Traffic

New measure to improve safety on Marc Chagall Ave. to reduce speed to 30 km/h

The Côte Saint-Luc Traffic Committee met recently, at which time I made the case for something to be done to increase safety on Marc Chagall Avenue

With the addition of two Equinoxe high rises,  and if you take into account Le Rothchild I, which borders on the street, there are  close to 1,000 residents spread across six buildings and one town house complex. Add to that JPPS Elementary/Bialik High School,  Beth Chabad at Kildare Road and the snow dump, then we are talking about a lot of traffic.

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A look at Marc Chagall Avenue.

Following two recent accidents at the curve on Marc Chagall, the committee discussed what can be done. Engineering presented  traffic counts taken from the previous week.

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They showed low volume and low speeds at the curve. Simply looking at the data would not suggest a problem in the area. The  local Police Station 9 commander  agreed that there is likely no speeding on the curve and that they would not be able to issue tickets based on the speeds of the tests. The committee did agree  that these values would be amplified if it were trucks and not cars.

Personally I do not feel that these speed tests tell the true story. There have been many spring, summer and fall nights where have seen cars whizzing by well above the speed limit.

So our plans now call for a significant reduction in speed allowed:   30km/hr along the entire Marc Chagall stretch. For residents who have been asking for such a measure  you need to understand that once signs are installed the police will be monitoring it and tickets issued.

Keep in mind that the main entrance for Isadore Goldberg Park is now on Marc Chagall, qualifying  certain portion of the street as a park area for the purposes of speed. Then, of  course, as we approach JPPS/Bialik we enter a school zone.

I walk or drive down Marc Chagall almost every day. When I am in my vehicle I do so very slowly, cognizant of the traffic and - notably during COVID-  the fact that there has been more pedestrian activity.

The addition of more speed bumps was not accepted as the noise caused by trucks  would be very disruptive to the surrounding buildings.  

Before the signs are installed and we complete the necessary steps to make this a reality, I welcome comments from constituents at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.


Rectifying a parking sign issue on Kildare Road

I recently held a meeting with some residents of the town houses on Kildare Road, between Cavendish Boulevard and Kellert Avenue.  With Scott,  David and Jo Hong I shared the discussions I had at the last Traffic Committee meeting over  an issue they are having with  restricted parking signs (Tuesday and Thursday)  that went up in front of their homes.

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With Jo Hong, David and Scott.

These same signs were removed when construction commenced in 2009 on their homes. Interestingly, there were no restricted parking signs present when work was complete in 2013. For six years that section of Kildare continued to have no such signs. According to Public Works this was a serious oversight on their part.

It turns out that it was a complaint from across the street, asking why they had no parking two days a week and their side did not. Engineering did some research and realized that the signs were removed during construction in 2009, but never put back. Since I was never consulted, I asked for a review and that finally took  place yesterday. Public Works insisted that they had complaints for years that the sweeper during spring, summer and fall could not clean the street properly. Their personnel were not aware of the sign situation. At  the meeting their operations director said they still need some restrictions in place.

For residents this poses a major inconvenience, notably when guests come over during the day or they themselves want to leave a car on the street instead of going back into the garage.

A compromise has been reached. They will only maintain restrictions between April 1 to December for the sweeper. Instead of two days, it will be part of one day. I spoke to Public Works and they are recommending Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm as the sweepers start in early spring and leaf season goes to the end of November. I will now wait for the Traffic Committee’s formal recommendation to come to City Council and the situation will be resolved.

One foot note: Montreal Transit Commission mandated bus lines will be introduced island-wide in the next year or so. That could impact on  parking  for everyone, including this stretch. We have no power on such decisions. We will keep everyone posted.


Crossing guard post filled at Cavendish and Kildare

I have some terrific news to report. After a lengthy search, our Human Resources Department has finally engaged the services of a full-time crossing guard for the crucial corner of Cavendish and Kildare.

Danilo Aaragao will start work on Monday, September 30, working with Lt. Anthony Tsakon  and  Jean-Marc Dubois from our Public Safety Department.  He will succeed Norman Klein, who left the post for a security post at a local condo. Of course the legend there was the late Archie Kwiatt worked  that corner for many years.

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Norman Klein previously patrolled the corner.

This our busiest cross-section. There are many students from JPPS-Bialik and pedestrians from nearby streets who frequent the corner and we need someone responsible to make sure they abide by the  signals. And yes we have to watch out for the motorists as well. Decades ago there was a fatal accident involving a Bialik student. I still get chills recalling that moment.

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Danilo Aragao

 

 


I am happy to see new flashing stop sign on Kildare Road

In  a continued effort to make Kildare Road in District 2 safer, we have just installed a brand new flashing stop sign at the corner of Sir Walter Scott. Hopefully this will deter motorists who have either run through the sign or made short stops. We do not have many signs this noticeable in the city so I would like to thank our traffic experts for recognizing the need here.

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The new flashing stop sign.

Further down the road we have another stop sign  that was  installed just over a year ago. As noted in previous articles,  we  did so in order to give an opportunity to Rembrandt motorists to get off their street safely. Prior to the stop sign some  were inching out dangerously out of impatience. Our Traffic Committee and the local Police Station Traffic Officer have monitored this corner regularly, several times in my company, to examine and confirm its efficiency.

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The little girl with the backpack.

We  also have a sign of a little girl with a backpack on a pole closer to Merrimac, warning motorists that there are small children travelling back and forth to school and to watch their speed. These type of signs are posted in strategic spots throughout the city and I think they are very effective.

 


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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.


Important traffic calming measures will proceed this spring

We have some updated traffic calming news.

The traffic calming plan in 2019 is focused on making the Kildare corridor a safer street for pedestrians. The funds will be spent on the following categories:

 Pedestrian counts on Kildare

 Sidewalk bump‐outs on Kildare as well as Clanranald

 Flashing signage on Kildare, Guelph, Cavendish

 Line painting on Kildare

 Standardized signage and bollards at various locations

 Speed bumps at various locations

 StreetLight Data

 

Pedestrian and vehicular counts are planned at two intersections: Sir Walter Scott/Kildare and Westminster/Kildare. In the case of the former, this will give us some valuable information in terms of the traffic flow at particular hours. It is something that was requested at a special focus group meeting I held on the subject in January.

Flashing stop signs will be added along the Kildare corridor to warn drivers and provide additional protection for pedestrians. These are planned at two intersections: Sir Walter Scott  and Kildare and Caldwell and Kildare.  

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Additional line paint will be added on the Kildare corridor with more durability to improve visibility year‐round and warn drivers. This will be planned at one intersections as a trial: Sir Walter Scott and Kildare.

We will be converting some speed cushions to permanent humps: Engineering has determined locations in which seasonal speed cushions will be converted to permanent asphalt humps. They are planned at four  locations: Rembrandt,  McAlear, Eldridge and  Melling.

There will also be action taken on the Avenue and the crosswalk between the new rental apartment building and the entrance to Quartier Cavendish. Too many cars are speeding in this area and we worry that a serious accident can occur. Many of the residents of the apartment building are seniors. We will take a fresh look at the parking to remove any blind spots.

As you can see a lot of attention   has been paid towards District 2. I thank the Traffic Committee, chaired by Councillor David Torjdman, for their due diligence on these matters.


Police Station 9 taking aim at cars that run stop signs on Kildare Road

It has been, sadly, a regular occurrence for years: motorists running stop signs on Kildare Road, between Marc Chagall and Rembrandt.

I see it when  I am driving myself  and whenever I walk the area. Perpetrators are most likely residents of District 2. Occasionally cars from Police Station 9 set up speed traps and try and nab the offenders. Such was the case today  as a patrol car sat at the corner of Merrimac and Kildare, Parents from JPPS and Bialik doing pickup and drop off tend to be the guilty parties as  well in some cases.

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A police car looks for violators at Merrmac and Kildare.

 

On Kildare there are stop signs going west at the corners of Merrimac,  SIr Walter Scott and since last September, on Rembrandt. Vehicles typically make what I used to call "Chicago" stops. They slow down, but keep on going. A lot of research was done before adding the  stop sign on Sir Walter Scott a few years ago and most recently on Rembrandt, We are trying to keep the area safe. For some people,  the  only way this sinks in is if they get an expensive traffic ticket. The police will be setting up shop there more often so please  try and put your foot on the  breaks more consistently.