In 2018, the Borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie assigned permanent status to the pilot project for the redevelopment of Shamrock Avenue between Casgrain Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard. The project’s aim was to create a livelier, greener and safer environment.
The case study conducted was one of fourteen studies included in Montreal Urban Ecology Centre’s report analyzing Complete Street transformations across the province of Quebec.
- Street Category: Commercial street
- Project length: 150 m
- Cost of the project: $5 M
- Cost per km: $33.3 M
- Years of implementation: 2019
Photo: Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Borough
In 2018, the Borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie assigned permanent status to the pilot project for the redevelopment of Shamrock Avenue between Casgrain Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard. The project’s aim was to create a livelier, greener and safer environment. It was also a response to a request from the Société de développement commercial (SDC) de la Petite Italie et du Marché Jean-Talon to strengthen the connection between two defining areas of the neighbourhood: the market and Saint-Laurent Boulevard. Begun in 2014 as a pilot project, the initiative began receiving support from the Shared and Pedestrian Streets Program in 2016. The process began with the implementation of transitional measures in 2016 and 2017, which made it possible to assess how best to share the street with pedestrians, as well as the impact on the sector’s accessibility.
The closure of one traffic lane, the elimination of parking spaces and the restriction to one-way westbound traffic increased the space for pedestrians. A new sidewalk in paving stone was added and a total of 160 seats were installed to encourage relaxation and socialization. The installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Shamrock Avenue and Saint-Laurent Boulevard created a safer pedestrian crossing.
The designers carried out an accessibility audit during each year of the temporary project and a universal accessibility advisory committee reviewed the final project. In accordance with booklet #5 of the Guide d’aménagement durable des rues de la Ville de Montréal, the redevelopment included tactile warning plates, straight, protected, cane-detectable pathways and widened curb ramps that facilitate wheelchair access to the sidewalk.
Parking spaces alternating with curb extensions on one side of the street, a narrowed roadway, as well as the elimination of parking spaces and of one traffic lane, helped to calm traffic speeds. Since this street is classified as a Shared Street, the speed limit is 20 km/h and pedestrians have priority over motorists at all times.
Landscaping and furniture
The prevalence of the colour red is a design choice intended to make the redevelopment distinctive and unique. This visual signature is apparent both on the ground and in the furniture. Distinctive facilities contribute to the originality of the new space: a large table able to accommodate 110 people and the addition of a kitchen island. The installation of vegetative strips and the planting of 28 trees help reduce heat islands. There is a sevenfold increase in vegetated surface area. Finally, the addition of artistic lighting and a multifunctional performance space encourage residents to make use of the area.
As early as 2016, a participatory urban planning process conducted by the Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal (CEUM), which included evaluation of the temporary facilities, made it possible to elicit the preferences of citizens, as well as their views on what challenges were encountered and which ideas were successful. A total of 1800 people participated in at least one of the 14 participatory activities that took place over two years. This process helped identify six principles to guide implementation of the permanent redevelopment: 1) balance among the different uses; 2) a signature look that would be harmonious with and respect the character of the Petite-Italie neighbourhood; 3) relaxation and meeting spaces; 4) cohabitation of users, residents and merchants; 5) the community’s involvement and 6) the prevalence of greenery. For details, see the consultation report.
Cross section, corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard
Total pavement: +/- 5 metres