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Upcoming left-turn signal to slow traffic on Lasalle Boulevard

City administration cautioned against the left turn phase due to a low number of vehicles that would use it and its overall impact on travel times down Lasalle Boulevard

Cited as a resolve for safety concerns, a left-turn phase is slated to be added to facilitate westbound traffic turning into a seniors building complex at 901 Lasalle Blvd.

This, following a successful motion by Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann during last week’s operations committee meeting of city council, which passed by a vote of 4-2.

A left-turn phase is a turn light which will allow time for westbound traffic to turn left into the housing complex, which Landry-Altmann’s motion notes houses approximately 330 people, of whom 80 per cent are seniors.

Landry-Altmann's motion calls for the left-turn phase to be installed as a two-year pilot project.

“It’s a very busy building,” she said, citing her push for a left-turn phase as a safety concern. 

As it stands, she said some residents have taken to turning into the Metro parking lot in order to safely cross over into their housing complex’s parking lot, and she has heard reports of close calls.

Landry-Altmann requested a study on the intersection and its suitability for a left-turn phase in August 2023, and a municipal report was tabled in October advising against it.

“The vehicle volumes and collision history do not meet the provincially used warrant for the installation of a protected left-turn phase,” according to the report. “Installing a protected left-turn phase will more than double the vehicle delay experienced at the intersection, increase travel times on the corridor as a whole and increase the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.”

During Monday’s meeting, city Linear Infrastructure Services director Joe Rocca said the provincially used warrant (best practice) dictates at least 60 left turns during the busiest hour of the day would justify a left-turn phase.

The intersection in question only counts 11 vehicles at its busiest hour.

From 2018 to 2022, there were no recorded collisions involving westbound left-turning vehicles at the intersection.

Under the light’s current configuration, the eastbound through movement experiences a vehicle delay of 8.4 seconds and a 95th percentile queue length of 64.4 metres, according to last year’s report.

Adding a protected left-turn phase would increase the eastbound through movement vehicle delay to 17.3 seconds and increase the 95th percentile queue length to 100.4 metres.

This, the report summarizes, “would on average add an additional 8.9 seconds of delay to every eastbound vehicle on Lasalle Boulevard travelling through this intersection.”

“These impacts are significant and will result in a noticeable perceived increase in congestion to the motorists on Lasalle Boulevard.”

Whether the committee opted for a left-turn phase or the status quo, Growth and Infrastructure general manager Tony Cecutti said some people are going to be unhappy.

“Either way you’re imposing some inconvenience, either for the through traffic or the motorists entering the apartment building,” he said, adding that he can affirm that “holistically, from a best-practice” perspective, the left-turn phase isn’t the way to go.

The left-turn signal will be triggered whenever a car is making a left turn, and the estimated cost of adding the signal is $5,000.

When it came time to vote, Ward 4 Coun. Pauline Fortin, Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer and Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc joined Landry-Altmann by voting in favour of the left-turn phase.

Ward 5 Coun. Mike Parent and Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti voted no.

Their decision still needs to be ratified by city council as a whole. The next city council meeting is scheduled to be held on April 16. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and can be viewed in-person at Tom Davies Square or livestreamed by clicking here.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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