There are many senior citizens living on Rembrandt and Sir Walter Scott who have been complaining for years that there simply is not a sufficient amount of time for them to cross at Kildare and Cavendish. Our engineering department reports that before the synchronization the time permitted to cross the street was 18 seconds. That has now been expanded to 35 seconds on the south side and 33 seconds on the south. So we have effectively doubled the time allocated for our pedestrians to cross the street.
As for the double left turn that cars make from Kildare to Cavendish, problems associated with this have been raised at the traffic committee meeting. Plans call for some modifications to be made to the fence on Cavendish to increase the visibility for motorists in regard to pedestrians. We will continue monitoring this corner.
Overall the synchronization will see to it that motorists spend less time idling at red lights and pedestrians will be able to cross the road more safely. The new synchronized lights were installed on Cavendish, from Mackle Rd. to Merton Ave. The synchronization project started in May and involved replacing the traffic light controllers, cabinets and heads—which are the traffic lights themselves. The new configuration of the traffic light head feature shapes for better visibility and now include left and right turn signals. The Cavendish Blvd. synchronization project cost $175,000. The new traffic light controllers allow more control over traffic flows. For instance, southbound traffic leaving Côte Saint-Luc has the priority during the morning rush hour. In the afternoon, northbound traffic entering Côte Saint-Luc has the priority. The programming of the traffic lights follows a traffic study, which identified ways to improve traffic flow.
Apart from better road safety and pedestrian safety, synchronized traffic lights can help reduce driving time and vehicle emissions and increase fuel economy, according to the United States Department of Energy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is of the 15 sustainable development goals Côte Saint-Luc committed itself to this year.