The City of Montreal unveiled Monday a new series of measures aimed at protecting vulnerable road users as the number of pedestrian deaths continues to climb in the area.
The $58-million project over the next three years will see pedestrian crossing signals with digital countdowns added to all traffic lights across the city.
As part of the plan, an additional four to six seconds will also be added to existing pedestrian lights to give those travelling by foot extra time to cross intersections.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the steps are necessary to bolster safety on the city’s roads.
“We need to be cautious of our environment. We need to respect the pedestrian crossing. We need to think about the most vulnerable,” she said. “That’s how Montreal has to be and I’m counting on everybody to make it happen.”
The Plante administration will also be giving pedestrians extra time to cross the street in high-risk areas, such as school and hospital zones.
The plan is the latest move to strengthen street safety measures in Montreal, where 19 pedestrians have died so far in 2019. Last week, two pedestrians in their 80s were the victims of fatal collisions.
In October, the city announced it was taking action to ensure safer road crossing conditions for seniors. Some of the measures announced included extending pedestrian crossing times at intersections, installing more lights with digital counts and introducing sound signals to complement pedestrian cross lights.
Montreal police Inspc. André Durocher said on Monday that he hopes the plan will help curb deaths on city streets.
“We’re hoping that the number of fatalities will be reduced,” he said. “It is a measure among many measures. One of them is education, which is what we’re doing right now.”
— With files from Global News’ Tim Sargeant and Alessia Simona Maratta