We have been very lucky over the last number of years to have some wondeful commanders at Police Station 9, which is physically located in District 2 at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare.
Commander Jean O’Malley has been at the helm of Station 9 for almost two years now. I had the chance to spend the morning with him as part of my foursome for our annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic on July 6. More recently, I sat down with him in his office to talk more specifically about several issues in the district.
Traffic safety remains a central concern. Commander O’Malley was on our special committee which studied different ways to improve the Cavendish-Kildare intersection. This finally resulted in a new split phase configuration. In short, motorists travelling westbound on Kildare are now able to drive through the intersection at Cavendish while traffic in the opposing direction waits. This allows drivers to turn left (or turn right, or go straight) without opposing traffic. Likewise, motorists coming from the opposite side now have their chance to move through the intersection without interference, soon after. Just as many vehicles as before are able to pass through the intersection. However, the process is less stressful for many. Pedestrians also appreciate the change because they now have fewer vehicles coming from few directions to contend with. While constituents continue to express their appreciation over the change, Commander O’Malley and his staff agree that it has marked a huge improvement.
Just to be clear, there have been no accidents at the corner since the new configuration came into place.
Police Station 9 personnel have been present at intersections like this to warn pedestrians to be careful. “Yes I am very pleased with the changes to Kildare and Cavendish,” said the Commander. “But everyone has to use caution. That means if you determine that the number count does not give you sufficient time to cross then wait for the next one.”
When our crossing guard Archie Kwiatt passed away a few years ago, he was not immediately replaced. I worked diligently with our Public Safety Department to make sure the job was posted. We were lucky to find Norman Klein, who adds an extra degree of security at that corner.
Commander O’Malley’s team will be out in force when school begins at the end of the month. We always pay special attention to JPPS-Bialik at Kildare and Marc Chagall, first to keep the parent motorists in order and also to advise the students to cross the street carefully. With more trucks than usual turning on Marc Chagall, because of the new highrise construction, the police and Public Safety are keeping a closer eye on that corner.