Transportation Study for the Elmhurst Avenue Grade Crossing in Montreal

Transportation Study for the Elmhurst Avenue Grade Crossing in Montreal

The Elmhurst Avenue grade crossing is heavily trafficked and incidents, although minor, have occurred, some of them involving buses.

The mandate of this audit comprised:

  • Obtaining and aggregating data available for the Elmhurst Avenue grade crossing in Montreal relating to rail, road and pedestrian traffic, and analyzing this data to evaluate the criticality of the grade crossing;
  • Completing a Detailed safety assessment of the crossing, in accordance with Transport Canada requirements.


The study consisted in examining the grade crossing and its surroundings, including characteristics of the location, existing traffic control devices, and operational characteristics of the road and railway. It included, among others, the following: the equipment along the track, the location of the detectors, the flashing lights and bells, the gate arm clearance time, and the road and rail traffic volumes. The study also addressed the time required for buses to cross the railway tracks, depending on the bus driver’s perception-reaction time, the acceleration curve and the road profile.

The study also included the following:

  • Identifying existing and potential hazards;
  • Study the relevance of connecting the grade crossing gates with the traffic lights of a nearby intersection;
  • Determining the characteristics that the grade crossing needs to comply with, based on the layout of the area (location of the tracks and the streets, sightlines) and the levels of rail and road traffic;
  • Recommend improvements, especially in terms of safety, to achieve short, medium, and long-term benefits.
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