Montreal

Pedestrian deaths reach 10-year high, but no cyclist deaths in Montreal in 2019

There's good news, and there's bad news.

24 pedestrians were killed in 2019, up from last year when 18 pedestrians were killed

The City of Montreal has vowed to make the streets safer for pedestrians. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

There's good news, and there's bad news.

No cyclists died on the roads this year. 

At the same time, more pedestrians were killed in Montreal in 2019 than any other year since 2010.

In total, 24 people were killed in Montreal while walking across the street, according to police.

"We are working to ensure more respect is paid at pedestrian crossings," city spokesperson Geneviève Jutras said.

In November, Mayor Valérie Plante said the city would install pedestrian lights and countdown timers at all traffic lights.

That work will take time however — it is slated to finish within the next five to eight years.

For some pedestrians, having enough time to cross is paramount.

Jason Savard often walks in his Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood and said it can feel unsafe.

"We can't blame the victim who is just trying to get to his house at the other side of the street," said Savard, a spokesperson for the Association of Cyclists and Pedestrians of NDG.

He also hopes the city will create more four-way pedestrian crossing lights.

Vision Zero and beyond

Meanwhile, some think that no cyclist deaths may just be good luck — like cyclist and advocate Alain Deschamps.

Deschamps said the city should look at more safety measures when it comes to buses and heavy trucks. 

"It's important not to forget that Vision Zero is not just about deaths, it's about preventing serious injuries as well," said Deschamps, a member of Ghost Bikes Montreal, an organization that vouches for cyclist safety.

Vision Zero was announced in March and refers to the policy goal undertaken by many North American cities, including New York and Toronto, to reduce their number of road deaths and severe injuries to zero.

Montreal police have not yet released the number of people who were severely injured on the road in 2019.

Last year, 20 cyclists and 87 pedestrians were seriously injured.

With reporting by Franca Mignacca

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