Research Papers

Pedestrian road safety perception after a massive implementation of all-way stop signs (AWSS) in a Montreal neighbourhood

Version 1
Date added June 18, 2019
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Category 2019 CARSP XXIX Calgary
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 5A
Author/Auteur Cloutier, Desrosiers-Gaudette, Tardif, Pagel-Grechi
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only:

5A_Cloutier

Abstract:

Background/Context: All-way stops are commonly seen as a form of traffic calming by residents when speed is an issue. In the past year, several local boroughs within the city of Montreal have installed such all-way stops in order to slow down the speed and avoid transit traffic. For example, the borough of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension installed several all-way stops in the fall of 2016, covering almost all local street intersections.

Aims/Objectives: Following the massive implementation of all-way stop signs, the city of Montreal wanted to evaluate the change in risk perception for local residents. This paper aims to report results of this evaluation for one of the implementation area, which was relatively small (0.35 km2) and covered 9 blocs within a perimeter defined by four major roads. This dense neighbourhood is characterized by a grid street plan, many local independent retailers, a nearby metro station and a few bike lanes, setting it as a good example to study.

Methods/Targets: Three different data collection were undertaken to measure perception of the all-way stop signs project. First, the appreciation of the new signage and its impacts on pedestrian safety were assessed among 229 adult residents recruited in a brief intercept survey at eight (8) of the AWSS intersections. Participants had to be local residents (selection through their postal code). Upon completion of the survey, they were offered the opportunity to be contacted again to participate to two other data collections: a focus group discussion and/or an interview. Following the on-site survey, four (4) focus groups were held, gathering 15 participants, to discuss about the neighbourhood's road network and safety before and after the AWSS implementation. Finally, twelve (12) individual interviews were conducted where participants indicate positive or negative elements related to pedestrian safety in the neighbourhood, using photos they took the week before the interview.

Results/Activities: Overall, residents were satisfied with the new AWSS, judging it makes it easier, safer and more enjoyable to cross the street as a pedestrian with a minimum cost as motorists. However, participants felt that cyclists rarely respected the pedestrian priority, making it unsafe at intersections with many cyclists. Participants also mentioned road signage and marking as a major component in the success of the implementation and recall an adjustment period that was not too long. Despite their high satisfaction towards this intervention, residents are still worried about risk as a pedestrian when they cross major roads surrounding their local streets.

Discussion/Deliverables: From the questionnaire, the focus groups and the individual interviews, it appears clear that the measure is widely welcomed as it improves perception of road safety, especially for pedestrians. Besides, the new AWSS gave the opportunity to discuss other elements of road safety at intersections: parking prohibition within 5m, bollards, curb extensions, speed bumps and visibility.

Conclusions: The massive implementation of AWSS, which takes place in many neighbourhoods of Montreal, seems to have relative success with local residents and pedestrians. However this case in Villeray have particularities that explains its success, namely strong residential ties to the neighbourhood and little transit traffic in the first place. Mainstreaming this practice all over the city require further study.