The focus of the January 24th working group was landscaping and intersection design. We began with Mario’s (the project manager’s) update. Mario has been taking community comments and running them by the different city departments. The VCA would like to see landscaping features that are unique to Vanier. The street lighting department was not in favour of street lights with the fleur de lis due to difficulties replacing broken parts.
We want to give Vanier a modern/ contemporary feel through landscaping. We are looking at having furniture with clean lines, mainly black in colour with highlights of light brown/ burgundy pavers. The furniture will be painted in anti-graffiti coated paint. There will be a demarcation paver strip that will have raised bumps (to function like a rumble strip).
Montreal Road’s sidewalks will have a light broom finish (evenly spaced shallow lines) for a more elegant look. The cycle track and sidewalk will be at the same height for continuity of snow clearing and avoidance of illegal parking. There was a suggestion for further differentiation between the sidewalk and the cycle track. A more bold colour would do this for instance. Funding will be a factor in this decision since changing the colour of the pavement exponentially increases the cost.
There was a suggestion for extra bike racks on Begin St and more bike racks on the side streets in general. Montreal Road will be home to custom-made modern tree guards with rust-coloured
bases. The City has a list of pre-approved street trees that handle road salt better than the rest. Businesses owners will be able to have a say in the variety used in front of their business. The trees will hopefully form a pattern along the corridor. Electrical connections are a possibility around the trees for the purpose of Christmas lights etc. Every bus stop has a pedestrian light nearby and the plazas will be supplied with extra lighting.
The stretch of Montreal Road that will be undergoing construction has 27 intersections. This includes both signalized and non-signal intersections. Staff have paid extra attention to the dimensions of intersections, each turning movement and stop bar locations. Bulbouts have been added where appropriate.
All signalized intersections west of St Laurent will likely have an advanced pedestrian/cyclist signal phase. There was a suggestion to provide this at St Laurent as well since this is where the dedicated cycle infrastructure ends.
There will be bike boxes and green cross n rides, including a bidirectional one at the western side of the North River/ Montreal Road intersection. All of the crosswalks will get zebra crossings (thick white stripes).
The three major intersections (i.e. North River Road, Vanier Parkway and St Laurent) were carefully considered. The North River Road intersection is on a slant and the bridge walls are an immovable point; however, staff sought to bring the curbs in as much as possible therefore shortening the pedestrian crossings.
Impressively, the Vanier Parkway/ Montreal Road intersection will be becoming a protected intersection. This means that the dedicated right turn channels will be removed
and there will be concrete islands for the protection of both pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists will be stopping ahead of the vehicular stop line, which will improve visibility.
St Laurent/ Montreal Road has been less of a success story due to lack of space. Fortunately, we are working toward having a protected intersection by reserving space during a proposed new development. There is a construction project in the works for Montreal Road east of St Laurent and at that time additional improvements could be made.
Our next event will be an open house, which will likely be held in a couple months time. All are welcome. Please watch our social media or join the Montreal Road newsletter list for open house details.