Montreal unveils new measures to make streets safer

Making Montreal’s streets safer
The City of Montreal wants pedestrians and cyclists to feel safe while out and about. Dozens of new measures are being introduced to help reduce the number of accidents that result in injury and occasionally death for pedestrians and cyclists. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, the changes won't be made overnight.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has a vision to reduce road accidents and deaths on the city’s streets.

Vision Zero is an ambitious strategy designed to improve safety throughout the island.

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The new measures include lowering speed limits — 30 km/h on secondary roads and 40 Km/h on primary or arterial roads. They also include improving crosswalks to make them more visible for drivers.

“It is not acceptable that people die crossing a street. It is not acceptable that you die on your way to work on your bike or going down a hill enjoying the beautiful Mont-Royal,” Plante said at a news conference Monday morning.

“This is not acceptable.”

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Other measures include making sure all city trucks and sub contractors have protective steel guards between axles to protect people from sliding between the front and rear wheels. Plante is also looking to increase pedestrian traffic times at intersections.

The number of accidents involving serious injuries on the island has decreased in recent years — from 240 in 2015 to 186 in 2017.

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There were 26 deaths on roads on the island of Montreal in 2017 compared to 23 in 2015. One of those deaths was Clément Ouimet, the competitive cyclist who was struck by a car on Mount Royal in October 2017.

Ouimet’s mother doesn’t think the Monday morning’s announcement would have saved his life, but she says Vision Zero is the right thing to do.

“For me, it’s the first step,” Catherine Bergeron said. “And it’s a good step.”

The Vision Zero strategy will be rolled out between 2019 and 2022.

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