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
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.
Apparently the STM is considering a major overhaul to the West Island bus network in the coming years, which will increase service and, more controversially, “do away” with having most of the buses go to the Fairview bus terminal.
Currently 17 buses go there, making it the largest STM bus terminal on the island. Only Bonaventure’s massive RTL terminal is larger.
I’m not sure how much I like this idea. As it stands, you can get from just about anywhere in the West Island to just about anywhere else using two buses. And where you have the option of more than one bus, you can just take whichever comes first to Fairview.
The STM is considering a grid system, in which buses go either East-West (like the 68 and 211) or North-South (like the 209 on Sources or the 201 on St. Charles). That way to get anywhere you’d still only need two buses, but could avoid an unnecessary detour.
The problem comes in their solution to the bigger problem: Shuttle service to the metro. Currently only the 470 Express Pierrefonds serves this function, and only during rush hours. Lots of people who go downtown take a bus to Fairview and then transfer to the 470. With a grid system, people might have to take two buses to get to Fairview, lengthening their trip.
Expanding express service is a brilliant idea (if only someone had thought of it earlier), but I’m unconvinced that enough people are taking trips where going through Fairview is a burdensome detour to justify such a shift in routes. Let’s start by getting more frequent service and faster service to downtown and we’ll go from there.
UPDATE: Wow, beat CTV News on this by over 48 hours. Someone sleeping on the job there? Or did their copy of the Chronicle arrive late?