Cyclist killed by truck in St-Denis underpass
33-year-old woman struck while riding on St-Denis, south of Rosemont
A 33-year-old woman is dead after being struck by a crane truck this morning while cycling under the Des Carrières viaduct on St-Denis Street, just south of Rosemont Boulevard.
Montreal police said the cyclist was knocked off her bicycle at around 6:30 a.m. while travelling southbound, and run over by the truck.
"At the place where [the incident] occurred under the viaduct, the pavement narrows a little," said Montreal police spokesman Const. Daniel Lacoursière.
St-Denis Street was closed to traffic from Bellechasse Street to Saint-Grégoire Street as police tried to reconstruct the crash.
Investigators say they will meet with the 23-year-old truck driver, who was treated for shock after the collision.
Police say he will likely not face charges.
Borough officials say they're very upset by Monday's fatal crash.
"We’re just fed up and tired ... Six hundred people had big accidents last year — four deaths. We’re at the second death with a truck this year — it’s enough," said Plateau—Mont-Royal borough mayor Luc Ferrandez.
He said it's time to adopt measures to make streets safer for cyclists.
"What we have to do is accept to share the sidewalk ... Most of the time the sidewalks are large enough to put a line and have the pedestrian on one side and the cyclist on the other side of the line, and just remove the cyclist from the deadly viaducts for the next few weeks to come. Then we have to come with much more important solutions to put the cyclists back on the streets, but with reserved lanes."
Ferrandez also said the city has to reflect on it manages traffic.
"Do we want to see flatbed trucks, 45 feet long, in the rush hour, in the traffic? Is this the best time to have them there?"
Some cycling activists agree that this incident highlights the need for better infrastructure in the city, and for cooperation between people riding bicycles and people driving motorized vehicles.
Wade Eide teaches the CAN-BIKE safety for the Canadian Cycling Association, and said that although cyclists are normally required to ride as close to the shoulder as possible, there are exceptions when it is necessary for safety.
For instance, there is no dedicated bicycle lane on this section of St-Denis Street.
"When lanes are too narrow to share side-by-side with other traffic, the safe way [for cyclists] is to take the centre of the lane, and that forces other traffic to actually change lanes — which they are encouraged to do by law anyway — in order to pass safely," Eide told CBC Daybreak's Michael Finnerty.