Last September we added a new stop sign at the corner of Rembrandt Avenue and Kildare Road. We did so to address the concerns of Rembrandt residents who have often been stranded at their stop sign often endlessly.
Due to the high volume of cars turning onto Kildare eastbound from Cavendish, we want to avoid a potential back-up onto Cavendish as a consequence of cars stopping at Rembrandt. In addition, Ministry of Transport requirements for adding a stop sign on this approach are not met.
Soon after the 2017 election I asked our Traffic Committee staffed by two engineers and chaired by Councillor David Tordjman, also an engineer, to study the request put forward by Rembrandt residents for a stop sign.
It was agreed that we would review this measure within the first year of implementation. Thus far residents of Rembrandt are quite pleased. The response is mixed from those on other streets.
In order to get a better handle on how people feel I called a focus group meeting at City Hall on January 7. Councillor Tordjman was present. We had representation from all five condo high rise building on Rembrandt as well as people residing on Kildare Road, Merrimac, Ilan Ramon, Sir Walter Scott and Marc Chagall.
“The solution implemented simply doesn’t fit the problem,” commented Mark Sadegursky, a resident of Ilan Ramon for the last 15 years who, among other things, recommends Rembrandt and Merrimac be turned into a one way street.
We have recently added a standard illustration on Rembrandt which informs the people leaving the street that there is only a stop on the right side of the intersection.
“I've spent time at the intersection since the additions and I have seen the pros and cons,” reports our traffic engineer, Spyro Yotis. “Cars from Rembrandt are not waiting as long to get onto Kildare, but there was indeed a danger. Since we added the illustration cars seemed to have gotten used to the configuration.”
Mark Sidloi, the president of the Meadows Condominium on Merrimac and Kildare, feels the stop sign is a fair measure.” It's not a huge inconvenience, certainly not over and above the traffic that is on that corridor on some days during the time prior to the stop,” he said. “And it can be a lifesaver to the people on Rembrandt.”
Jason Ullman of Marc Chagall believes it has created gridlock for motorists such as himself when they leave for work during the busy JPPS-Bialik drop off period. Among things he suggested was for the extended sidewalk on Kildare Road to be modified and three-lane traffic introduced, remove one of the other stop signs on Kildare (at Merrimac or Sir Walter Scott) and to make Rembrandt/Merrimac a one way.
Councillor Tordjman explained the process we have followed thus far. He recognized that there been a traffic flow issue at certain times in the morning and promised that Kildare Road (between Marc Chagall and Cavendish) will be part of a closer analysis which will include all of the stop signs presently in place. Phil Troy, who lives on Kildare Road, strongly urged our Urban Development team to undertake some simulations.
Martin Bogante said that he has resided on Marc Chagall for 18 years. “This stop sign has, for the first time, enabled me to make a left turn without taking my life into my own hands,” he said. “There is a big difference between inconvenience and safety."
Ilan Ramon resident Howard Liebman said in an email: “We simply can’t regulate every hundred meters of road surface with bumps, bollards, stops and other measures. Safety is paramount and we need to teach driving skills and courtesy at the provincial level.”
Finally some residents cited that the Montreal Transit Commission (MTC) bus stop at Rembrandt and Kildare represents a danger and they suggested it be moved or eliminated. It just so happened that one member of our group that night works at the MTC and he has already connected us with someone who can look into the issue.
I was glad to have Gregory Libman as part of our group. A bright young CEGEP student who drives to school each weekday morning, he provided a valuable youth perspective.
I must mention that with excavation work about to begin on the second Equinoxe highrise on Marc Chagall, there will be many more trucks coming down Kildare over the next 18 months or so. This would certainly impact the accuracy of any simulations.
This was a good exercise and provided us with some valuable input for future deliberations.