Ghost bike ceremony remembers cyclist Justine Charland St-Amour
Around 100 people turn out to remember St-Amour, who was struck by a truck on d'Iberville Street
Around 100 people gathered Friday morning to remember Justine Charland St-Amour, a 24-year-old cyclist who was fatally struck by a truck on Aug. 22 at the intersection of d'Iberville Street and Rosemont Boulevard.
A white "ghost bike" was installed at the intersection during the ceremony, which was attended by St-Amour's family and relatives of other cyclists killed in recent incidents.
Ghost bikes are bicycles that are painted white and placed at the scene of fatal or near-fatal collisions between cyclists and motorized vehicles.
Charlen Berry, one of St-Amour's relatives, said the day she was killed was the worst day of her life.
"You never think it will happen to you," she said.
Berry called for political action to make the streets safer for cyclists.
"I wish politicians would take the ball and run with it — go, move, do something," she said.
That feeling was echoed by Guy Brunotte, whose 42-year-old son Christian was killed by a truck while cycling on Wellington Street.
"We can do more. Simple things. And people wouldn't get hurt," he said.
"I think about my son and Justine. It's very sad."
Ghost bikes serve as memorials, reminders
Gabrielle Anctil, who helped organize the ceremony, said this is the sixth ghost bike that's been placed around Montreal in the last three years.
"Every time I hope it's the last," she said.
She said the bike will stand as both a tribute to St-Amour and a reminder to drivers of the need to share the road with cyclist.
"Drivers see it, and maybe it reminds them to leave some room for cyclists," she said.
Anctil was critical of the claim by Montreal police that it will be difficult to enforce a new law that requires drivers to keep 1.5 metres between their vehicles and cyclists.
"There's obviously a period of adjustment, but there are surely ways to enforce this rule," she said.
That opinion is shared by Quebec Transport Minister Laurent Lessard, who on Friday said he was working with mayors around Quebec to improve road safety for cyclists.