Montreal

Montreal commits to making city safer for cyclists

Faced with criticism after a number of serious accidents involving cyclists, the City of Montreal has announced new measures aimed at making the city's streets safer for biking.

'One death is one death too many,' Mayor Denis Coderre says in wake of bike accidents

Bouquets and cards are left at a ghost bike commemorating Justine Charland St-Amour, a 24-year-old cyclist fatally struck by a truck on Aug. 22 at the intersection of d'Iberville Street and Rosemont Boulevard. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Faced with criticism after a number of serious accidents involving cyclists, the City of Montreal has announced new measures aimed at making the city's streets safer for biking.

"One death is one death too many," Mayor Denis Coderre said at a news conference Wednesday.

The plans include: 

  • a website that annually publishes locations where accidents occur frequently. The 10 riskiest spots will be analyzed and targeted for improvement.
  • examining the possibility of a 30-km/h speed limit in residential neighbourhoods and in front of schools.
  • revising where trucks are allowed and aren't allowed in the city, as well as delivery zones, hours and limits on truck sizes.
  • 2017 awareness campaign focused on responsibly sharing the roads.
  • a pilot project adding more four-way stops to slow traffic.
  • installation of priority lights for cyclists at some intersections.
  • lanes reserved for buses, bikes and taxis.

The plan, called Vision Zéro, borrows from proposals put forward by the Opposition Projet Montréal, which has been pushing for the Coderre administration to make cycling safer.

It also names the 10 most dangerous intersections in the city that will not be getting any infrastructure changes in the near future.

"The bottom line is it's everybody's business. Use the technology, use the better engineering. Make sure that there's more education and enforcement, so you all understand that this is the social contract for Montreal. This is how it works," Coderre said.

The official opposition party, Projet Montréal, said the plan sounds nice but lacks any concrete measures or deadlines. He would like Coderre to implement timelines for the action plan.

"To do all this, you need people. Just make us a promise that you will do it,  because you will hire more engineers and they're ready to work and they're ready to deliver by this date," said Projet Montréal's interim leader Luc Ferrandez.