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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Interactive Series: Montreal’s Worst Intersections

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We do a lot of celebrating our city here at Spacing Montreal, but we do our fair share of criticising, too. As you might gather, this falls under the later.

What I’m proposing is that Spacing Montreal readers they take photos of your least favourite intersection in town, write a few words describing why you feel this intersection deserves our collective disdain (and, perhaps eventually, some municipal attention) and send us your mini-report to to be posted on the blog. Feel free to write from whatever point-of-view you most often experience it: cycling, walking or driving.

I will start off the series with a photo I took of the awkward intersection of Cherrier and Parc Lafontaine. There, cyclists traveling from the Cherrier bike path to the Parc Lafontaine bike path must cross the pedestrian zone of this wide boulevard with no indication to drivers or pedestrians that they are crossing a “La Route Verte”. With pedestrians rushing across on this remarkably short short walk signal, cyclists cruising downhill from Cherrier, and cars anxiously trying to find a gap to turn north, I nominate this intersection as the worst in the Plateau-Mont Royal.

Spacing Montreal readers hail from all corners of the city so I know we can look forward to seeing that little place of traffic mayhem nearest to you!



  1. Mont-Royal and de l’Esplanade. Horrible traffic on Mont-Royal mixed with a bicycle crossing and an uneven meeting of Esplanade makes for an accident a week. Totally dangerous for cyclists. Almost suicidal for pedestrians, and this is *the* point of access to the tennis courts and Jeanne-Mance park from the north. Absolutely ridiculous.

  2. Another bad one is Berri/Viger, when going south towards the Old Port. It’s sort of downhill, so cars don’t notice the fast bikes coming down. Quite dangerous…

    As with Cherrier/Parc Lafontaine, I don’t think the problem is the traffic, it’s mainly that most cars don’t use their flashers.

  3. I’d go with a lot of intersections along Rene-Levesque, with maybe the one at University topping my list. It’s got the scale of a suburban intersection, but it’s downtown.

  4. J’aurais envie de nommer l’intersection Maisonneuve/Peel, juste parce que je déteste l’idée de la piste cyclable à gauche, et c’est cette intersection qui démontre le mieux pourquoi c’est une mauvaise idée.

  5. I second the Mont-Royal/de l’Esplanade corner. They put up the crosswalk and lights on the bottom of Jeanne Mance (we had to fight years for that one) then just a couple of years later put the bike crossing on the next corner. Doesn’t make sense. I hate crossing at Esplanade so always take Jeanne Mance and wait for the lights.

    But what’s going on with all that car traffic on Mont Royal these past few years? It’s almost always bumper to bumper.

  6. TMR Graham going NW through the maze that is the loop in the middle of TMRtown: roadway narrows with concrete curbs through corners, cars trucks buses veer in at corner and bikes get cutoff and thrown off. Aieee! Intersection needs additional road width for bikes through the corner. This intersection is on a major (but unmarked) bike-travel corridor travelling NW from eastern downtown mtl.

    An intersection that was rebuilt for bike traffic is Laurier/Brebeuf, engineers tried to split foot traffic and bike traffic, as well they synchronized the bike light with the car traffic light instead of the pedestrian traffic, but as usual, it did not work out as planned and chaos still rules.

  7. The Maisonneuve bike lane is, without a doubt, a death trap for cyclists. I’m one of the many that has been seriously injured along that route since it opened. In my case it was a head on collision with a car turning directly and obliviously into the cycle lane. But I would single out Crescent/De Maisonneuve and Du Fort/De Maisonneuve as intersections where I am constantly dodging absent-minded motorists or belligerent cab drivers.

    I’m curious, does anyone know of any way that members of the public can get access to geographically specific numbers on cyclist injuries/fatalities in Montreal? As the city continues to roll out biking incentives, this would seem to be important information for citizens to access in order to hold the city accountable for biker safety.

  8. L’intersection Laurier / Brebeuf est pas mal non plus, avec les piétons sur le trottoir qui fait office de piste cyclable pour rejoindre le parc Laurier; les piétons attendent leur feu pour traverser est-ouest tout en étant dans la trajectoire des cyclistes qui circulent nord-sud.

    Similaire à Berri / Viger…

  9. The most dangerous intersection is any intersection where idiots drivers are using.

    I had a rager force me off to the curb today. She screamed at me because I had biked across an intersection with a green light when there was an orange hand against pedestrians. I tried to explain to her that bicycles follow motor vehicle traffic signalling unless there is explicit bicycle signalling. She wasn’t having any of it, and eventually sped off.

    I understand cyclists not understanding the rules of the road; they haven’t been licensed, and perhaps they should. What truly gets under my skin is drivers who have passed all of their tests and studies and still don’t understand what their responsibilities are to other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. As long as red lights and turn signals are merely suggestions in Montreal, we will continue to have unnecessary injuries… and no, they aren’t accidents.

  10. Cherrier and Saint-Denis, just in front of Sherbrooke metro. The paint on the crosswalk is faded and every morning cars run the red light while pedestrians have the walk signal. The cars that do stop stop in the middle of the crosswalk.

    I think the city should repaint every crosswalk to be a full zebra crossing instead of just two sets of lines. They are much easier to see.

    Can we also have a Montreal’s Worst (Filthiest) Metro hallways? I’d nominate the Rue Sherbrooke entrance of Sherbrooke metro, next to the hotel.

  11. Papineau + Rachel = Death.

  12. Inspired by reading comments on this site, I choose the intersection of Mont Royal Ave and de l’Esplanade as the focus of my senior research project at Carleton University.

    I have been trying to obtain the number of accidents that happen at that intersection each year with no success. I am visited numerous locations including police stations, City Hall, reference libraries, etc. Any suggestions as to where to find this data would be greatly appreciated!

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