Since 1994, Paul Mackey has been working as an environmental transportation management consultant and currently serves as the Principal of Safestreet (Ruesecure). The firm is committed to designing streets that prioritize the needs of all stakeholders, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit patrons, drivers, merchants, and residents. The Safestreet team comprises of an interdisciplinary group of civil engineers, urban planners, and safety analysis specialists. They use a comprehensive approach that integrates state-of-the-art technical expertise and citizen participation.
In recognition of his expertise in Geometric Design, Crash Issues (including speed management), and Pedestrian-Bicycle Safety, Paul Mackey was designated as a Subject Matter Expert by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in 2004.
Through the Safestreet team’s efforts, they have successfully worked on 152 street redesign projects in 72 municipalities, with the goal of reducing excessive speeds, improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, and minimizing motor vehicle accidents.
YES: When did you start your entrepreneurial/job search/artistic journey and what were some of your goals when you started?
Paul Mackey: In 1993, I finished a term as a City Councillor. I had been able to see the many traffic safety issues in Quebec municipalities and, as Traffic Safety Research Officer at the Quebec Ministry of Transportation, the possibility of better solutions than were being identified at the time in cities. I finally decided that the best way to introduce these new solutions was to set up a business, which occurred in 1994. The aim was to become the industry leader in terms of technical excellence.
YES: What stage are you at now?
Paul Mackey: The firm is starting to mature. There was a steep curve explaining to municipalities that there was a better way of solving the issues, especially speeding and collisions. Municipalities are now more attuned to the issue than at the beginning. Over the years, we have acquired a reputation as a conscientious consulting firm and we are beginning to get more repeat business. The firm should pass into other hands in the medium term.
YES: What have been your greatest achievements?
Paul Mackey: I believe we have played a significant role in popularizing traffic calming and pointing out the importance of proper road geometric design. We have a signature project in Val-d’Or, which should see Phase II in construction in the very near future. We completed another showcase project in Roberval, which led to an Award to the City Engineer by the Association of Municipal Engineers in 2022. I have been involved in quite a few technical publications, both in Canada and the US. Recently, I received recognition as a Fellow with the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec for the pioneering work done in traffic safety and street design over the years.
YES: What were/are your biggest struggles?
Paul Mackey: At the beginning, we had to make Municipalities aware that road safety issues needed more diagnosis to arrive at efficient solutions, and that our consulting services filled a need to identify proper solutions. We were affected by the inappropriate behaviour of large engineering consulting firms (Charbonneau Commission). We also are in competition with Non-Profit Organizations that offer consulting services and receive government funding.
YES: What was the problem you were experiencing before you came into YES?
Paul Mackey: Among other problems was the marketing strategy in an emerging field. Municipalities were slow to take up new ideas, which meant revenues were not as expected; the publicity budget had to take that into account.
YES: What did you find as a result of using our services? What was the best thing about it?
Paul Mackey: I received expert advice from a person who had lived business experience and who took the success of my business to heart. The advice has always been top-notch.
YES: How do you feel about the service you have received from YES?
Paul Mackey: I am very satisfied. The long-term relationship has allowed my advisor to really understand the issues and to see the evolution of the situation.
YES: Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share?
Paul Mackey: I recommend the business consulting services of YES Montreal to anyone setting up a business or even conducting a business after a number of years.