Posted in Montreal, Pop quiz

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 76

What does this childish scribble of a drawing represent?

UPDATE: Steve Hatton needed only seven minutes to get this one. These lines represent the redesign of de Maisonneuve Blvd. between St. Laurent and St. Urbain.

De Maisonneuve Blvd., looking west toward Clark St.

As of a few months ago, drivers (and cyclists) heading west no longer have a gradual curve that takes them around Place des Arts, but rather a stop sign and hard right onto Clark before they turn left back onto de Maisonneuve. This new layout gives more space for building construction nearby, but also reduces the speed of traffic.

In order to accommodate all the cars, the direction of Clark (a one-way street) is reversed between de Maisonneuve and … uhh … de Maisonneuve. This effectively reserves that stretch of road for drivers heading west on de Maisonneuve.

A little history

The path of de Maisonneuve Blvd. in this area is a bit strange, particularly because it curves upward to run right next to Ontario St. The path is entirely a result of the path of the green line of the metro between St. Laurent and Place des Arts stations. Before the metro’s construction, de Maisonneuve Blvd. didn’t exist. What we now know as that boulevard was a handful of unconnected roads, including de Montigny St. (everything east of St. Laurent), the last bit of which (the lower red portion in the image at top) has been removed with this redesign.

UPDATE (June 9): It’s been pointed out below that a tiny stretch of de Montigny still exists, between Clark and St. Urbain, under this new design.

23 thoughts on “Montreal Geography Trivia No. 76

  1. Steve Hatton

    The blue line is new silly route of De Maisonneuve Blvd. in le Quartier Des Spectales between St-Laurent and St-Urbain. (Cars will now be forced to turn right at Clark). The red line represents the old route and the fork splitting De Maisonneuve Blvd and De Montigny.

    Reply
  2. Clément Côté

    At one time, it was suggested to dig a tunnel to link Décarie to the Autoroute des Laurentides (the “15” to the “15”) around the Met. So the blue outline would represent the current route while the orange outline would be the proposed tunnel???

    Reply
  3. Jean Naimard

    Yeah, I concur, it’s the new great layout of Maisonneuve (Casanova) between St-Urban and St-Laurent.

    An optimal design as it will piss-off cars much more than the brain dead previous design that enabled more cars to go faster, which is **NOT** what you want i a city.

    (For a bit, I thought about the 40 and Côte-de-Liesse, but it did not jive)

    Reply
    1. Steve Hatton

      Just how is the PREVIOUS design brain dead and not this one?

      I don’t buy the argument that a hard right will somehow make things safer. All you have to do is look at the number of accidents that have occurred as a result of pedestrians sliding under a bus as it happens to be turning the corner. Sure, a hard right will force the traffic to slow down, but there’s a reason why the traffic is slowing down… because it’s dangerous.

      But then again, what should we expect from a traffic intersection that was designed by the same people who think it’s a good idea to build a brand new bike path on the sidewalk?

      Reply
      1. Marc

        Traffic was never able to get beyond 40 km/h there anyhow. Last I checked, the bike path wasn’t on the sidewalk.

        Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            I happenned to have walked there on Maisonneuve from Bleury to St-Laurent this afternoon, and yes, indeed, the bike path is on the sidewalk, and despite the darker surface, as a pedestrian, I always tended to walk on it.

            In other words, as a bike path, it is an **EPIC FAIL**

            Reply
      2. Jean Naimard

        Just how is the PREVIOUS design brain dead and not this one?

        The previous one was retarded because it was designed to funnel as many cars as possible though by a given unit of time.

        I don’t buy the argument that a hard right will somehow make things safer.

        Sure it will! By forcing cars to go slower, and by annoying drivers by making sure they get the message that their smelly cars are not welcome in Montréal. So, next time, they’ll leave their car in Mascouche and use public transit.

        All you have to do is look at the number of accidents that have occurred as a result of pedestrians sliding under a bus as it happens to be turning the corner.

        Yes, let’s look at how many buses squished pedestrians so far. Hmmm, for the last 10 years, how many times this happenned? Maybe 3 or 4 times? But meanwhile, how many pedestrians and cyclists were hit by cars???

        Sure, a hard right will force the traffic to slow down, but there’s a reason why the traffic is slowing down… because it’s dangerous.

        Ah! That wonderful feeling of the clue going where it counts!!!

        But then again, what should we expect from a traffic intersection that was designed by the same people who think it’s a good idea to build a brand new bike path on the sidewalk?

        A safer place to go, maybe?

        Reply
        1. Steve Hatton

          As much as I’m tempted to get into a point by point argument with you, I will instead simplify my position and assume, for a moment, that the old layout was as dangerous as you say it was. Even then, wouldn’t a much simpler solution have been to simply add a traffic light at the half-way point, at about Clark Street. Or perhaps even a stop sign instead if you really have to (given that the new layout seems to include a stop sign in any case). Wouldn’t that have been just as efficient, as well as, less complicated?

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            This is all besides the point.

            Gone is the time where a maximum number of cars had to be able to drive through a given point. Increasing automobile capacity has only one effect: bring more cars, and the last thing you want to see in the city is cars.

            The new square-up design acts like a big baffle that interferes with the flow of cars, and thus decreases the capacity of the street.

            The net effect is that less cars will be able to go through.

            Another side-effect (which no doubt was very carefully considered) is the increased contiguous area that’s now available for festivals, an important function of the neighbourhood.

            Reply
  4. Carlos Acosta

    Vous êtes rapides messieurs… ouais… c’est la nouvelle route du boul. de Maisonneuve à travers le Quartier des spectables.

    Déjà, samedi vers 15h, le traffic était complètement bloqué par les voitures venant du nord et du sud qui s’engageaient sur de Maisonneuve vers l’ouest.

    Quand même, la nouvelle place qui fera face à la Salle de l’orchestre symphonique offre une belle trouée vers le siège social d’Hydro et la nouvelle Maison du développement durable. C’est parfait pour les piétons.

    Reply
  5. Goaltender Interference

    RIP de Montigny street. First UQAM stole your space on the metro station name, now this. The Jacques Testard de Montigny and his descendents must be rolling in their collective graves.

    Reply
      1. Katie

        Not to argue with the God of Montreal Geography, but… okay, I’m going to add a detail about de Montigny :) There is a very small portion of de Montigny that is accessible via St-Urbain. It was closed (and hacked up) during most of the construction of the newly redesigned “Messonneuve” (therefore at the moment this post was published), but it has been repaved and is open once again. It allows access to the gated parking lot of the SPVM headquarters. Currently, this little stretch (technically designated de Montigny Ouest if you look at the still-standing street sign) is two-way east-west to allow cars to enter and exit the gated parking lot, and while the street was ‘reconstructed’ and paved all the way to Clark (so it could technically join up with Maisonneuve), barriers have been erected to prevent cars from getting through on either side. Hard to say if, after festival season, the area just east of the SPVM parking lot will be used as a shortcut to get over to Clark; it used to be a parking lot and is currently one of the stage venues for the Francofolies/Jazz Fest. I would assume that a more permanent barrier will be put up at the eastern edge of de Montigny; removing the barrier and allowing entrance/egress is a recipe for disaster and face-a-face accidents given that the current mini-portion of de Montigny runs in two directions. The only way to safely re-open that section would be to once again (for about the eighth time in two years) change de Montigny’s direction back to a one-way west street.

        Reply
  6. No Agenda

    The really stupid thing they’ve done in the area is integrate the bike path and sidewalk. The only thing the differentiates the two is that one has an almost hidden pattern that resembles the broken yellow line on a bike path. Pedestrians have not noticed this pattern and believe that it’s a giant sidewalk… I hope they eventually put down something that obviously highlights that it is a bike path or find a way to separate the two with mini jersey barriers… something! at least so cyclists don’t mow down people.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The sidewalk-bike-path is on the other side of Place des Arts, between Bleury and Jeanne-Mance. It’s not related to this project.

      Reply
      1. Steve Hatton

        Actually it runs all the way to Clark now. For some reason, the portion of the bike path east of Clark (i.e. in the photo) isn’t on the sidewalk. Last year, the sidewalk-bike-path had only been built west of Jeanne Mance

        Reply
  7. Maria Gatti

    Bicycle paths on the same level as the pedestrian sidewalk are common in Amsterdam, they are a different colour (bicycle paths are reddish).

    As for disciplining lycra lout cyclists, that is a matter of law enforcement, and of developing an urban cycling culture.

    Reply
  8. Seth

    The scribble is a chart showing Justin Bieber’s popularity. That’s why it’s incomprehensible and illogical.

    Reply

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