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Joel Ceausu – The Suburban LJI Reporter

Michael Balyasnyy and many of his neighbors are wondering why there's no stop sign on Lemieux at Kent, when there are four-way stops at every other intersection running north from Van Horne.

“I think it's simply an oversight or some kind of old outdated rule,” he told The Suburban, after writing to Borough Mayor Gracia Kasoki Katahwa and city councillor Sonny Moroz asking for a four-way stop.

The intersection is a heavily used crossing point for residents and non-resident drivers, as well as multitudes of pedestrians and cyclists, he says, but stop signs are installed only on Kent. “This creates a lot of inconvenience and traffic stalls for drivers and cyclists, as well as more dangerous crossing for pedestrians, as intersections protected by four-way stop signs are much safer.”

Often city planners reject stop signs on consecutive blocks in close proximity, but Balyasnyy says multiple intersections located at the same distances from each other all have four-way stop signs on Lemieux, except at Kent.

The Suburban asked for clarification and CDN-NDG borough services explained that the justification for all-direction stops includes Quebec Transport Ministry standards, namely distance from other intersections equipped with traffic lights or stops. “When this condition is not met, justification is not possible.” There is a distance of 93 metres between Lemieux/Kent and the Van Horne/Lemieux intersection, which is equipped with a traffic light, and it’s only 84 metres between Kent and Carlton. The standard specifies that all-direction stops are not recommended within 250 metres of a traffic light and 150 metres from another stop sign, to avoid creating frustration for drivers which often leads to reckless manoeuvres. “In both cases, the standard is not met.” Also, says the borough, there is no accident history at this intersection for the last nine years.

Moroz says it’s a problematic corner in spite of MTQ conditions. “There is a school, École du Petit-Chapiteau, just around the corner, kids and parents walk through Van Horne Park and cross at Lemieux, and there are huge trucks unloading and backing up in that intersection every morning.” With a lot of children and families crossing in that area, he says, “we are lucky nothing tragic has happened at this corner.”

Balyasnyy says for pedestrians in Montreal “this would be a great safety improvement measure in CDN-NDG, in line with Mayor Valérie Plante's administration's goals. I am confident this measure has broad support among area residents and all passersby as well.”

“We make exemptions when it is merited,” said Moroz. Indeed, the borough added a stop at Westbury and Fulton last fall that also doesn't meet the distance standard. “You`ll note that there have been no significant accidents there either.” On security matters, says Moroz, “where there is a will there is a way. Residents have been asking for measures at this intersection for years. The only addition I can recall was adding a cement barrier on the south-east corner to make sure the larger trucks can't do a full backup into the laneway behind the IGA.”

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