Population growth “clearly does not justify” the third link | Elections Quebec 2022

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Population growth “ clearly does not justify” the third link | Élections Quebec 2022

When a possible tunnel comes into service, in 10 years, there will be fewer active adults in Lévis than today.

Contrary to what François Legault insists, the anticipated population growth is far from being an argument in favor of a third Quebec-Lévis link. When a possible tunnel comes into service, in 10 years, there will actually be fewer active adults on the territory of Lévis compared to today.

Les projections from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ), updated on July 25, are unequivocal. In the Lévis metropolitan area, in 2031, it is expected that the 20-64 age group, those who are active in the labor market, will have lost 600 individuals.

Ten years later, however, a slight increase should occur: in 2041, the ISQ predicts that there will be 1,700 more adults in the Lévis region. However, there would only be 400 more people in the 0-19 age group.

Unsurprisingly, due to the aging of the population, the ISQ predicts that growth will strongest in the Lévis region will be among those 65 and over: their ranks will swell by 20,200 people compared to today.

According to ENAP transport and urban planning professor Fanny Tremblay-Racicot, these data indicate that the population growth argument put forward by François Legault does not hold water.

We know that trips are made from the South Shore to the North Shore, essentially, recalls the expert in urban transport. However, the number of additional citizens who will need to make this trip will be marginal, she observes.

“Those 65 and over don't travel at rush hour. There are only 400 more young people in 20 years and only 1700 more adults. This clearly does not justify the increase in road capacity! »

— Fanny Tremblay-Racicot, professor of transportation and urban planning at ENAP

Frédéric Fleury-Payeur, demographer at the ISQ, maintains that these projections are reliable. Demographic trends are fairly stable by nature […] They are happening quite well in practice.

Moreover, the 2019 data already showed that the construction of a third link between Quebec and Lévis could hardly be based on population growth.

Some changes could occur, however, warns Mr. Fleury-Payeur. It is not excluded, for example, that the active population in the labor market will be slightly different in 20 years. If older people work, that can create additional workers, he explains.

On the north shore of the St. Lawrence, in the metropolitan region of Quebec, the growth population growth is 81,400 by 2041, an increase of 12%. Again, growth will be greatest among those 65 and older, with 47,400 more seniors.

However, barely 3% of Quebec residents work in Lévis, according to the City of Quebec's Sustainable Mobility Plan. In Lévis, the proportion of residents who have to cross the river for work is more like 36%.

This is why the third link is often perceived as a more critical infrastructure for residents of the South Shore.

Ms. Tremblay-Racicot believes, however, that if a third link were to emerge, it would cause people to change their lifestyles and have a different perception of distances. Result: more people would move to Lévis, she warns.

“If you improve travel conditions between Quebec and Lévis, people are going to settle on the South Shore. »

— Fanny Tremblay-Racicot, professor of transport and urban planning at ENAP

The road conditions would therefore deteriorate sooner or later, because the increase road capacity generates more trips, she summarizes.

What is lacking in Quebec City is not road capacity, it is efficiency in public transport, says the professor.

The latest version of the third link presented by the government of François Legault, last April, provides that two lanes will be reserved for buses at scheduled times. peak.

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