Traffic problems on Lansdowne at Sherbrooke

Every weekday morning, and often at other times, there is a line of cars backed up on Lansdowne south of Sherbrooke, waiting to turn left or right onto Sherbrooke.

Not only is it extremely frustrating for drivers to wait through several cycles of the stoplights at Sherbrooke and Lansdowne, but the long line of cars idling while waiting to turn creates excessive air and noise pollution, particularly noxious and dangerous for the elderly residents of Manoir Westmount.

We believe that the street configuration and stoplight signal pattern contribute to the long delays and line-ups. Effectively, there is only one lane northbound south of Sherbrooke, which means that cars waiting to turn left block vehicles who want to turn right, and vice versa. Thus, a single vehicle can prevent all northbound traffic flow.

Drivers wishing to turn left onto Sherbrooke must wait until the southbound traffic clears the intersection. During the morning rush hour, this often does not happen until the light turns yellow or red. On the other hand, drivers turning right onto Sherbrooke may be prevented from completing their turn because of traffic backed up on Sherbrooke, or by pedestrians who do not wait for the pedestrian crossing signal but instead cross on the green light. Because of these two sets of circumstances, typically only one, two or three vehicles manage to exit the lineup, and often do so by going through a yellow or even a red light.

Some impatient drivers, driven by frustration, bypass the intersection by using the driveway for Manoir Westmount. This can be very dangerous for the Manoir’s elderly pedestrians.

And road rage is always a possibility when drivers get angry and frustrated with long and unnecessary waits.

And of course, the long waits directly affect residents of Lansdowne south of Sherbrooke. Some of us may also find it very difficult to exit our driveways when blocked by a solid line of traffic (see photos).


Backing out of one’s driveway is impossible in this situation, and forces these residents to back up into their driveways when parking, so that they will be able to exit in the morning.

We believe there are several ways, short of rebuilding the road, to alleviate this problem:

  1. an advanced (or delayed) flashing green for northbound traffic;
  2. modify the markings painted on the road, and the signage, to provide for a narrower southbound lane on Lansdowne south of Sherbrooke, thus leaving room for two northbound lanes on this same stretch of road. With one lane for left turning vehicles, and the other for those turning right, drivers who must wait to make their turn will not block all northbound traffic.
    To make this work, it may be necessary to remove perhaps three parking spots on the west side of Lansdowne south of Sherbrooke. Additionally, the left turn lane on Lansdowne northbound will need crosshatching for some distance south of the crosswalk, to provide room for larger vehicles making turns onto Lansdowne southbound to negotiate their turn safely. See this diagram:Lansdowne Sherbrooke intersection sketch marked-up
  3. Both 1 and 2 above.
  4. Convert the block of Lansdowne between de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke into a one-way street, either northbound or southbound.

As residents of Lansdowne, we respectfully request that the City act rapidly to implement one or more of these options. Our health and safety depend on it!

Please use the “petition” form below to add your voice to those of your neighbours who have already indicated their support. When you enter your full last name, only the first letter will show up on the list. You will receive an email to confirm your email address. Note: this is not a petition (yet!). You can also email me by replying to the confirmation email.

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