Crossing at one go impossible, very dangerous intersection shows our investigation.
Nestled behind the thunderous current of the Metropolitan highway that runs through the city of Montréal and seemingly right in between the towering presence of the Rockland Center mall and of course the Cinema Guzzo Imax theatre, lies the intersection of l’Acadie and Boulevard Crémazie.
The intersection just happens to be by what is known as one of the most heavily trafficked and tumultuous highways in our city, and the sounds of speeding cars and big rig trucks can clearly still be heard once behind the trees that crop up from the grassy knoll there. Once at the intersection, where these two streets meet, many still feel the fast-paced environment that is the 40 itself.
Looking into an eye-witness’s claim
We were approached by a reader of the paper and it was brought to our attention that this intersection in particular was actually quite dangerous. So, we did what we did best, and we investigated for ourselves.
Rockland Mall, which contains many boutiques such as Ardene, Aldo, a GNC, many bank branches and of course an extensive food court gets a lot of visitors daily, especially since re-opening after the Corona virus lockdown.
The investigation was held on Saturday July 18th of this year and we monitored the heavily populated intersection from 1:45pm to 2:45pm and what we uncovered was actually quite shocking.
Incredibly short crossing times
First off, there’s actually a sign that was posted up by the city that states that because of the time for crossing allotted, you can’t cross at one go. It needs to be accomplished in two goes instead. Now we’d more than agree with that. But unfortunately, even to make it at two goes, you’ve got to be pretty sprightly in order to make it all the way across in the amount of time allotted.
We observed many people trying to cross, most of them elderly, and making it across in two goes was almost impossible for them, especially those crossing with bags full of purchases that they’d made at Rockland.
If you haven’t been to that intersection recently, let us describe it to you as briefly as possible. Let’s assume you are walking away from Rockland towards the east. You clear the parking lot and the path from it towards the intersection. To your left is the bus stop for the 100 bus route, then across from there, the bus stop for the 179. Pedestrians must cross from there, crossing first one portion of road, hitting one median, then crossing another road, hitting yet another median, then of course, crossing l’Acadie itself … all in all, a total of three traffic lights to get past. Pedestrians crossing from the other direction, heading west towards Rockland have to do the opposite. Seems simple enough, right?
While crossing l’Acadie South, pedestrians are given an approximate 22 seconds to cross. For l’Acadie North, which is a larger portion to cross, pedestrians are given an unbelievable 15 seconds give or take a few. Now if you’re athletically inclined and are not a small child or an elderly person, that’s more than enough time, but those are not the only demographic that use that intersection.
We also observed many people stopping at the main median at the center of the intersection, many with bags in tow stopping for a rest, depositing their bags on the raised partition there where a grassy expanse is present. Many who check their wallets, purses or phones actually miss the crossing time as it’s so short. Also, don’t forget to press the pedestrian button there, or the green light for pedestrians will never come on at the other side of the street. And as for the time the vehicles get, it’s in fact quite long indeed.
What locals had to say
Pedestrians we spoke to—locals—all had the same thing to say: “The wait-times are incredibly long.” But interestingly enough, many of them laughed at it, accepting their fate like there was no other way about it. It was funny to see, and we wondered if the effects of Covid-19 had a part in their collective dispositions and willingness to just accept the fate they were dealt. The intersection such as that one shouldn’t be allowed to remain as such, and proper times to cross should be implemented no matter what changes need to take place.
Another problem is the busses. Specifically the 100. Like the pedestrians, this bus has very little time to cross from where it emerges from and onto Crémazie heading east. We actually caught a few busses that passed in the hour we were there actually crossing on red, not willing to wait the long times. Many pedestrians unfortunately did the same thing, deciding to break the law as opposed to waiting the large blocks of time. This of course is dangerous and can lead to an even bigger problem for the municipality.
Hopefully a change in sight
We spoke to city councilor Mary Deros, and she had this to say about the intersection: “The way it was done 10-15 years ago, I wasn’t happy. I got the government to put in the bus shelter (where it is today).” Originally the bus shelter that is at the intersection was actually on the aforementioned median we mentioned earlier.
“It’s forever a battle,” she continued. “They did this to decongest the TMR sector. They freed up the congestion there, but they brought it to Park X. Since then, it’s like talking to a brick wall.”
So it’s clear that our councilor is doing all she can to rectify the issues with this intersection. But if all she does and says falls on deaf ears … we’d say it’s like talking to a brick wall indeed.
Going shopping isn’t the easiest thing anymore, especially with the long wait lines, the masks, the cleaning of groceries once home. So to be given a break when trying to walk home in the sweltering heat or even the snow, carrying bags and bags of groceries … we don’t think that’s all that much to ask in the end.
In the meantime, stay safe out there folks.