Change needed at CSL-MoWest intersection: MoWest resident

CSL engineering dept. recommends simple stop at corner: Housefather

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

January 23, 2013

The flashing lights stop signal at Westminster and Westover in Côte St. Luc should be dismantled and replaced with a walk signal to improve pedestrian safety, council regular Daniel Markuze told Montreal West council at the late November meeting.

The signal is located north of the Westminster hump, right at the border with Montreal West, and has been in operation since 1963.

“Right now, they’re just flashing and it’s an accident waiting to happen,” he added. “The problem is for pedestrians. We need something where you press a button and its all right for people to cross. It’s needed especially for older people. It’s dangerous there.”

Mayor Beny Masella said Montreal West originally shared the cost with Côte St. Luc to install the flashing light signal. “Côte St. Luc, from what we’re understanding, is not sure they want to replace the lights completely, which is a $200,000 job, or just to change the controller, which is a $50,000 to $60,000 job. We’ve told them we’d probably be willing to participate in the costs. They’ve done a traffic study at the intersection, they’ve collected their data and it was supposed to be presented to their council. We asked that it be presented to our council to see if all of this is warranted. We’re waiting for that data [regarding traffic volume] to get back to us so we can make a decision how we can participate.”

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather told The Suburban Friday that his city has done traffic counts at that intersection “and intends to leave this as a flashing light stop sign for now.

“All information we have is being shared with Montreal West,” the mayor explained. “The costs of this light, which are at the border of the two communities, were originally shared between the communities but Côte St. Luc has been maintaining it since installation. The costs of repairing the controller or replacing the light are not justified based on the assessment by our engineering department of the traffic at that intersection and they recommend using a simple stop. If Montreal West has other suggestions we will certainly consider them.”

Côte St. Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who represents the area, said Montreal West originally installed the lights and Côte St. Luc helped pay for them and later, Côte St. Luc was in charge of their maintenance. Erdelyi said the current lights are 49 years old and need major work, and traffic studies have shown a 10 to one ratio between cars travelling on Westminster and cars on Westover. He said the data indicates a traffic light would not be necessary there, and that a regular or flashing stop sign are options. In comparison, at Côte St. Luc and Westminster where there is a button-controlled crossing such as what Markuze requested, “The ratio is roughly half and half between cars going on [the two streets]. Based on criteria from the Ministry of Transport, it doesn’t seem it’s necessary to have the traffic light” at Westover and Westminster.