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2 August 2018
From temporary to permanent – count data and Montreal’s Avenue Park Stanley
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Avenue Park Stanley is a newly developed, pedestrianized public space, connecting multiple popular parks in Montreal’s Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough.  Once a vehicular through way, the transformed area now serves as an outdoor community space where people of all ages can come to enjoy nature and the beautiful river views.

Above: Avenue Stanley before the transformation

The story of Avenue Park Stanley begins in 2015, when the City announced that the area would be temporarily pedestrianized for the summer and turned into an “oasis” of relaxation, cycling and walking. The space was transformed, including the installation of lounge chairs, urban agriculture, a DIY bicycle repair stand and picnic tables. Each week, cultural and sporting events were held at the space, attracting many visitors.

Avenue Park Stanley’s transformation was undertaken as part of a larger program adopted by the City of Montreal. The scheme “rues piétonnes et partagées” – Pedestrian and Shared Streets – encourages the creation of new public spaces and supports different boroughs in the city in the implementation of pedestrianization projects.

Since its launch in 2014, ‘Pedestrian Streets’  has supported 15 projects in 10 different Montreal boroughs. The program continues to grow and in June this year, the city released an ‘inspiration catalogue’ – an in-depth document (French) that shares the stories of past successful projects  – in order to attract boroughs and cities to implement their own pedestrian streets transformation.

To capture the success of the project, qualitative and quantitative data were collected. Eco-Counter PYRO boxes were installed to capture visitation numbers and visitors were asked about their visit satisfaction.

Between June 23 and September 7, 2015,  data collected by the PYRO Box captured 169,000 passages of cyclists and pedestrians during the temporary installation. On average, 1,500 pedestrians passed each day. Additional data collection confirmed that nearly 25% of visitors were elderly, and 92% of visitors reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the project. Local news outlets, such as the Journal Metro, also reported on the pilot project’s success.

Following the success of the project in summer 2015, Avenue Park Stanley was renewed as a temporary installation in 2016 and 2017, before the street’s permanent pedestrianization in autumn 2017 and spring 2018! With this permanent installation, the city announced investments to the space, including a dedicated  social and child’s play area, cycling facilities, tree planting and the installation of an Eco-Display Classic counter to communicate just how many cyclists use the area.

In May this year, on a beautiful spring morning, Etienne and Jorge from Eco-Counter’s support team installed the Eco-Display Classic in Avenue Park Stanley. This installation felt particularly special – Eco-Counter staff live in Montreal and cycle everyday, plus it was an opportunity to undertake a full counter installation using our new company cargobike! A PYRO Box is also installed in the park, discretely counting pedestrians each day.

In addition to displaying the number of bicycles so far that day, and year to date, via the Display, The City of Montreal chooses to make the data publicly available online using Eco-Counter’s Public Web Page +. All of the Montreal count data can be found here, and the newest display counter has been added to our global interactive Eco-Display Classic map!

Inevitably, data has played a crucial role in the Avenue Park Stanley story. By collecting visitation numbers during the temporary installation, the city was able to demonstrate the success of the park; this lead to permanent pedestrianization, allowing the space becoming a permanent feature of Montreal’s urban landscape. Today, with the Eco-Display clearly visible in the heart of the park, visitors are reassured that they really count to the city.

We are proud to be part of such an exciting project and can’t wait to discover what Avenue Park Stanley has to teach us in the future.

To learn more about the program “rues piétonnes et partagées” you can visit the City of Montreal’s website here and here (in French)!

Images 1 Source: Google Maps
Images 2+3 Source: La Ville de Montreal
Image 4 Source: La Ville de Montreal

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