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First the Main, now it's downtown's turn Construction. Major projects have merchants, drivers in grumble mode Motorists negotiate the traffic and construction at de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Guy St. yesterday. The statue of Norman Bethune has been removed while work is under way.DAVE SIDAWAY THE GAZETTE, JASON MAGDER, The Gazette If you want to know how much it has snowed this winter, head for Place Norman Bethune at de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Guy St. The square, which is the cornerstone of a $22-million facelift for the Concordia University neighbourhood, has been cordoned off with metal fences since October. As a result, snow banks have grown to three metres. However, the transformation of Place Bethune is only one of three major construction projects under way on the corner. Motorists negotiate the traffic and construction at de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Guy St. yesterday. The statue of Norman Bethune has been removed while work is under way Like the merchants caught up in the seemingly endless construction on St. Laurent Blvd., those in this corner of downtown feel choked by street work. While improvements are wrapping up on the Main, crews are just getting started on the Place Bethune beautification project that is expected to last at least until 2011. In the meantime, it' a corner of hell for motorists and pedestrians. "Nobody passes by here anymore," said Mohammad Saken, 28, the manager of Dépanneur Beau Prix on de Maisonneuve west of Guy. "It's already our second year with construction here, and it looks like we're going to have long-term construction. That's going to screw up our business big time." Some merchants complain the constant construction is also dangerous. Saad Salem, the kitchen manager at the Château Kabab restaurant, said he saw a man fall into a hole, which had been dug three weeks ago by the city's Electrical Services Commission to work on underground wiring on Guy north of de Maisonneuve. "A few days ago, a handicapped man fell right into the hole because he didn't see it," Salem said, adding the man wasn't seriously injured. "The company came the next day and put up a fence around the area. But they made the hole and then left it like that, without doing any work. That wasn't a great idea." Serge Boileau, president of the Electrical Services Commission, did not return calls yesterday. Merchants say they are pleased the city is spending money to beautify the area, but say the timing is bad, coming after a summer in which they had to contend both with construction on a new Concordia business school and jackhammers installing a bike path along de Maisonneuve's south side. The bike path is completed, but cyclists, pedestrians and motorists have an obstacle course of four construction sites to negotiate just to cross the street. A southbound lane of Guy is closed from de Maisonneuve to Ste. Catherine St. while crews working on Concordia's new John Molson School of Business building, as is part of de Maisonneuve west of Guy. The north side of de Maisonneuve between Mackay and Guy Sts. is also blocked by traffic cones and trailers, which are used by construction foremen as offices. "It's slushy and dirty and it hasn't been cleaned up in ages," said Melissa Ajamian, 21, who lives on St. Mathieu St. "You used to be able to just walk through this area, but now it's very difficult." Sylvain Ducas, the city's project manager of Place Bethune, said it will take two years to complete the work on the square. "We could have done it in one year, but we need to keep the street open," Ducas said. "I'm sure the merchants will agree with that."
Zig-zag lines being painted on purpose April 20, 2009 - 12:36pm Zig-zag lines being painted in Loudoun. (VDOT) Adam Tuss, wtop.com LOUDOUN -- Behind the wheel, you want the least amount of distraction possible. So why is a local transportation agency painting crooked lines on the road on purpose? The Virginia Department of Transportation says it's part of a safety campaign to get drivers to slow down in a high pedestrian and bicycle area. The 500 feet of zig-zagging lines are painted on the ground on Belmont Ridge Road, where it intersects with the Washington and Old Dominion trail in Loudoun County. "It is a low cost strategy to get motorists to slow down as they approach the bike trail and pedestrian path," says VDOT's Mike Salmon. "While at first motorists may be a little disoriented, the main point is to get them to pay attention and slow down through that area." There are plans to also paint the crooked lines on Sterling Boulevard where it intersects with the W&OD trail. VDOT says similar programs have been successful in the United Kingdom and Australia. The transportation agency will study the zig-zagging lines for a year and see if they actually reduce speeds. If the lines prove effective, you can expect to see more of them on the ground. (Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
http://spacingmontreal.ca/2011/05/01/saint-pierre-river-site-to-become-montreals-first-woonerf/ Definition of a woonerf: A woonerf (Dutch plural: woonerven) in the Netherlands and Flanders is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. The techniques of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety.
Billboards are here to stay, city says A proposed bylaw in provincial capital would ban the signs from its territory JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Billboards may become a thing of the past in Quebec City by 2013, but there's no indication it will also happen in Montreal. "The city (of Montreal) has no intention of following suit," city hall spokesperson Darren Becker said, referring to public hearings in Quebec City about whether a total ban on billboards there should go into effect in five years. "We did ask for a review of the trucks that pull billboards down city streets, but no more than that," Becker said. A billboard greets motorists arriving in Montreal via the Bonaventure Expressway. Quebec City is considering outlawing such advertisements.View Larger Image View Larger Image A billboard greets motorists arriving in Montreal via the Bonaventure Expressway. Quebec City is considering outlawing such advertisements. His comments follow reports of a growing wave of corporate criticism of a proposed bylaw in Quebec City that would make it illegal to erect a billboard within its territory. City officials in the provincial capital have defended the law by stating that the architecture and scenic beauty of their municipality shouldn't be hidden behind advertising. Public hearings are being held to debate the bylaw, which the municipality hopes to adopt by the end of this year and put into effect by 2013. However the aesthetic argument doesn't hold water with corporations and companies that rely on billboard advertising for revenue. Billboard companies have already described the bylaw as discriminatory, and suggested they might seek damages from the city for lost revenue. More recently, oil companies have argued that removing the sign panels that advertise pump prices for gasoline at their service stations might not only result in customers being overcharged for gas, but also represent a possible danger to motorists in need of assistance who would no longer be able to see gas stations from a distance. However, Serge Viau, Quebec City's deputy general manager, said the days of billboards are already coming to an end in his municipality. Some former suburbs banned the advertising before being transformed into Quebec City boroughs, Viau said. "We already had the power to eliminate billboards written into our charter," he said. "And we did so; a few years ago we got rid of about 20 of them in downtown Quebec. "And Ste. Foy, when it was still a municipality, had a total ban on billboards." Viau said the latest ban would be total - even on public service messages produced by the provincial government. Viau said all of the city's boroughs were in favour of a total ban, rather than limiting them to particular parts of the city, such as industrial zones. The approach of trying to limit the presence of billboards to certain parts of town was tried by the city of Oakville, Ont., which adopted a bylaw in 2005 ordering billboards only be permitted in industrial zones. The bylaw was adopted after an attempt at a total ban was struck down on constitutional grounds. However, in February, that bylaw was also struck down in Ontario Superior Court, the judge ruling that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protected virtually all forms of communication. The city has decided to appeal that ruling. [email protected]