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News and Communiques

News in 2020 - 2021

 

Poll on Complete Streets

Paul Mackey is one of four Quebec road design specialists to be invited to respond to a poll conducted by a road safety specialist of the City of Montreal dealing with obstacles to the establishment of complete streets and the possible means to make them more popular.


How to Encourage Walking by Optimizing Sidewalks

That is the title of the article that the director of Safestreet was invited to write for the March 2021 edition of the Quebec Association of Municipal Engineers’ magazine, now called “Genial”. The article discusses the benefits associated with the flattening of sidewalk slopes and the best practices for making esthetic joints.


A discussion on the history of design speed

The director of Safestreet was reinvited to give a talk on the fundamental concept of design speed during a course on Sustainable Transportation at l’École Polytechnique, the engineering school of the University of Montreal on March 18, 2021, discussing the inadequate advice given in Geometric Design Manuals and on the negative consequences for urban areas. He will present the evolution of the definitions and advice associated with this concept since 1939 and the limitations that have become apparent. He will then present the new approach that is just starting to emerge, based on target speed.


Revising standards on the design of sidewalks

The director of Safestreet submitted a series of proposals to modify the standards dealing with sidewalk design in the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads. At its February 11th meeting, the Active Transportation Integrated Committee of the Transportation Association of Canada gave its approval in principle. The proposals will be forwarded to the Geometric Design and Road Safety Committees.


Taking into Account Pedestrians at Intersections

The director of Safestreet was invited to give a presentation during a course on Traffic Control at l’École Polytechnique, the engineering school of the University of Montreal on February 10, 2021. The talk shed light on the difficulties pedestrians encounter, the methods of traffic control for pedestrians and innovative geometric designs that limit the problems experienced by pedestrians.


A discussion on the history of design speed

The director of Safestreet led a discussion on the fundamental concept of design speed as part of the series of Drop-In Sessions organized by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) on July 23. He presented a history of the definitions and advice associated with this concept since 1940 and the limitations that become apparent.


Pedestrian Safety in Work Zones

In response to the publication of a coroner’s report on the death of a pedestrian during roadworks on Plaza Saint Hubert in Montreal last summer, the journalist from La Presse interviewed the director of Safestreet on the overall measures that should be implemented. The journalist found out about the director thanks to a short article that appeared in the Journal de Québec on January 22, 2020 in anticipation of the brief that he presented during the hearings held by the City of Québec on its Traffic Safety Strategy 2020-2024. The link for the article is: https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/2020-07-02/pietons-pres-de-chantiers-c-est-dangereux-a-bien-des-places.php


Brief

On January 23, 2020, Paul Mackey presented a brief to the hearings held by the City of Quebec about its Traffic Safety Strategy 2020-2024 that deals with "The Safety of Pedestrians and Cyclists around Roadworks.


Joint Transportation Association of Canada and Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada

Paul Mackey gave a presentation at the Joint Transportation Association of Canada and Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada in Halifax on September 25, 2019 during the session on "The Evolving Challenges and Opportunities in Speed Management." He spoke about the impact of Automated Vehicles, the evolution of the vehicle fleet, the design of the speedometer and the importance of geometric design.


Article in the magazine Contact Plus

Paul Mackey has written an article, Complete Streets for Congenial Traffic, in the 111th issue (December 2019) of the Quebec Association of Municipal Engineers' magazine." It deals with the complexity of street design and of the importance of managing speed. The magazine is available at https://www.aimq.net


Webinar on Vision Zero

The director of Safestreet will give a Webinar on Some Overlooked Items in Vision Zero? for members of the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals on June 26, 2019. Vision Zero aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries for users of the public roadway.


Article in the May 2019 edition of the Quebec Planning Association’s magazine

A town councillor and staff from the City of Drummondville have authored an article in the Revue québécoise d’urbanisme, “Mobility, at the heart of sustainable development.” The first photograph shows Fradet Street, the first traffic calming project of the City, for which Safestreet was the consultant.


Annual Conference of the Quebec Union of Municipalities – May 2019

A long-standing member of the Quebec Association of Town Managers (ADGMQ) told Paul Mackey, director of Safestreet: The concepts you have promoted for decades on the importance of the visual environment on driving behaviour and on the need for traffic calming measures have now spread to all parts of Quebec. The former director of the Quebec Provincial Police station in Val-d’Or, Quebec, once again underlined the safety benefits that the redesign of 3rd Avenue West (one of our landmark projects) have brought, stating that there were no longer any fatal or serious injury accidents.


Road Safety Professional

At the end of December 2018, the Transportation Professional Certification Board recognized Paul Mackey as a Road Safety Professional, following an exam held in October.


Annual Conference of the Atlantic Planner’s Institute

On October 25, Paul Mackey gave a presentation entitled: “The Nitty-Gritty – Getting Down to Details about a Healthy Built Environment that Favours Walking.” The talk focussed on different improvements that could be brought to pedestrian infrastructure in order to encourage more people to walk for their daily trips.


Annual Conference of the Quebec District of the American Public Works Association

On September 6th, Paul Mackey gave a talk on recent traffic calming techniques at the Annual Conference of the Quebec District of the American Public Works Association at Mont Saint-Sauveur.


Article in the Fall edition of the Quebec Association of Municipal Engineers’ magazine

In April, the Transportation Association of Canada has reprinted an article by Paul Mackey that appeared in the Fall edition of the Quebec Association of Municipal Engineers’ magazine on the design of sidewalks and pedestrian walkways that takes into consideration the needs of the elderly. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind has congratulated us: “I was extremely pleased to read your article”, writes the National Manager of Advocacy. The article has again been republished in the November 2018 edition of the Quebec Planning Review.


Webinar on Speed Management

The director of Safestreet gave a Webinar on Speed Management March 28, 2018 under the auspices of the Transportation Association of Canada, based on two of its publications, Canadian Guidelines for Establishing Posted Speed Limits, and Speed Management Guide, as well as three case studies that the firm has worked on. The Webinar was repeated September 11 in French. More information is available at http://www.tac-atc.ca/en/events-and-learning/webinars/speed-management


Raised pedestrian crosswalks

During hearings on traffic safety held by the Quebec government March 3, 2017, a representative of an association representing wheelchair users supported our ideas concerning raised pedestrian crosswalks.


Recognition

During hearings on traffic safety held by the Quebec government March 3, 2017, the former mayor of the City of Sillery paid tribute to the work we had done in his city in 1997!


Decrease speed on streets

In an article published in the newspaper "Le Soleil", on March 1, 2017, according to Paul Mackey, founding president of Ruesécure, at the base the streets were designed with geometries to drive at 60 km / h. It is not the speed limit panels that will change anything. The construction of streets and roads should be reviewed to limit speed with various visual and technical means. (See article)


Presentation on a Complete Street element

At the Conference on Inclusive Cities, November 8-9, 2016, the director of Safestreet gave a presentation on a new model for sidewalks and intersections that seeks to meet the needs of all users and, especially, of seniors.


Blog "Prendre soin de notre monde"

Our firm was highlighted in the blog put out by the Prendre soin de notre monde organization, a quasi-governmental body which is funded by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services. The organization thus recognizes that our approach to street design contributes to health and quality of life.


Webinar for the Quebec Union of Municipalities

The training session offered by Safestreet on the management of speed complaints, under the auspices of the Union of Municipalities, will be given a second time on-line Monday, March 21, 2016 at 10 a.m.. It will be of particular interest to mayors and managers of municipal services. One can register on the Union’s website: www.umq.qc.ca .


Presentation in the Sustainable Transportation Course at Laval University

On February 2, Safestreet was invited to give a presentation: “The history of the design speed concept and its impact on the character of our streets,” which explains how geometric design guides for urban areas were strongly influenced by approaches that were thought of for rural areas. The advice given in these guides to use the highest design speed did not take into account the presence of pedestrians and cyclists. The 1999 Canadian and 2011 American guides contain ambiguous notions that will probably be resolved in the next versions.


Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Quebec Federation of Parents’ Committees

In early June, Safestreet will give a presentation “Learning Active Transportation” at the Annual Meeting of the Federation. Children need to learn how to move safely and the parent plays a very important role.


Projects for Pedestrian Safety

We have just submitted the report on the improvement of pedestrian crossings on an arterial with generally 8 lanes of traffic. The City’s representative stated that the recommendations are “bold”.


Traffic Safety Improvement Plan in Municipalities

We recently submitted our report and our recommendations on measures to improve traffic safety on the local road network of a mostly rural Regional County Municipality. The Council of Mayors has recently adopted the Action Plan.


International Perspective

Safestreet has been invited to participate in the organization of a safety assessment of a pedestrian and bike infrastructure in Portland, Maine that is being hosted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in cooperation with the Maine Department of Transportation. The FHWA has just published a report on the project : "US Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicyclist Road Safety Assessments –Summary Report", October 2015.


Traffic Safety in a Totally Different Context!

Safestreet was hired by a firm located in the Montérégie Region that was concerned for the safety of workers who had to cross the plant entrance in conflict with numerous truck movements. Elsewhere, on the plant site which had become cramped, trucks have to back up near a railway crossing, in the presence of pedestrians and often fog. Finally, trucks cross a railway line near a dangerous goods loading dock. It was a stimulating challenge to adjust to a context very different from that of public streets.


Fall Testimonials

At the 2014 Infrastructure Conference in Montreal at the beginning of December, a municipal engineer commented on our evaluation of a multi-purpose path in his City: “ Your report was good. We have followed 90% of your recommendations.”

An agent of the Safe Routes to School program told us: “I have received very, very good comments (from the Cities involved) concerning your work. Thank you for your work which was greatly appreciated by our municipalities.”


Previous Testimonial

A project manager for a boulevard redesign contract stated that he was “completely in agreement with our proposal, especially since you carefully back up your decisions with traffic studies based on road safety and that’s what we are looking for. The fact also that the new design is more compact, which will reduce the overall cost, makes the proposal even more interesting.”