Ten Things You Should Know About Montreal Traffic
Based on my absolutely unscientific observations:
1.) The drivers are nuts. At least more so than those I’ve seen in Vancouver or Toronto. You get the feeling, walking, that they haven’t quite made up their mind whether to stop, particularly as make turn into crosswalks (I was told, by the way, that this is “one of two cities in North America where right turn on red is prohibited”; hmm, is this true?). I don’t see much enforcement (which makes me wonder, as an aside, whether corruption levels have been tracked to be higher here than in other provinces). In bad travel articles and the like you see things about the “more relaxed pace of life” in Montreal; I’m not sure drivers got the memo on this one.
2.) Pedestrians are too docile. This could be a result of having been cowed by point #1, of course. But I feel alone sometimes in my jaywalking. C’mon people, take back the streets! Look at cars, not signals! When January comes around, do you really want to be waiting on that corner?
3.) Every other car seems to be a Mazda.
4.) At many intersections there is absolutely NO clearance phase. No 1.7 seconds or so of grace. One light turns red, the other instantly turns green. Any comparative data on intersection crashes, I wonder?
5.) Most signs are in French (or simply graphic), except for the quasi-secessionist stop signs of Westmount.
6.) There are some really good separated bike lanes. But I’ve only seen them in certain areas. I don’t know how well linked up they all are. But I’m on foot in any case.
7.) The Turcot Yards area has to be one of the most spectacularly dystopic interchange conurbations I’ve ever seen — anyone looking to film J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island, look no further.
8.) I was a bit surprised by the number of suburban-style gas stations and mini-marts in town. The city is not as dense in places as I thought it might be.
9.) The “walk man” here has strangely long legs and a quite wide, jaunty stride.
10.) There’s a lot of it (traffic, that is).
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 1:40 pm and is filed under Ten Things You Should Know, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.