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City of Montreal installs 16th ghost bike, says safety issues involving trucks ‘very important’

Click to play video: 'Montreal installs 16th ghost bike in honour of cyclist killed' Montreal installs 16th ghost bike in honour of cyclist killed
WATCH: Montreal installs 16th ghost bike in honour of cyclist killed – Dec 12, 2021

A ghost bike has been installed at the corner of St-Laurent Boulevard and de Liège Street to commemorate a 66-year-old cyclist who was struck and killed at the busy intersection last month.

Normand Chatelois was the fifth cyclist killed in Montreal this year.

He was going for groceries near his home in the Villeray district on the morning of Nov. 9 when he was struck and killed by a turning dump truck.

“His prized possession was his bike. And to think that this is what killed him, just doing what he loved, going about his daily life, it’s tragic,” says Vélo Fantôme spokesperson Séverine Le Page.

This is the sixteenth ghost bike installed in Montreal since 2013. Le Page says it serves as a reminder that the city must do more to protect cyclists.

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Read more: Montreal cyclist dies after being pinned beneath dump truck

“This street is banned for large trucks unless they are for delivery,” says Le Page. “However, a dump truck was circulating. Was that allowed? Was there a permit? Who knows? Who enforces this? We need to have a better follow-up on these rules,” she adds.

Click to play video: 'Three cyclists die on Montreal streets in as many months' Three cyclists die on Montreal streets in as many months
Three cyclists die on Montreal streets in as many months – Nov 10, 2021

According to Vélo Quebec, as many as 47 per cent of all cyclist deaths in Montreal involve heavy trucks.

The organization says the city must look at places such as London, England where there is a direct vision standard for large vehicles.

“We have to have huge windows on trucks, lower windows, we have to have a flat nose, we have to have more mirrors and we have to have lateral sidebars on the trucks,” says Le Page. “But mainly less trucks circulating in a very dense city.”

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Read more: Montreal ‘ghost bike’ honoring dead cyclist to be displayed in museum

Sophie Mauzerolle, the executive committee member responsible for transportation and mobility, says the city is aware there is an issue with trucks driving on and across the island and will continue to work with all levels of government to create solutions.

“We’re working with the Transport Minister and the Bureau de normalisation du Québec to do a categorization of all the different vehicles to make sure that we know where they can drive, where they can’t drive,” she says.

“The issues of trucks is very important for us and we will continue to work in our second mandate,” she adds.

The city says it is continuing with its vision zero plan announced in 2019. It is an ambitious strategy designed to improve safety across Montreal that includes lowering speed limits, improving crosswalks and building more protected bike lanes.

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