Why can’t Montreal clear the snow?

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Van Horne congestion due to snowbanks and illegally parked car, on Feb. 12, 2018

Traffic continues to be snarled on Van Horne, west of Decarie, for more than two weeks.  The Borough of Cote des Neiges – NDG’s inability to clear the snowbank is baffling. No less than three types of ‘No Parking’ signs have come and gone yet the snow remains. The afternoon/evening rush hour on this route routinely sees a single lineup of vehicles backing up for blocks, into Decarie, sometimes all the way to Westbury. Is this because of incompetence or lack of resources?

Just a few blocks further the Town of Hampstead does a reasonable job of clearing nearly two full lanes, doubling the flow rate. And beyond that Cote Saint-Luc practically melts the snow from curb to curb.

The police routinely fail to enforce the No Parking restrictions on Van Horne (which I lobbied for several years ago). So even if the snowbank would be cleared illegally parked cars often obstruct the right lane (as photographed above at 5:20PM).

So what’s the problem in Montreal? We should be world leaders at clearing snow. Instead, we’re caught off guard by snow storms, can’t clear ice from sidewalks, our streets are riddled with potholes, and we needlessly waste time in traffic jams. Let’s hope the new administration figures this out quickly and get’s it right for next season. And ticket that car!

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A tough commute in Montreal may eventually be a thing of the past

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On a morning where my  12 minute commute took over an hour I’m inspired to share this lecture from the Consumer Electronics Show going on in Las Vegas about Smart Cities. It speaks to the democratization of transportation whereby all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians are linked to one another.

Congestion can be mitigated by connectivity and data sharing. The whole system needs to be made more intelligent. Cities need to get connected to new technology and use data to manage traffic flow and to improve citizens’ quality of life, local business, the environment and even public safety.
In this conference, Ford Motor Company’s President and CEO Jim Hackett focuses on mobility solutions as the world progresses toward smarter cities. Ford’s vision is to become the world’s most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world.
I hope our friends and neighbours from the Cote des Neiges – NDG Borough Hall also take note about smarter cities and avoid blocking Van Horne for snow clearing during rush hour, resulting today in gridlock across Snowdon West, Hampstead and Cote Saint-Luc.
Speaking of Hampstead, please clear BOTH lanes on Fleet. 1.5 lanes of snow clearing doesn’t really help the flow.
And kudos to the CSL Public Works Department under the leadership of Director Bebe Newman. Bebe’s crews practically catch the snow before it hits the ground. You’d never know that 36 centimetres fell in CSL driving down its main streets today.

CSL helping neighbours in need

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CSL Public Works crews feed the wood chipper in NDG to help out in the major cleanup

 

In response to last week’s major storm that devastated parts of the Cote des Neiges –  NDG borough, toppling 100 year old trees and causing major havoc in several parks, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director Bebe Newman reached out to her colleagues in NDG and offered assistance to their Public Works department in the disaster clean up.
NDG was very grateful for the collaborative efforts and CSL sent its tree cutting crew earlier this week in the spirit of being a good neighbour.
A 2-man Arboriculture team was sent to NDG to work on the clean up of the damaged and fallen trees. Our team went out with a wood chipper and handled 25 areas of NDG between Cavendish and Sherbrooke in the western part of the borough.

The mess was all over NDG. CSL Public Works crews assisted at 25 such locations in a single day this week.

Thank you to CSL employees Robert Lacroix and Marc Piterelli who worked hard for our neighbours. They commented that they very were glad to help out.
In response, the NDG division chief of parks thanked our team for their collaboration and professionalism and said they would accept and welcome whatever help they could get.
Bravo to CSL Public Works and to Director Bebe Newman for this wonderful gesture of friendship and togetherness. It’s wonderful to reach out and help others in need.

Fleet to flow at 40 km/h

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speedlimit40

Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead have agreed to harmonize the speed along Fleet in both towns to 40 km/h and to enhance the signage and street line marking at crosswalks. This cooperative project is aimed at ensuring greater safety of pedestrians.

Currently, the speed varies between 50 km/h in CSL to 50 km/h and 30 km/h in Hampstead.

Hampstead and CSL will install 40 km/h speed limit signs on Fleet between Cavendish and Dufferin Road on their respective territories. The cities will also collaborate to do their utmost to ensure that the traffic lights on Fleet Road, on their respective territories, are synchronized.

No_left_Fleet_Hampstead_2013a    No_left_Fleet_Hampstead_2013b

They will also work together to create a simplified plan as related to the wording on the signs for the no left turn policy on the streets running perpendicular to Fleet Road, namely, Netherwood, Finchley, Dufferin Road. This has been a serious source of frustration for motorists from both cities, many of whom have been ticketed for turning left off of Fleet, unable to decipher the confusing signage. The confusing road signs were also cited by a Montreal Court judge in dismissing a ticket to a Hampstead motorist (posted elsewhere on this blog).

Free Press, May 23. 2012

Free Press, May 23. 2012

Hampstead has also agreed to provide greater visibility for the unprotected cross walk between Queen Mary Road and Netherwood.

This synchronization plan is good news for West End motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. While Fleet is not wide enough for a dedicated bike lane the slower traffic will improve the safety of those on bikes and walking across the street. It is intended that crosswalks will be even more visible by better street line markings and signage will be installed in high visibility colours.

As the one who called for the initial meeting to discuss this project with Hampstead Mayor Steinberg I am very pleased with the cooperation between our two municipalities. Councillor Dida Berku and I along with CSL Urban Development Director Charles Senekal met with Mayor Steinberg and members of his administration last winter to discuss common concerns and ideas to reduce risk.

Two weeks ago I met again with Mayor Steinberg, CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and members of council along with CDN-NDG Mayor Russell Copeman and Councillor Marvin Rotrand at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Winnipeg. We had a productive working meeting where we touched upon the Fleet –  Van Horne corridor among other subjects. Copeman and Rotrand are also open to the idea of synchronizing Van Horne between Hampstead and Decarie to 40 km/h as well.

Safer at 40 km/h speed sign

In addition I’ve asked Councillor Rotrand to have his staff repair the significant depressions in the roadway on Van Horne to ensure a steady flow of two lanes of traffic during rush hour and to have police enforce the no stopping regulation which often causes a bottleneck, blocking the flow of traffic and the 161 bus.

Thank you to the three municipal administraions and especially mayors Steinberg, Copeman and Brownstein for demonstrating a genuine interest in cooperation and collaboration.

Do you have ideas to improve this thoroughfare? Please share your ideas here.

New traffic lights mean traffic jams at Côte-Saint-Luc & Decarie

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English: A Led Traffic lights

Posted By: Shuyee Lee CJAD 800AM shuyee.lee@cjad.com · 8/30/2013 12:11:00 PM

Motorists who travel around the Côte-Saint-Luc Road and Decarie Boulevard intersection may have noticed traffic has been gridlocked there for the past two weeks or so.

It all has to do with the pending work on the Turcot reconstruction project.

Some motorists have reported waits of three minutes at the traffic lights at the intersection.

EMSB spokesman Michael Cohen told CJAD 800 News that it took him 20 minutes to get from the office on Fielding to Decarie, which he says is normally a three minute drive.

Côte-Saint-Luc councillor Glenn Nashen, who’s in charge of traffic for the city, said he’s received a few complaints as well and they wrote to the borough of Côte-des-Neiges/NDG requesting they fix the problem right away.

Head of communications for the borough Michel Therrien said the problem is actually something that’s supposed to help traffic: new traffic lights installed in view of the upcoming work on the Turcot to help deal with the anticipated traffic jams.

“We are monitoring the situation right now, we’re trying to calibrate those lights to make sure the cars can go easily through that part of the road,” Therrien said.

Compound that with the regular back-to-school and back-to-work traffic and that accounts for more gridlock than usual, but Therrien said they hope to find the right balance with the timing of the lights in the next couple of days, adding it’s not an exact science.

Applebaum’s French not good enough?

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La Presse is reporting that there are concerns among Union Montreal’s ranks that Michael Applebaum‘s proficiency isn’t good enough to serve as interim Mayor of Montreal. The unnamed sources are quoted as saying that Applebaum’s French is not good.

Gimme a beak!

The voters of the largest borough in Montreal have re-elected Applebaum for more than a decade. Clearly his voters are content with the way he communicates in whatever language, presumably the majority of it in French.

He was also chosen to serve on the executive committee and to take on the all important role of managing a 4 billion dollar budget.

To suggest that he lacks decent communication skills is yet another slap in the face of every Anglo Quebecer that has made efforts to conduct various aspects of their lives in French. This climate of Anglo bashing since the PQ election has been a stain on Quebec’s reputation across Canada and damages civic cohesion here at home. No wonder we haven’t had an Anglo Mayor of Montreal in over 100 years.

Applebaum has proven his skill in the political arena. Don’t ask him to write a French test now.

Helen Fotopulos mairesse par intérim? | Karim Benessaieh | Montréal.

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CSL, Bergman working toward Cavendish link: Housefather

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CSL, Bergman working toward Cavendish link: Housefather

April 25, 2012

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather insisted to discouraged council regular Bernard Tonchin that Côte St. Luc and especially D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman are working hard to help the cause of a Cavendish Blvd. link between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent.

Côte St. Luc, Hampstead, St. Laurent, Côte des Neiges/NDG, Montreal West and Town of Mount Royal have passed resolutions asking that the link be prioritized. The Quebec government also revived the issue in their announcement that the Hippodrome land would be ceded to Montreal for future development.

Tonchin said at last week’s city council meeting that he would not attend the next Montreal island-wide agglomeration meeting if the Cavendish link was not on the agenda. The resident pointed out that previous plans called for the link to be completed this year.

“I’m very concerned with Cavendish, it’s a 40-year battle,” he added. “I and some others are ready to go down again to the agglomeration council, because we have more support now [from suburbs] and we really need it. I’ve asked many times to invite our representative from D’Arcy McGee to a meeting strictly on Cavendish. He got a lot of things done and is pretty powerful in Quebec. We have to confront him, once and for all, on the extension of Cavendish. I don’t know where we stand.”

Housefather said Tonchin is well aware that Côte St. Luc has been in favour of the link for more than 10 years, and that the city and TMR pushed to have it as part of the agglomeration’s transport plan.

“Lawrence Bergman is working on the Cavendish dossier,” the mayor added. “I speak to him about this dossier on a weekly basis. There is nothing he does not know about the population’s support for Cavendish going ahead. He knows it very well. He’s doing his best to lobby, to get the money for Cavendish being extended. He’s doing everything he can. “There is definitely every kind of impetus that the city can have on Cavendish. And there’s no point in putting it on the agglomeration agenda – there’s nothing being voted on. But you’re always welcome to show up for question period and you can ask it to Mayor Tremblay exactly the way you put it to me. There’s nothing I can do to further Cavendish than I’m not already doing. I’ve asked along with the mayor of TMR for a meeting with the Quebec transport minister and I’m waiting for a response, and we’ve done our best at every level of government.”

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