At least four pedestrians were hit on Montreal roads in the last 48 hours. One is dead and three others are in hospital.
According to Montreal police, a total of 18 pedestrians have died on the island this year alone.
One expert argues that improving roadway designs, including crosswalks, is the first step towards saving lives by reducing the occurrence of auto accidents.
“Most pedestrians are injured on major roads, on multi-lane roads, like Sherbrooke Street and René Lévesque,” Montreal Public Health physician Dr. Patrick Morency told Global News. “Reducing the number of lanes when possible and building safer infrastructure would help save lives.”
Morency studied statistics between 2006 and 2015 and found that the Ville-Marie borough in the downtown core is the most deadly for pedestrians, with CDN-NDG coming in second:
- Ville-Marie – 26 deaths
- Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – 18 deaths
- Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie – 17 deaths
Despite new efforts to crack down on drivers with increased fines for speeding and texting in Quebec’s Highway Safety Code, Morency believes a better approach would be to improve roadway designs by installing safer crosswalks and medians wherever possible to protect pedestrians.
“You can say to drivers for decades to slow their speed, but they won’t unless there are some physical measures like traffic-calming to constrain their speed,” Morency said.
At 18, the total number of pedestrian deaths this year isn’t far off from the total number of murders in the city since Jan. 1, which is currently 19.
Most pedestrians who Global News spoke to in downtown Montreal were surprised to hear that Ville-Marie is the deadliest borough on the island — some even vowed to be more vigilant in the area.
“I don’t really pay attention here but now that you tell me it’s the deadliest area in Quebec for pedestrians, maybe I’ll pay attention a little more,” said McGill University student Nadine Pelaez.