Cyclist in stable condition after downtown Montreal crash

A cyclist who was seriously injured after colliding with a heavy-equipment transport truck near Place des Arts is now in stable condition.

Cyclists hold die-in in support of injured woman at site of collision

Cyclists blocked traffic at an intersection where a woman on a bike was seriously injured after being hit by a truck. 0:48

A cyclist who was seriously injured after colliding with a heavy-equipment transport truck near Place des Arts is now in stable condition.

The collision happened at the corner of DeMaisonneuve Boulevard West and St-Urbain Street at around 9:40 a.m.

Police said both the cyclist, a woman in her 30s, and the driver were going south on St-Urbain. The truck was turning right on De Maisonneuve when the incident happened.

Emergency crews on the scene had to remove the cyclist and her bicycle from under the truck.

A cyclist collided with a heavy-equipment transport truck at a downtown intersection near Place des Arts. (Radio-Canada)

Urgences Santé says the woman was conscious when she was taken to hospital in critical condition with serious injuries to her legs and abdomen. A friend told CBC News that she has a broken pelvis and leg, and has already received four blood transfusions.

Later on Friday afternoon, police said the woman's condition had improved. She is now listed as in stable condition.

After the ambulance left the scene, the bicycle with a twisted front wheel remained on the street and the flatbed transport truck was parked nearby.

Police are interviewing the truck driver as well as witnesses.

De Maisonneuve Boulevard West and Ontario Street were closed west of St-Laurent Boulevard. St-Urbain Street was closed between Sherbrooke Street and Ste-Catherine Street West.

The incident follows two other deaths involving trucks on city streets, including cyclist Mathilde Blais who was struck by a truck transporting a crane in an underpass on St-Denis Street on April 28.

Blais death sparks new city measures

Blais's death has now led to new safety measures that the City of Montreal announced yesterday.

New signs allowing cyclists to ride on sidewalks will be installed under railway viaducts at St-Denis Street, Papineau Avenue, De Lorimier Avenue and St-Joseph Boulevard / Iberville Street by the end of May. 

Trucks will also be prohibited from driving in the right-hand lanes under some viaducts.

The city is also considering the use of speed indicators and reducing the speed limit.

A permanent city strategy on cycling safety has been promised for next year.

Trucking association says talks needed

The head of Quebec's Trucking Association said the move to ban trucks from the right-hand lane of underpasses was one based more on political expediency than studied fact. 

While not opposed to all of the measures, Marc Cadieux said the trucking industry should have been consulted by the City of Montreal, but was not.

"That raises questions, like why put cyclists on the sidewalks and move trucks to the left lane," he said. 

Cadieux said cyclists should not be allowed on underpasses, especially given the condition of the streets running through them. 

He acknowledged that the trucking industry is feeling pressure as a result of the incidents, but said trucks play a vital role in Montreal's economy and the industry can't be left out of the decision-making process.

"We have to find some way to all live together," he said. 

Cyclists react

Several cyclists told CBC News there are a number of factors to take into consideration when talking about bike safety.

"A lot of the cycling paths themselves are somewhat dangerous and not always well-maintained. So we need better infrastructure, better design of our intersections, better traffic lights. We have some lights that were not designed to take into account cyclists at all," said Wayne Wood.

Nicolas Gagnon, a bike courier, said the intersection where the woman was hit is particularly dangerous.

"The way it’s done, it’s not proper. Here on St-Urbain at the angle of De Maisonneuve, it’s a little bit the same thing. There’s no cross-cycle path — the cycle path stops where there’s a crossing street, so the cyclist is left with his own judgment and there’s no rule to obey to. It’s just a free-for-all. I bet some people turn left on that section here and it’s totally dangerous," he said.