Cyclists still at risk a year after Mathilde Blais' death, Projet Montréal says
City opposition wants dedicated bike lanes separated from car traffic built in underpasses
The opposition Projet Montreal says the Coderre administration has done nothing to improve safety for cyclists using underpasses in Montreal since the death of cyclist Mathilde Blais a year ago.
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Projet leader Luc Ferrandez spoke to reporters Thursday morning near the spot in the St-Denis Street underpass where Blais died after being hit by a truck while cycling on the road in the narrow underpass.
After Blais was killed, the city responded by changing the rules, allowing cyclists to share the sidewalk with pedestrians in such underpasses.
It was supposed to be a temporary measure, but Ferrandez says it has, in effect, become permanent.
Ferrandez said the real solution is to build dedicated bike lanes separated from car traffic through such underpasses.
He estimated the average cost to do that for one underpass at $2 million.
But he said the city only set aside a total of $1 million for its entire cycling infrastructure budget for this year when it announced infrastructure projects this week.
Ferrandez said there will be consequences.
"There will be more deaths because more people are using their bikes every year," he said.
Aref Salem, the city's executive committee member responsible for transport, said the city is improving safety on bike paths but added that building new infrastructure costs money and will take a few more years.