In September 2016, the City of Montreal adopted a Vision Zero strategy to fight against road fatalities and injuries. Within that context, many streets and intersections that are found unsafe are to be redesigned. This is the case for the De Maisonneuve Ouest boulevard between Décarie Boulevard and Claremont Avenue.
This boulevard, which includes a transit hub (Vendôme train and metro station, STM busses), acts as a major East-West downtown corridor in the bicycle network, connecting downtown to residential neighbourhoods. It is also located close to the (new) McGill University Health Centre superhospital and Autoroute 15. Despite recent reconstruction of the Maisonneuve/Décarie intersection and underpass to provide pedestrian and bicycle access to and from the superhospital, the corridor and its intersections could improve accessibility for all modes in a safe and efficient way.
After reviewing the concept of Vision Zero and its Dutch counterpart, Sustainable Safety, the students performed a functional analysis of the corridor and surroundings to identify requirements for their design. The goal was to make the site a safe, accessible, and efficient place for all modes of transport.
Several Design Options
Using data retrieved from the City of Montreal, video cameras, and Eco-Counter temporary counters, and their on-field observations, the students then explored several design options, including but not limited to elements such as bi-directional cycle track facilities, roundabouts, protected intersections, improved traffic signal phasing, and traffic calming techniques.
The students compared different design guidelines such as CROW’s Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic (2017) and TAC’s Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads (2017) to produce their design alternatives. The alternatives were then evaluated using performance indicators corresponding to the principles of Sustainable Safety. The final design, a two-lane uni-directional corridor with a bi-directional cycle track, widened sidewalks, improved bus stops, a new bike box, and a protected intersection, was found to be the most effective in attaining the project goal.