Montreal Geography Trivia No. 41

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 41

Where is this intersection, and why is it dangerous?

UPDATE: It is, of course, the corner of Brunswick Blvd. and Auto Plaza Ave. in Pointe-Claire, right outside the Fairview mall.

There are two main reasons it’s so dangerous (not including the fact that it’s the first intersection used by a lot of people in their brand new cars):

  • This intersection of a six-lane road and a four-lane road is controlled only by stop signs (and at one point in its history it didn’t even have that). The intersection is so large it’s hard to tell who has the right of way.
  • Only a few metres away from this intersection is the main entrance off Brunswick Blvd. to the Fairview shopping centre, the largest mall in the West Island. It is also the entrance and exit to the Fairview bus terminal, where 18 bus routes stop. This intersection is controlled by only a single stop sign at the exit to the mall.

This seems like a no-brainer for a traffic light, perhaps even a reorganization to ensure that car and bus traffic have a safer right-of-way, especially because the main way to access Fairview is by making a left turn as shown below.

This intersection has a lot of left-turning traffic who have to yield to oncoming vehicles from three different directions

This intersection has a lot of left-turning traffic who have to yield to oncoming vehicles from three different directions

Vehicles passing through the piece of pavement occupied by this grey car in the middle include:

  • Cars exiting the mall’s parking lot, turning left or right onto Brunswick Blvd.
  • Cars turning left from Brunswick Blvd. into the parking lot
  • Cars heading east on Brunswick Blvd.
  • Cars turning left onto Brunswick Blvd. from Auto Plaza Ave.
  • Buses exiting the terminal to head west on Brunswick Blvd.

And vehicles are expected to look at all this traffic and judge when it’s safe to cross.

Though it’s done safely thousands of times every day, it can take forever during the busy shopping season, and all it takes is one bad judgment to cause an accident.

These intersections need a set of traffic lights. Now.

11 thoughts on “Montreal Geography Trivia No. 41

  1. Allan

    Its right in front of fairview. Brunswick and Auto Plaza. Its dangerous because the intersection is immediately followed by an entrance and exit to fairview.

  2. BruB

    Brunswick in front of Fairview, just west of St-Jean blvd.
    Come on, to easy :)

    Why is it dangerous, The Stop sign are not synchronize, I know it sounds weird but things like the north-south Auto Plaza street and the Shopping centre entrance are not lined up to each other which makes it quite difficult at certain time of day to cross the median. Or that the stop going westbound is so far that other cars don’t always know they have right of way.

    My car come from the Spinelli Nissan dealership and where I happen to have been working for the last 15 years is also right on Brunswick but closer to Des Sources blvd.

  3. Jean Naimard

    (I knew I’ve been there before).

    I love this intersection, precisely because it is so dangerous. Pedestrians have the right of way at intersections, and there is nothing I like more than giving a good kick to a car that honks at me when I cross while I have absolute priority.

    So far, over there, I bashed at least three car doors, and one of those sure looked brand-new. (Oh, when they stop to give me shit, and they see that I don’t run away, but walk resolutely towards them to give them some more lessons, they prefer to step on the gas and scamper away). (Yes, I have been sent to the hospital once, 20 years ago, but that sure did not stop me from doing it again). (Yes, I even did it right in front of cops who then wanted to arrest me, but the young pups decided to let me go after they realized that what they should have done is to ticket the woman who almost killed me).

  4. James Lawlor

    Congratulations to everyone that got the answer. I stood here every day for 2 years and couldn’t figure out where it was (I only tried for about 30 seconds though)!

    But don’t forget about the pedestrians! You can see in your photograph that there are bus stops on the north side of the street: The 219 westbound and the 201 counter-clockwise (St-Jean North then St-Charles South). This is one of the largest bus terminals on the island and many people cross the street in both directions to change buses…

    I agree, traffic lights are needed here.

  5. Maria Gatti

    It is not so easy for people like me, living in northeastern central Montréal (near the Jean-Talon market), although I certainly have seen that intersection. So bizarre that there are no stop lights. What an ugly place, nary a tree in the top shot (the other side is prettier).

    I hate the fact that people in areas where there is obviously some money have so little concern for aesthetics. I attended a National Aboriginal Day ceremony yesterday at the Botanical Gardens, and the beautiful greenery is so good for the soul.

  6. SMS

    Pointe-Claire knows nothing when it comes to traffic management. Have you seen their traffic light synchronization? Where are bus priority measures of getting to or leaving Fairview? No wonder people drive.

  7. Jean Naimard


    Pointe-Claire knows nothing when it comes to traffic management. Have you seen their traffic light synchronization? Where are bus priority measures of getting to or leaving Fairview? No wonder people drive.

    I can’t fathom the current terminus layout and location. Why wasn’t it built on the east side of the Fairview mall lot, right on St-Jean, near the mall parking entrance on St-Jean? This way, most buses would not have to turn on Brunswick, adding precious minutes to their trip time, or worse, going ’round the horn via Labrosse and Revcon or Auto-Plaza (because Pointe-Claire is too stupid to put a left-turn lane for the buses).

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Well, for one thing, having it on the east side would mean people enter through The Bay instead of the mall proper.

      Secondly, the parking entrance on St. John’s doesn’t allow traffic to turn left into Fairview because it would cause too much disruption to traffic flow. Adding buses to the mix would only make the problem worse.

  8. SMS

    Let’s examine other suburban malls and their bus terminals:

    Promenades St-Bruno: walk a few hundred metres to the ring road
    Carrefour Laval: cross the parking lot and a major boulevard to the AMT bus terminal
    Carrefour Angrignon: on street
    Place Vertu: on street
    Galeries D’Anjou: on street

    In retrospect, Fairview has it pretty good. But, when it comes to accessing or leaving Fairview, it can be very cumbersome. December isn’t fun. This would be an opportune time for STM/AMT/whoever to whip out traffic cones à-la-Alouettes shuttle on University and create a temporary bus lane to prioritize transit. But no! And the city councilors cannot feign ignorance because this happens year after year, recession or no recession.


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