“Chaotic” and “dangerous,” that is how some Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce residents describe the intersection of Dupuis and Clanranald avenues.
Despite numerous complaints from a Montreal pedestrian group and residents, the city has yet to position a full-time crossing guard at the street corner.
The intersection is located next to a school so students and parents frequently cross the street during the morning rush hour.
Those who frequent the Snowdon neighbourhood say it has been the scene of many close calls as pedestrians dodge oncoming traffic.
Isabelle Paille, a parent, says she sees dangerous incidents every day.
“The children are in danger every single day going to school,” she said.
Teresitea Ricarde, who has lived in the area for 20 years, says a prayer before crossing the busy intersection.
“I have to have raise my Rosary,” Ricarde said.
“I even pray and pray just in order to make them stop so I can cross the street.”
Safety in school zones is a priority for Côtes-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough officials.
Borough mayor Sue Montgomery has been part of the Vision Zero campaign since 2017.
Vision Zero was adopted in Sweden in 1997 and is based on the principle that “it is unacceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when they are traveling on the road network.”
The borough has added safety measures on the street, including signs, flashing lights and a painted five-metre clearance marking.
Next year, the borough plans on adding a curb extension at the pedestrian crossing on Clanranald Avenue.
But for Nigel Spencer with Pedestrian Montreal, a local organization, those measures do not go far enough.
He admits the traffic-calming measures did work but he says only for a short amount of time. Spencer says he notices a big difference when police are stationed at the corner.
“That’s what it takes but it’s costing them a fortune compared to a school crossing guard,” Spencer said.
There are 520 full-time school crossing guards under the jurisdiction of the central city, according to city spokesperson Karla Duval.
While Duval didn’t comment on whether a crossing guard would be appointed to the intersection, she did say that between 2013 and 2018 there were only two incident reports.
“There were two collisions with material damage only,” she said.
Duval went on to explain that both incidents were hit and runs and that reported damages were for vehicles that were parked.