Saint-Laurent has adopted a Pedestrian master plan to promote pedestrian travel on Saint-Laurent territory and make it safer. The Borough has already set aside $1 million to carry out certain initiatives starting this summer.
One development vision, many initiatives
The Pedestrian master plan has three objectives: The priority is to make pedestrian travel safer for residents and workers in Saint-Laurent. They face many risks, as evidenced in 2019—the worst pedestrian death toll in Montréal in the past 10 years. This priority stems from the Local transportation plan adopted by Saint-Laurent in 2017. It is in line with the Vision Zero approach, advocated by Ville de Montréal, which aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on Montréal’s road network.
Secondly, the Plan seeks to improve the efficiency of pedestrian travel and make it more user-friendly. And lastly, it hopes to offset certain shortcomings in terms of developments and facilities.
The Pedestrian master plan will be based on three action components: collaboration, awareness and the road network.
For the road network, the implementation of a series of highly localized measures are planned at certain intersections or on problem street sections and therefore larger-scale developments or facilities will be set up there. These work projects will be progressively rolled out and will be supported by an investment of $1 million starting in 2020.
We want to avoid a recurrence of the all too many accidents involving pedestrians in recent months. The numerous worksites at the present time on Saint-Laurent territory and the increase in transit with more than 100,000 workers every day will further add to the risks for pedestrians. It was therefore urgent to make certain intersections safer without waiting for the work to be completed. Moreover, the arrival of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), combined with several other major projects, such as the development of the sector around the new Bois-Franc station, will lead to the redevelopment of some other Saint-Laurent sectors. We want pedestrian presence to be central and protected there. This requires adequate and safe facilities. Although this plan was prepared well in advance, the COVID-19 pandemic is demonstrating just how much pedestrians must be at the top of the list for means of travel. Encouraging active and environmentally-friendly transportation is one of our priorities as a sustainable municipal territory. Saint-Laurent’s Pedestrian master plan is more than a large-scale plan: It is an overall vision that gives long-term consistency to our actions.
Initial work to be carried out starting in 2020
In order to identify the medium-scale initiatives to be prioritized in the short term, an analysis was carried out based on the following six criteria: accident risks, traffic, through traffic or speeding, potential or actual conflicts between pedestrians and heavy vehicles, safety or user-friendliness, and lastly, the concentration of vulnerable users, and particularly children and the elderly benefiting from the proximity of schools, daycare centres or health centres.
Following this diagnosis, the Pedestrian master plan recommends several short-term initiatives to make pedestrian routes safer. For example, 9 speed humps will be installed in 2020 on Cousineau, Félix-Leclerc, Harris (2), Hébert, Laperrière and Petit (2) streets. In addition, the construction of 16 curb extensions will be completed by the fall, along with other measures such as the redevelopment of certain intersections.
Based on the planning tools put in place over the past few years, a number of projects will continue to be carried out on Saint-Laurent territory, changing both the urban landscape and the meaning given to common spaces.
The purpose of these new developments and facilities is to enhance the quality of the living environment for residents and workers. For instance, the biodiversity corridor, which has already won an award for its daring spirit and innovative nature; the urban promenades and the pedestrian and shared street project along Rue Decelles, both in Vieux-Saint-Laurent, a sector with heritage and historical value.
Collaboration and awareness-raising complementing the developments
In order to achieve the objectives of the Pedestrian master plan, the Borough will continue to work closely with all the stakeholders concerned, both the institutional partners (SPVM, STM, CSMB, EMSB) and those in the community (QuartierD, COSSL). The aim is to keep a watchful eye on the problems identified and carry out joint actions to solve them.
For this purpose, Saint-Laurent intends to set up a Road safety committee, in partnership with the SPVM, the STM and all other organizations concerned, in order to improve communication between the various entities and ensure better cooperation in carrying out the projects. The Laurentian administration was already working every year with many of these organizations to prepare for the start of the school year.
An awareness component is also part of the Pedestrian master plan and will help to continue or implement awareness initiatives, always in partnership, so that all socio-demographic groups can be reached, and particularly vulnerable pedestrians such as seniors.