Along most of the main arterials in the West Island, and many suburbs, there are highway ramps. The one featured here is typical in that just as cars are turning off (and speeding up) to merge momentarily onto the highway (accelerating from 50km/h to 100km/h), there is a pedestrian crossing. There is no formal stop sign or light, just a crosswalk and a simple sign indicating so.
While in theory this gives pedestrians priority, in practice pedestrians must wait for the automobile traffic to pass and walk (or run) across the crosswalk. The cars rarely, if ever, slow down at these crosswalks, even when there are pedestrians (or cyclists) waiting to cross. And crossing in front of oncoming – and accelerating – traffic is a dangerous decision for vulnerable pedestrians. The result: pedestrians yield to automobile traffic in this autocentric suburban landscape.
The City should make it evident that this crosswalk prioritizes the safety of pedestrians and the convenience of walking. The sign could be more clear, “Priorité aux piétons” for instance, and could be lite up at night. Further, there could be advanced warning for motorists that a crosswalk is coming up and that they should be aware of pedestrians (and prepared to slow down).