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!

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.

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.

Letter to Gazette: Bus lanes on Cavendish Blvd. and Côte-St-Luc Rd. will slow traffic

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Cote Saint-Luc resident Nathan Elberg writes this Letter: Bus lanes on Cavendish Blvd. and Côte-St-Luc Rd. will slow traffic in yesterday’s Gazette. He is correct in stating that the recent announcement by the Montreal Transit Corporation (STM) may improve the situation on some stretches of road however many more motorists will suffer traffic congestion as they make their way to and from work in their cars.

Personally, I am in favour of these improvements to mass transit. Bus service, once you leave Cote Saint-Luc is far too slow. It takes too long to get to the metro stations.  Van Horne is impossible during rush hour and that artery is not even part of this reserved bus lane plan. Cote Saint-Luc Road at Decarie is dreadfully slow.

Moreover, reserving bus lanes on Cote Saint-Luc territory is just not needed at this time. The two stretches in question in last week’s MTC announcement are Cote Saint-Luc Road and Cavendish Blvd. Both roads already have major portions in the City of Cote Saint-Luc where no parking is allowed and therefore there is no traffic congestion. It is once you leave Cote Saint-Luc territory that traffic gets snarled. So let’s not fix a problem that doesn’t yet exist.

What is really needed, and has been discussed publicly, is a rapid shuttle service from Cote Saint-Luc to the hospital sector along Cote des Neiges. Such a service would be extremely beneficial to the many hundreds of residents that go to medical appointments at hospitals, clinics, offices and labs every day as well as the hundreds of health care sector workers who live here and work there. That would get many cars off the road, reduce traffic along Van Horne, serve the needs of our older population and improve parking and congestion in Cote des Neiges.

 

Fire safety at home

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Smoke detector

Smoke detectors can be purchased for under $10 and can save your life

Yesterday’s news of a tragic fire on Van Horne Ave in Cote des Neiges should serve as a strong reminder that everyone is responsible to ensure that they have working smoke detectors in operation in their homes. 

In Cote Saint-Luc bylaws require smoke alarms to be installed on every level of the house, located in the common area (corridor) serving each floor.

If your house has been constructed after September 1987, then you must have inter-connected smoke alarms, meaning that when the corridor mounted smoke alarm sounds on the bedroom level for example, all of the smoke alarms will sound throughout the house.

We strongly recommend the installation of additional smoke alarms within each bedroom, as well as the installation of carbon monoxide detectors. In rental housing, it is the responsibility of the landlord to supply the smoke alarm and the tenant is responsible for the annual maintenance (changing the battery).

Deadly consequences need not happen in so many cases like yesterday.  Such horrible outcomes can be avoided by simply following basic fire prevention rules. Be sure to check your smoke detectors monthly and change your batteries when the clocks are adjusted in the spring and fall.

Read more safety tips from my blog or from Cote Saint-Luc’s website.

Welcome to Chelmstead

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It’s quite easy to poke a little fun at the situation next door.  Emails have been coming in fast and furious with barbs and quips at the antics of our neighbours.  Yes, I’m talking about the traffic situation in Hampstead.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I mean this in all good jest as the situation is rather laughable.

So I’ll share some of the comments I’ve received (I didn’t write any of them – I received them all) and please feel free to post your own here as well.

  • The award-winning comment goes to…. “Chelmstead”…. in reference to the Yiddish folkloric town of Chelm. One popular humorous tradition from Eastern Europe involved tales of the people of Chełm, a town reputed in these jokes to be inhabited by fools. The jokes were almost always centred on silly solutions to problems. Some of these solutions display “foolish wisdom” (reaching the correct answer by the wrong train of reasoning), while others are simply wrong.
    • In Chelmstead it’s not about who is right but when to turn left.
    • In Chelmstead one bad turn deserves another.
  • I was wondering if you would be able to find out what kind of drugs that your friends, in Hampstead, are taking. It seems to be forcing them to make some weird decisions that indicate that they are on a constant high and this sounds like it might be fun to be acting stupid all the time.
  • I’m a 30 y.o and the posted time-slots on those signs are TOO SMALL!!! How is one suppose to read those signs when one is driving 30-40 even 50km/h. Best of all, poor visibility (heavy rain/snow) will make it virtually impossible to read. Did the monkeys on council forget our winter climate. Snow occasionally sticks to signs, i.e. covering the allowed time slots. I predict many fender benders and some serious accidents. Monkeys!!!  (CTVMontreal.ca)
  • Must be april fool’s day!!! gosh 15mins? ahahahaha what is your counselor/mayor thinking?? oh wait, he must be thinking left! hahah (CTVMontreal.ca)
  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do…. (CTVMontreal.ca)
  • I think it must be April 1st there on a regular basis! (CTVMontreal.ca)
  • I pray that the traffic flow and light synchronization will be worked out by Hampstead for the benefit of all, including CSL residents. Let’s build friendships and not fences.
  • How is Hampstead going to enforce the turns? 4 police officers, one at each street?
  • One solution might be to have Bialik relocate. This would solve a problem at Cavendish and Kildare, and along Fleet. 
  • Sure looks like a council that is struggling to do what’s right, and is getting stuck implementing illogical band-aid solutions – frankly, they sound like (and look like if you’ve seen the ever changing signs) ridiculous. Has anyone on that counsel thought about the residents trying to decode the complicated signage? I hope there aren’t too many accidents from drivers looking at their watches while driving!
  • Why is the Hampstead council being so illogical? Isn’t it beneficial to all, to go with the most logical flow? Yes it does generate traffic on residential streets but it would be more effective if traffic was spread evenly over all streets instead of funneling everyone off at Dufferin and Decarie.
  • I certainly think the benefits that Hampstead have in a neighbour like CSL should be put in question by maybe increasing user fees.
  • Morning traffic to take my kids to school on Van Horne is ridiculous!
  • My travel time during morning rush hour from CSL to Decarie via Van Horne has doubled. It’s very frustrating.
  • I hate to say this but the Town of Hampstead, past and present administrations have come up with other traffic measures to impede a logical flow of traffic through their territory. Montreal has also instituted draconian traffic control measures. They (Hampstead) have not kept up their part of the “synchronized traffic light” system that was planned approximately 10 years ago for Van Horne Avenue/Fleet Road from Decarie Boulevard to Cavendish Boulevard.
  • Cote St Luc needs to give Hampstead a taste of their own medicine and let them live by their own rules. If residential streets are for residents then it should also be enforced by CSL.
  • Hampstead City Council is acting like a bunch of spoiled school children who won’t share their toys!
  • I have met Hampstead mayor Steinberg socially and found his views on traffic quite surprising. He told me how he “retaliated” for CSL creating the double left turn lane (on Cavendish and Fleet). This of course caused great inconvenience to all including the Hampstead residents who drop their kids off in CSL schools. He seems to think that the slower the traffic the better while I feel that the slower the traffic the more pollution his residents will breath.

 

 

Hampstead no-left rule ridiculed by Hampsteaders

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CTV News reports that even Hampstead drivers find the new left-turn restrictions ridiculous.

Comments on th CTV News website ask if it’s April Fools in Hampstead.  What do you think? Post your comments here.

Hampstead punishes Cote Saint-Luc drivers

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Hampstead forces motorists off its side streets and back to Fleet (Belsize corner of Netherwood)

Add another 5 or 10 minutes of frustration to your daily commute along Fleet and Van Horne courtesy of the Town of Hampstead. Earlier this year Hampstead increased restrictions on through-traffic north of Fleet. This fall they went further by forcing morning traffic turning north at Queen Mary (via Holly and Belsize) back to Fleet.

What’s more, Hampstead has ordered Montreal Police to ticket those vehicles caught in the ridiculous maze if they make a U-turn on Netherwood Cr. to get back onto Belsize.  Were Police officials consulted to determine if all these changes were advisable in the first place? 

Just last week, Hampstead eliminated the flashing green signal at Fleet and Dufferin.  Lefts will still be permitted from Fleet eastbound onto Dufferin, but drivers will need to wait for a break in the Fleet westbound traffic before turning, further aggravating a growing bottleneck along the major east-west artery.

This affront against good neighbourliness is adversely affecting many CSL drivers, as well as other West End motorists, including a fair number of Hampsteaders too.

Furthermore, the Borough of Cote-des-Neiges-NDG reacted to Hampstead’s restrictions by adding new “no left turn” signs on Van Horne approaching Decarie Blvd. 

How long before official relations between the neighbouring towns deteriorate further?

Hampstead Council should consider the number of their residents that regularly drive to schools, daycare, religious institutions, shopping centres, hospitals, clinics, friends and family in Cote Saint-Luc each and every day.  There’s also the library, arena and sports facilities.  And don’t forget all those Hampstead dump trucks filled with snow ripping up our CSL roads. 

CSL allows them to access the snow dump at the end of Kildare Road (albeit at a fee) since Hampstead sorely lacks available space to dump its own snow on its territory.  Chalk this up to a goodwill gesture by CSL towards its neighbour.

While Hampstead has acted in an unfriendly fashion to keep CSL vehicles off their streets, and even to have many ticketed, don’t expect to see toll booths anytime soon to penalize Hampstead drivers entering CSL. 

Hampstead ought to reconsider these absurd measures in the interest of all of its own residents and its neighbours too.

Interesting encounters at the FCM

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The annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference was more than sitting through hours of meetings, seminars, guest lectures and reading through miles of documents on municipal infrastructure, environment, finance rules, collective transport, crime prevention and so much more.  The best part was meeting interesting folks from across this great country.  Mayors and Councillors from towns and cities, large and small, each have experiences, success stories and advice galore that they are more than willing to share.       

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen, Dida Berku and Sam Goldbloom meet with NDP leader Jack Layton

The City of Edmonton hosted a reception to familiarize elected officials with their beautiful city and to brag about their upcoming Expo 2017.  City Councillor Karen Leibovici welcomed us and mentioned that she grew up in Montreal and her parents still live in Cote Saint-Luc!

L-R: M. Jacques Kincler, Councillors Sam Goldbloom Karen Leibovici, Dida Berku, Glenn J. Nashen, Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee and (front) Councillor Allan J. Levine

A short 5 hour drive north of Edmonton is Slave Lake, Alberta. where Karina Pillay-Kinnee serves as their delightful mayor.  Karina explained that her council meets three Mondays each month and that almost all discussions take place in public, a rarity for most municipal councils.  Slave Lake is home to about 6,000 people.       

Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac are welcomed to City Hall by Toronto Mayor David Miller

A reception was held at the Hockey Hall of Fame where legendary hockey great Johnny Bower dropped in to pose with an excited group of municipal officials, next to the Stanley Cup.  Bower was a star for 13 seasons and played for the Toronto Maple Leafs among others.  It was my first visit to the Hall of Fame and it was quite evident that no matter what city or town any of us came from in Canada, Hockey was definately a national priority!      

Hockey enthusiast and City Councillor Ruth Kovac meets with Hockey legend Johnny Bower

There was a chance to discuss a few issues among neighbours from the Borough of Cote-des-Neiges-NDG.  Wouldn’t it be mighty neighbourly for the borough to make some improvements along Van Horne to allow West End traffic to more efficiently access Decarie by unblocking some of the new left turn restrictions and by paving the road?       

CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Michael Applebaum and CSL City Councillor Dida Berku Councillors Ruth Kovac and Glenn J. Nashen with CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Michael Applebaum

The Cote Saint-Luc reps helped re-elect Lachine Borough Mayor Claude Dauphin to the Quebec Caucus of the FCM.  Claude will be joined by St-Laurent Borough Councillor Maurice Cohen, Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau and several others at representing Quebec municipalities at the FCM national level.       

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen, Mike Cohen, Ruth Kovac and Sam Goldbloom meet with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (centre)

All in all it was an excellent conference and valuable opportunity that will prove beneficial to Cote Saint-Luc and cities across this great nation.  Au revoir from Toronto.       

CSL Councillor Glenn J. Nashen with Mayor Anthony Housefather

Mayor Anthony Housefather with former Councillor Richard Schwartz

Councillor Sam Goldbloom at Toronto City Hall

Councillor Allan Levine at Hockey Hall of Fame

NDP leader Jack Layton with Councillor Dida Berku

Hampstead protesters didn’t help their cause

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About a dozen protesters holding placards blocked the street at Holly and Queen Mary roads in Hampstead this morning preventing motorists from turning onto Holly.

Queen Mary Road is currently the only road where motorists may turn north into Hampstead when coming from Cote Saint-Luc.  Traffic patterns from the direction of Cote Saint-Luc into Hampstead have been changed since last year when left turns were banned onto both ends of Netherwood Crescent. 

Traffic this morning was backed up along Fleet into Cote Saint-Luc.  Protesters were apparently upset with Hampstead Council as they feel that their concerns about traffic congestion are not being acted upon fast enough.   This well orchestrated demonstration was planned in advance as a local reporter and TV cameraman arrived shortly thereafter.

Hampstead Public Security diverted the traffic away from Holly rather than moving the protesters off the street.  As I drove off the protesters were chanting “Goodbye Cote Saint-Luc residents”.

Their frustrations are misguided.  There are plenty of their own neighbours who drive into Cote Saint-Luc each morning to drop off kids at the many day schools and daycare centres as well as others going to medical appointments at clinics and the CLSC and returning home to Hampstead. 

Traffic, like water rolling downhill, will always find a way to dissipate and run off in smaller tributaries rather than being channeled along a single congested canal, in this case an inefficient Fleet Road and Van Horne Ave.

Several simultaneous solutions are required which include cooperation from the Borough of Cote-des-Neiges-NDG which recently blocked left turns off Van Horne at Clanranald and Coolbrooke during morning rush hour and not allowing rush hour parking on Plamondon and Vezina west of Decarie. Eventually the opening of Cavendish Blvd.  will be a major help in alleviating traffic patterns through local residential streets. 

Meanwhile, calmer heads should prevail.  Protests do nothing to ease the flow of traffic.

Watch CTV News (advance to 10:50) here

Hampstead considering local traffic relief options

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Hampstead considering local traffic relief options

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban, March 10, 2010

Hampstead has several options it is studying to relieve traffic on the town’s quiet streets resulting from morning rush hour prohibitions in Montreal, Mayor William Steinberg told the March council meeting.

Montreal has banned left turns on eastbound Van Horne Avenue onto Clanranald and Coolbrook between 7 and 9 a.m. Monday to Friday. Fleet Road in Côte St. Luc and Hampstead becomes Van Horne in Montreal. And as a result of traffic measures taken in Hampstead, cars travelling east on Fleet cannot make any left turns in the morning rush hour until they hit Queen Mary Road, at which point they use an alternate route to Decarie other than traffic-clogged Fleet. The streets affected by increased local traffic include Holly, Belsize and Wexford Crescent, which are north of Fleet Road.

Steinberg said last week that, as a result of working with traffic consultant Naomi Ben-David to find a solution, “there are at least a few very interesting things that we are considering doing. We think any of these things will result in a significant improvement, but we haven’t quite reached the point of determining exactly what we’re going to implement.”

Councillor Harvey Shaffer, in charge of the traffic portfolio on council, said Ben-David “prepared a very well-reasoned report.

“I believe, in the very near future, Hampstead will be announcing an extremely good solution to the vast majority of traffic problems, going west to east on Fleet. This, no doubt, will reduce the density of traffic going north in Queen Mary, east on Holly and onto Belsize. It will also considerably reduce traffic that goes further eastward into the Wexford Crescent area and then north on Harland and east on Ferncroft.

“I will leave it to the mayor to make that announcement at the appropriate time.”

 

In my opinion:  More turning restrictions off of Fleet Road and Van Horne Avenue is the last thing anyone needs.  There are too many already.  The last set of changes on Fleet by Hampstead proved extremely problematic for Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead motorists alike.  A workable solution was found thanks to Mayors Housefather and Steinberg, allowing limited access into Hampstead.  However, Montreal threw a wrench into this plan by prohibiting turns onto local streets near Decarie creating a virtual bottleneck all the way back into Hampstead. 

It’s time that Montreal (Cotes-des-Neiges-NDG Borough) recognized that Van Horne is a major thoroughfare and restrict parking and pave this pothole-ridden and decrepid road to ease the flow from the West End to Decarie Boulevard.   Parking should also be prohibited on Plamondon and Vezina, near Decarie, during rush hour.

CSL wants consult before next Tour de l’Île

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CSL wants consult before next Tour de l’Île

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban Newspaper

June 17, 2009

The recent Tour de Île created a cordon of sorts around the west end of Montreal, resulting in lots of traffic difficulties as 30,000 cyclists made their way around the city.

Especially irritated was Côte St. Luc councillor Mike Cohen, who sought his council’s support to send a letter to Côte des Neiges/NDG borough mayor Michael Applebaum. One of the tour’s routes was McLynn and Earnscliffe, which is crossed by many Côte St. Luc and Hampstead residents heading east.

“I’m sure I’m not alone — this has been happening for many years. I had to take the family to Westmount [on May 31] — I gave myself 45 minutes to get there, but every route I tried to take to get out of NDG, I was blocked. Every street, it was an absolute nightmare.

“I finally got there, but it’s really regrettable. I’ve never been a fan of Tour de L’Île, it should be at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where it does not inconvenience the entire population. I fail to understand [why] the city of Montreal gives it so much leeway.”

Cohen said his letter to Applebaum asks the borough to “at least” consult with neighbouring communities before the route is approved.

“I would like that the event not be allowed anywhere near Côte des Neiges/NDG, but perhaps that’s wishing too much. At least, I will make that request.”

The former CôteSt.HampWest borough banned the tour from its area several years ago after the event caused traffic blockages and angry exchanges between borough residents and Tour de L’Île officials. There was even an allegation of anti-Semitic remarks on the part of an official.

Councillor Glenn Nashen supported Cohen’s letter, saying he is also not a big fan of the bicycle event.

“What I find particularly interesting and ironic is that two days before the event, Côte des Neiges/NDG was out patching the sections where 30,000 cyclists were going to travel, yet theycan’t fix Van Horne, where 30,000 Côte St. Luc residents travel every day. Van Horne is a complete ridiculous nightmare.”

Councillor Ruth Kovac half-joked that Tour de l’Île organizers should be encouraged to include Van Horne, especially the eastbound area leading up to Decarie, on their route.

CSL to Hampstead: Remove all Fleet restrictions, Suburban

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CSL to Hampstead: Remove all Fleet restrictions
By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
April 29, 2009

CLICK: 20090429_thesuburban_fleet

In my opinion, Hampstead’s latest changes to the lights on Fleet are indeed an improvement to the horrendous traffic jams caused by their ill-advised tampering with the synchronized lights.  Hampstead now permits left turns (eastbound) during morning rush hour at only one intersection, Queen Mary Road.  And the traffic that is now restricted to Fleet slows down in Hampstead all the way to Decarie.

Hampstead’s tampering with Fleet turns the spotlight of this east-west arterial congestion onto the long awaited synchronization along the Fleet/Van-Horne corridor.  This would truly be an improvement and is long overdue from the merger years.


Prior posts on Fleet

New improvements to Fleet Road

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While Hampstead won’t be completely legalizing left turns at both ends of Netherwood Crescent nor at Queen Mary Road (where they intersect with Fleet) as was the case for years, changes are underway to ease the congestion.

Hampstead has announced changes to “improve traffic flow”.  This improvement will essentially prohibit the eastbound flow from Cote Saint-Luc from making any left turn into Hampstead except for Queen Mary where you can go straight, right or left, during rush hour.

Expect new delays at Queen Mary, now the only option of turning left into Hampstead (there were three options till a month ago) and further congestion when the 161 bus stops in the right lane at Queen Mary (eastbound).  And we can count on even more traffic congestion on Van Horne approaching Decarie.

My opinion has been clear from the beginning of all these changes: Hampstead should scrap all the new restrictions and start over by engaging traffic engineers and consulting the public (with regrets to local residents who  might prefer less traffic, but they too have more cars per household as is the new norm everywhere).  Don’t forget that Hampstead has always had restrictions prohibiting left turns (eastbound on Fleet) at Harland, Finchley and Dufferin as well.

Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead must work together to urge the Borough of Cote-des-Neiges-NDG on improving the flow on their streets:

  • Congestion weekday mornings on Van Horne, Plamondon and Vezina, from Hampstead to Decarie is incredible.
  • Giant potholes require serious attention.
  • Dilapidated streets desperately need paving.
  • Traffic lights must be synchronized with Hampstead.
  • Parking on these feeder streets must be restricted as is the case all the way down Fleet.

Here’s hoping the Hampstead changes will help this time.  Meanwhile, drive safely and be courteous on the road!

More:

Fleet changes, Suburban, 2009-04-24

Open letter to Hampstead Mayor Steinberg on Fleet Road

Hampstead’s left turn restrictions destroy gains to traffic flow and threaten relations

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I am  greatly concerned about the recent changes the Town of Hampstead has implemented on Fleet Road that has led to wide-spread confusion and slow-downs. Eastbound traffic coming out of Cote Saint-Luc on Fleet has been backed up as a result of these changes.  The green flashing signals do not allow enough cars to pass and the result has been a longer line-up in the left lane, vehicles trying to cut into the right lane, much honking, frustration and near misses.

We have heard of complaints of the back-up from the Western end of Netherwood Crescent (in Hampstead) beyond Pinedale (in CSL) and even as far as Cavendish Blvd.  We have also heard of complaints from Hampstead residents returning from their morning trip to CSL (Bialik, Hebrew Academy, Cavendish Mall, etc…) who are very inconvenienced in not being able to get home efficiently.

The new situation is dangerous, the signals and signs are confusing, contrary to the norm and incomprehensible to many.

This week’s deadly car crash on the Ville Marie Expressway show that confusing road signs can have tragic consequences.  Let’s all learn from this.

Cote Saint-Luc’s improvements to traffic flow followed years of complaints from motorists.  We conducted traffic flow simulations, engaged professional engineers and conducted extensive consultations with city staff, Police, Montreal Transit and the public.  We have invested more than $200,000 so far on Phase 1 of this project.

Hampstead’s changes were done without public consultation.  In fact, the police department was not consulted nor notified in advance.  We wonder if any traffic engineer was consulted as Hampstead has not replied to this question.

While a Hampstead resident claimed that additional traffic is using Fleet (see article below) as a result of Cote Saint-Luc’s modifications at Cavendish the facts as presented by traffic engineers do not support such a claim.

Hampstead’s changes have had the effect of negating the benefits of the new double left turn that the City of Cote Saint-Luc implemented a few months ago and threaten the warm, family-like relations that have flourished since the end of the Lang-Adessky Cold War Years.

Cote Saint Luc and Hampstead Councils obviously share a deep concern for the safety and security of our residents and visitors.  We all want to do what is best for our municipalities, our neighbours and our constituents.  In this spirit, we strongly encourage Hampstead’s Mayor Steinberg, Town Councillors and Hampstead residents to agree to end this trial, remove the new signage, and undertake a public consultation in order to review their objectives with the safety of all concerned at the heart of this matter.

New Hampstead traffic restrictions
By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
February 11, 2009

It gets worse…

Traffic on Fleet Rd. and Hampstead snow clearing operations
On the morning of Tuesday, February 24, 2009 the Town of Hampstead conducted snow clearing and snow dumping operations on Fleet Rd. near Queen Mary Rd.

As a result, east-bound traffic from the City of Côte Saint-Luc was backed up, causing frustrating delays for motorists. Hampstead is responsible for this traffic delay and Côte Saint-Luc has asked Hampstead not to perform such snow operations during the morning rush hour as it affects negatively the residents of both municipalities.

>> http://www.cotesaintluc.org/en/node/1540

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La circulation sur le chemin Fleet et les opérations de déversement de neige de Hampstead
Au cours de la matinée du mardi 24 février 2009, la ville de Hampstead a effectué des opérations de déversement de neige et de déneigement sur le chemin Fleet, près du chemin Queen Mary.

Ainsi, la circulation en direction est, en provenance de Côte Saint-Luc, fut grandement ralentie, causant des retards pour les automobilistes. Hampstead est responsable pour ces retards à la circulation. Côte Saint-Luc a demandé à Hampstead de ne pas effectuer de telles opérations durant l’heure de pointe du matin, puisque l’impact négatif de celles-ci se fait ressentir auprès des résidants des deux municipalités.

>> http://www.cotesaintluc.org/fr/node/1541

And more…

Fleet Road:  A saga of two communities, Suburban, Feb. 25, 2009:

fleet-rd-a-community-saga-suburban-2009-02-25

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