues in downtown Montréal top the list of factors that may discourage workers from returning to work downtown. These issues are not new, but they have peaked in the wake of the pandemic. The situation is especially serious now that workers have discovered the advantages of working from home. If we really want to persuade them to return, we must turn the situation around,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

“Our study helps clear up a few misperceptions. First, that nothing can be done simply because there are too many cars. This is not true. Improvements can be made, while promoting the use of public and active transit. Second, that Ville de Montréal is solely responsible for traffic jams downtown. This is not true. Our study reveals a number of factors, such as poor management of construction sites in public spaces, an excessively fragmented construction industry, systematic encroachment of private construction sites on public roads, and inadequate regulations by the Ministère des Transports regarding construction sites in urban areas... In fact, the city is not equipped to take action on all fronts. The solution will require a change in attitude as well as the commitment of all stakeholders,” added Michel Leblanc.

“Lastly, we must abandon the notion that the situation is hopeless. This is not true. Managing construction sites downtown is definitely a complex issue, but solutions exist. First, the Quebec government must give the city full control over the coordination of construction sites on public roads. Second, the city must implement effective tools for multi-year planning and intelligent coordination of construction sites. It must also change its practices by imposing bonus-malus for the rapid and efficient completion of construction sites in public spaces, and contractors will need to comply. Lastly, it is also necessary to reduce the encroachment of private construction sites on public roads. The city, through the issuance of public space occupancy permits, can control the scope and duration of construction projects and thus considerably limit their impact on traffic fluidity around these sites,” added Michel Leblanc.

“Construction work impacts traffic and, by extension, the attractiveness of Montréal and its downtown area. The Blocage minimum study will serve as a guide to determine the necessary steps to improve the coordination of construction sites and make the city even more charming and welcoming,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development, and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region. 

“The relaunch of downtown rests on getting workers back to the office, on the pleasure to live there, and on tourists’ desire to visit. However, accessibility and traffic fluidity issues hinder this process. The various stakeholders have spent far too long blaming each other regarding this issue: it is time to fix the problem. Our study proposes to adopt a new culture of efficiency and fluidity in the downtown area. We firmly believe that by reviewing the methods used at each stage of the approval, supervision and delivery process of construction sites, we will finally succeed in making the area accessible and pleasant,” concluded Michel Leblanc. 

To this end, the Chamber proposes ten concrete solutions:

  1. Develop a culture of transparency, accountability and citizen participation.
  2. Rethink the parameters of delivery scheduling.
  3. Implement a dynamic incentive-based pricing system to optimize public space occupancy.
  4. Bring together all stakeholders under one smart entity responsible for planning and coordinating construction sites.
  5. Introduce a micromobility plan as soon as the density of barriers in a given area or traffic zone is low.
  6. Create signage standards tailored to the density of downtown Montréal.
  7. Systematically include efficiency and work quality requirements in calls for tenders.
  8. Promote public acceptance of the principle that downtown modernization requires sacrifice.
  9. Expedite the modernization of the construction sector through the creation of a site dedicated to innovation and productivity improvement.
  10. Make the private sector aware of its responsibility to implement all measures aimed at facilitating the management of construction sites and limiting traffic obstructions in downtown Montréal. 

To view the full survey, visit the Chamber’s website. 

About the “I love working downtown” initiative 

“I love working downtown” is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal carried out with support from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. Its objective is to accelerate the relaunch of downtown Montréal. 

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal 

With a network of over 8,000 members, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (“the Chamber”) is active on three fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community, delivering specialized services to businesses and their employees, and leading impact initiatives to strengthen the business environment. For 200 years, it has acted on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of its Acclr experts, the Chamber’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.




Source :  

Jean-Baptiste Portrait 

Attaché de presse

Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain

Tél. : 514 669-6768


Facebook :
Twitter :
Pour poursuivre la discussion :

Consent to Cookies

This website uses necessary cookies to ensure its proper functioning and security. Other cookies and optional technologies make it possible to facilitate, improve or personalize your navigation on our website. If you click "Refuse", some portions of our website may not function properly. Learn more about our privacy policy.