Rembrandt Ave.

Another safety measure to occur on Kildare Road and Rembrandt: bus stop to be moved back

I am pleased to report that a new security measure will soon be put into place at the corner of Rembrandt Avenue and  Kildare Road.

Last September we added a new stop sign at that section heading towards Cavendish. Motorists on Rembrandt had been locked in, particularly during rush hour, for many years. Our Traffic Committee did a number of studies for taking this measure. I had promised to review it in  the spring. Councillor David Torjdman (Traffic Committee Chair) and I met with Police Station 9 Traffic Officer Simon Poitras  and did so with a group of Rembrandt Ave. condo reps. I then  went with Officer Poitras to observe the intersection. Not only did Officer Poitras agree that the area is safer now with the stop sign, but he supported a suggestion from our meeting related to the Montreal Transit Commission.

Image002
This photo shows where the bus stop will be moved.à

The 162 bus stops directly at Rembrandt and Kildare. This creates a partial blindspot for cars turning left from Rembrandt. After interventions from our Traffic Engineer Spyro Yotis the MTC has agreed to move the stop back 15 meters. This will make a big difference and improve the situation even more. The MTC does not adhere to requests like this often. We hope the work will be completed by the end of August.

 

Image004
This is where the bus stops now.

 


On site at the corner of Kildare and Rembrandt with Police Traffic Officer

In keeping with my promise to study the traffic flow on Kildare Road, west of Cavendish, particularly at the corner of Rembrandt Avenue I spent 45 minutes with Montreal Police Station 9 Traffic Officer Simon Poitras on the scene during a Monday morning rush hour.

IMG_5875
Officer Poitras and I monitoring the corner.

History will note that after the last election I  requested that the CSL Traffic Committee study the possibility of adding a stop sign to slow down speeders and give motorists on Rembrandt a window to  turn towards Cavendish - particularly during rush hour.

Last week Councillor David Tordjman (Traffic Committee Chair), Officer Poitras and I met with representatives of Rembrandt condominiums to discuss how the new stop sign has worked and sought suggestions on how to improve the safety of the corner even further.  A lot of good ideas were shared and they will be discussed at the next Traffic Committee meeting. You can see the summary here.

Officer Poitras did say at our meeting that at first glance he was concerned  that by having a stop sign at only one side of Kildare (the other is not long enough) it might give drivers a false sense of security. Following our session he went out on his own to study the corner and upon reflection he was comfortable that the new measure is working. He then called and invited me to join him. We noticed  that cars coming from Rembrandt were  all looking both ways very carefully before turning left. A lot of vehicles were driving fast, some doing quick (and illegal) stops at the new signs. Beware! Officer Poitras will stake out the corner. On the other side we noticed that the 162 bus was stopping well before the driveway where its sign is posted, which is a good thing because its actual stop does create a blind spot. And that existed before we added the stop sign.

We do need to reduce the speed limit on Kildare, from Cavendish to Merrimac and we hope the Montreal Transit Commission will consent to moving their bus stop back several feet.

I will keep everyone updated on this dossier.


Meeting with Rembrandt Avenue reps discusses new stop sign on Kildare

Last September we added a new stop sign at the corner of Rembrandt and Kildare Road going West. We did so to address the concerns of Rembrandt Ave. residents who have often been stranded at their stop sign 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 the approach are not met. Thus the reason why another stop sign was not installed.

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 Ave.  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 Ave. 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 small 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.

 

IMG_5840
Councillor Tordjman, myself, Elysée Condo President David Ostroff and Officer Poitras.

 The stop sign was discussed at the  last Traffic Committee meeting. Council has not made any final decision on its future. For now the status quo remains in place.  I insisted that residents of Rembrandt should certainly be consulted again and  I asked Councillor Tordjman and Police Station 9 Traffic Officer Simon Poitras to join me at a meeting with representatives from the condomiums on Rembrandt. We did so on  Monday night, May 27.

The purpose of the meeting was for Councillor Tordjman and Officer Poitras to share any concerns of the Traffic Committee and the Police. At the same time, I invited the condo reps to express their views and provide us with some ideas on how to make that stop safer.

Councillor Tordjman stated from the start that the possibility of any accident occurring at that corner existed prior to the installation of the new stop sign as well.

The Traffic Committee  will continue to monitor this intersection. A traffic flow study will be undertaken to measure the volume of traffic and the times they are approaching each intersection.. We have decided to do this after Labour Day when school is back in full swing. It  will give us a better portrait of the situation.

We  had some excellent suggestions from then condo reps. These will be shared with the Traffic Committee.

One comment that resonated came from resident David Haltrecht who said “Since this stop sign was installed I feel safer! Before that the situation was far more dangerous. Motorists turning left from Rembrandt got impatient and would make illegal turns, wading their way right into traffic.”

I will keep everyone posted.


City and Condo Association work closely to prepare for Rembrandt Ave. garage work

For the  last  several months, our Urban Development, Public Works and  Public Safety Departments, have been working diligently with the administrators of the Condo Elysée on Rembrandt Avenue and how to assist them while major garage work occurs over the next four months.

.
Garage work on Rembrandt will last four months

 

The Elysée   data base of 84 cars license plate numbers have been submitted to Public Security. Residents in the immediate area can expect to see a lot of cars on the street. Those residing in the other condos  would be well  advised to use their own garages all of the time, even if they are only going in and out for a few minutes.

Public Safety has been very helpful in collecting vehicle information. Public Works will ensure that the recycling bins are attended to. A big thanks as well to Spyro Yotis, our traffic engineer.

Work like this on a street with many condo buildings can be disruptive. The administration of the Elysée has been very well organized. Hats off to Agneta Hollander and  Steve Acre in particular.


Skateboard area at Rembrandt Park to become a greenspace

A few years ago the central topic for one of my District 2 Town Hall meetings was Rembrandt Park. There were concerns raised about the lack of lighting at the tennis courts, the basketball area, play equipment and the skateboard area.

Ruby Goodman, who has served as a park attendant for more than 20 years at Rembrandt, was asked to get  a feel from the users. I also set up a small committee and we conducted surveys from people of all ages. The consensus was to  fix the lights, maintain the basketball area as is and replace the skateboard space with greenery.

Skateboard
The skateboard area will now become a nice greenspace

 

Last spring the Public Spaces Committee of the city, composed of senior staff and some councillors, highlighted the skateboard area for demolishment at some point this year or next.  Work began last week. I was not aware of the specific date and while some parents have come forward and stated their kids enjoy the area, inspections done in recent weeks warned of serious danger. due to cracks in the asphalt as well as heaving areas in the asphalt. Our Public Works Department told me Friday that this area is  not conducive to skateboarding.  Potential accidents would result in costly litigation. Some youngters use their scooters there, something which is also highly dangerous. As a result, filling in the bowl meets with the new required safety measures.

The earth is coming from excavation projects throughout the city. It is therefore, an environmentally friendly project. We will install sod and topsoil to create an area in the shade for picnic tables and benches, providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy summer fun in the shade. It will therefore be transformed into a nice gathering space

Ruby Goodman confirmed Friday that he has seen very few skateboarders there in recent years. In fact Public Works was constantly tasked to clean the bowl as it was becoming  a garbage dump.

When I was first elected 13 years ago there was a soccer field at Rembrandt Park that was sunk below the ground. We consistently found benches and debris dumped there. As well seniors complained about delinquents causing problems and using the spot as  a hideout late at night. We resolved the problem by filling the hole with leveled greenspace.

Constituents are always invited to contact me directly to discuss these issues.

 


Important traffic safety measures have been enacted in District 2

One of the main topic when I knocked on doors last fall during the 2017 municipal election campaign was how to curtail speeding on certain streets.

Working with our newly constituted Traffic Committee, chaired by Councillor David Tordjman and staffed by Engineer Spyro Yotis, there were five specific targets for me in District 2:  vehicles making dangerous U-turns at the corner of The Avenue and Park Place; evaluating the speed bumps on Marc Chagall Avenue near Kildare Road; analyzing the problem of vehicles darting out of the rear parking lot exit of the City Hall/Library complex on Sir Walter Scott Avenue; speeding  on Rembrandt Avenue; and the logjam of cars at the corner of Kildare  Road and Rembrandt during rush hour.

Park Place resident Corey Frenkiel provided some good feedback about vehicles entering  the Quartier Cavendish via The Avenue and then making U-turns on his street.  These drivers were too lazy to turn into the actual lot. A No U-Turn sign was installed recently and the problem seems to be resolved. We are now concentrating on the crosswalk from the apartment building on The Avenue leading to the Quartier Cavendish entrance next to the café. Some vehicles are driving much too quickly in that section as well. For starters we have installed flower pots to slow them down. Mr. Yotis will continue to monitor the situation to see if any more corrective measures are necessary.

Speedbumps
Speed bumps on Marc Chagall.

We placed speed bumps on Marc Chagall last year on a trial basis after many complaints from residents  of speeding cars. The situation was exacerbated by the many construction vehicles going back and forth almost daily for the new Equinoxe twin towers condo apartment project. Phase Two has not even commenced yet so we expect work there to last another 18 to 24 months. The speed bumps have been deemed successful, notably by some residents of Les Cours Marc Chagall town houses which are right in front of this new deterrent.

SWScottnewsigns
Making the Sir Walter Scott turnaround safer.

 With the beautiful reconfiguration of our parking lot at the City Hall/Library complex, the rear exit/entrance was changed.  Not only were many vehicles speeding in and out, most were not using the turnaround. We have installed very large signage directing vehicles appropriately and in the last few days,  speed bumps. This course of action should eliminate the problem and force motorists to be more prudent.

Speedbump
Our Public Works crew installs new speed bumps at the rear entrance of the City Hall/Library parking lot.

Rembrandt Avenue is home to five high rise condominiums, a park, a town house complex and via the turnaround on Merrimac Road the 127 unit Meadows condo.  Many people cross the street to take the laneway to Heywood and Cavendish Boulevard. Rembrandt residents  in particular  asked me to please push for a speed bump. We never had one there before. It is now in place and I have gone on site to observe.

RembrandtspeedbumpFinally, for years the corner of Rembrandt and Kildare Road has been a problem; notably for Rembrandt motorists trying to make a left turn on Kildare during rush hour. This problem is most acute during drop off and pickup times for JPPS/Bialik.  We have looked into the possibility of installing stop signs, as requested by one resident. For now our Traffic Committee is not recommending this, reasoning that it would create even more problems. At my request we did add stop signs a few years ago at the corner of Sir Walter Scott and Kildare. This was more feasible and had the desired positive effect.

While on the subject of traffic safety, let me share the news that Crossing Guard Norman Klein has resigned. For the last number of years he did an excellent job at the Kildare/Cavendish corner, filling the huge void left following the passing of his predecessor Archie Kwiatt. Our Human Resources Department is seeking a replacement. If anyone knows someone who might be a good fit for this job please let us know. We will maken an official posting.


Splash pad at Rembrandt Park to get much needed facelift

The Rembrandt splash pad was installed in 2008, as part of the park project at that time.

SplashPad

This pad is in great need of repainting and I received some requests for this to be done. We have issued a contract for the washing of the current surface, to remove the dirt that's encrusted in the surface, sanding, repairs and painting This will permit new materials to adhere. You will see in the new design four to five circles of different sizes.

I originally pushed for a splash pad at Rembrandt because there were so many young families in the area. It has been well utilized by residents. Grandparents residing on Rembrandt constantly tell me this is a big incentive for their grandchildren to visit in the summer.


Rembrandt Park continues to blossom

 

This was another great summer for Rembrandt Park in District 2.  Recent renovations have fully blossomed  and the park became rejuvenated and vibrant.

To those people who have approached me about repaving the outdoor basketball courts and possibly installing new lights for night play, that is being looked at by our Parks and Recreation Department.

The two new resurfaced tennis courts that were redone in the summer of 2014m  with the installation of the new court lighting system,  had players volleying well into the night up until closing hour at 11 pm. Waterplay1a

Adult and children's summer tennis classes were a success. We surpassed our revenue expectations for the budget. The same applied to the expected Rembrandt Park Tennis Court rentals. All in all, Rembrandt Park Tennis Courts  operated  in a most efficient manner.

Last  August,  the Tournee Sports Experts was held at Rembrandt Park. This event was sponsored through Tennis Quebec and was open to children, teens, young adults and adult players in helping to bring awareness to interested participants in the sport of tennis a "lifelong" recreational sport. Certified instructors from Tennis Quebec demonstrated tips on playing, strategies tennis tactics in playing the game. There was a demonstration of some of the newest rackets by Wilson, Diadora and other tennis equipment outfitters. Participation was free of charge for this event, which is held annually at Rembrandt Park. The event attracted over 75 avid and enthusiastic tennis players.

During August staff began researching information on various possible amenities which could
be added to the tennis programs in 2015. We are presently looking at installing a practice
screen tennis net at Caldwell Tennis Courts. This would protect one court for teaching while not
disrupting play by the public on the other courts.

New signage for the public will be installed on the fences at Rembrandt Park tennis courts,
highlighting rules, regulations and City policy. This is being prepared at present for installation
before next season (2016) begins.

Of course, Rembrandt Park was also  the site of our first Piano in the Parks Program. We installed a donated piano so people could come play whenever they wish. The water splash area was well utilized by parents with their small children as were the swings and other equipment. It was nice to see so many families having picnics on the green space while others simply enjoyed sitting on the benches. Reuben Goodman continues to be our main attendant at the chalet, still well utilized for art classes.

 

 


Oliver Jones helps launch public piano program at Rembrandt Park

Jazz legend Oliver Jones performed a few songs to help inaugurate the first public piano in the City of Côte Saint-Luc on June 29 at Rembrandt Park in District 2. What a wonderful occasion and a proud moment for me as the councillor for the area and for the portfolio of Library and Culture. The weather was nice and we had a fantastic turnout not only from the public, but local and mainstream media - Global TV, CBC and CTV. Here is the Global TV report.
 
The piano will be available to the public all summer from around 8:30 am to 10 pm. It will be covered with a tarp every evening. Rembrandt Park is located on Rembrandt Ave. near Kildare Rd. 
 
“Côte Saint-Luc is eager to launch the pilot project this summer and gives passers-by the opportunity to try out the new outdoor piano,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We’re also proud to have a local resident – who also happens to be a jazz legend – help us inaugurate it.”
 
Public pianos have sprung up around the world in the last few years. Côte Saint-Luc decided to launch this pilot project when resident Louise Silverman donated her late mother’s piano.
 
OliverJonesPiano
The legendary Oliver Jones helps us launch our public piano program.
A few months ago Rembrandt Avenue resident Phil Matlin approached me about the idea. I immediately approached our Director of Library Services Janine West, Manager of Cultural Development Danielle Bélanger, Associate City Manager Nadia Di Furia. and Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman. Once the first piano donation was in play we were ready to go.
 
The public piano movement started with the ‘Play Me, I'm Yours’ initiative in the United States. This is a wonderful program that affords us all a chance to people-watch or even sing and dance while someone is playing.”
 
We are indeed seeking the donation of more pianos. Each of them will be decorated. Let Danielle know at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205 if you have a lead.
 
We are all very proud to have an icon like Oliver Jones living in our community. He has helped inaugurate public piano programs elsewhere in the city and what a thrill it was for the audience to watch him perform a few tunes.
 
Our city manager Tanya Abramovitch has always wanted to turn Rembrandt into a "culture park." The back of the chalet is uniquely designed with a semi circle of stairs which people can sit on very comfortably. It was the perfect venue for Oliver Jones as there was not bad seat in the house.
 
 

Pétanque makes its debut at Rembrandt Park

There is something new at District 2's Rembrandt Park.

This week pétanque courts have made their debut. I saw a lot of  these during my recent visits to Paris and Nice.

Pétanque is an extremely simple game, just like horseshoes. There's a target, and you have to get as close to it as possible. What makes it so appealing, is that you can be way ahead for a while, yet lose a second later, or vice versa. Because nothing is decided until the last player plays the very last boule. If he or she moves the target ball or knocks an opponent ball out of the way, the layout of the boules - and thus your score - may change dramatically.

This game is for people  of any age, as strength or speed are not important. Pétanque evolved early this century from an old French bowl game (la boule Provencale), when one of the old champions, meanwhile suffering from arthritis and mourning his heydays, suggested there be no more running and jumping: everyone should throw the boules standing still, feet together, in a small starting circle. The old champion was back in the game! These days, on many market places in France, petanque is played day in, day out. While retirees are in the majority during weekdays, teenagers and everyone else who wants to unwind for a while will join them after school or work and on weekends.  

So we invite players of all ages to gather for games of pick-up pétanque. You must bring your own balls and jack.  If you are interested in participating in a league, contact François Marechal at francoismarechal@videotron.ca or 514-996-8709.

See this video: