Victoriaville is located in central Quebec as part of the Arthabaska Regional County Municipality. It is home to a plethora of bicycle paths that connects residents to various parts of the town. Its downtown is quaint but vibrant, and its Notre-Dame Street is home to a number of restaurants and shops.
Notre-Dame Street East
The case study conducted on Notre-Dame Street West was one of the nine studies included in Montreal Urban Ecology Centre’s report analyzing complete street transformations across the province of Quebec.
- Street category: Commercial street
- Project length: 800 m
- Total cost: $6 M
- Cost per km: $8.5 M
- Year of implementation: 2017
Notre-Dame Street East, between Des Bois-Francs Boulevard and De Bigarré Street, was redeveloped in two phases, in 2016 and 2017. This redevelopment was intended to support economic activity and revitalize the city centre of Victoriaville. A temporary street closure involving family activities and a show marked the beginning of work. Enthusiasm for the changes led the city to reflect on the accommodation of temporary and event-based pedestrianization.
One of the two parking lanes was removed, the sidewalk was widened and obstacles were removed to make more room for pedestrians. The sidewalks and the pedestrian crossings, as well as the parking lanes, were surfaced with paving stone.
The slight elevation gain of the sidewalks all along the roadway, the tactile warning plates and the raised pedestrian crossings promote universal accessibility and facilitate pedestrian travel for everyone. In addition, parking spaces for scooters equipped with recharging stations were installed.
Although there is no bicycle lane or path on the street, traffic calming has facilitated bicycle travel. Twenty-seven bicycle stands were added to encourage bicycle travel. More are slated to be added due to high demand.
The taxiBus stops (Victoriaville’s main public transit service) along the street were not modified in any particular way.
The widening of the sidewalks and the narrowing of intersections (compared to others in the sector) helps calm traffic.
After the redevelopment, the average speed was found to be 30 km/h, even though the allowable limit is 50 km/h.
Landscaping and furniture
The widened sidewalks allowed for the addition of greening and trees, benches, and selective sorting waste bins. The streetlights have a distinctive design that gives the city centre a visual identity. The new lighting can change colour depending on the event (e.g., Christmas, Fête nationale du Québec, etc.). The sound system was also upgraded so music could be provided for passers-by.
In 2015, the involvement of citizens and local merchants was encouraged through public consultation activities carried out during events, such as sidewalk sales, as well as on the monidee.ca web site and through the Société de développement commercial.
Challenge encountered: parking
The low elevation gain between the sidewalk and the roadway causes a problem when people parking their cars encroach on the sidewalk. Many tickets have been issued to ensure the space intended for parking is respected. Despite this, the city is not planning to install bollards.
Cross section: Corner of St-Dominique Street
Total pavement: +/-15 metres