Ghost shoes mark pedestrian's death at Parc Avenue intersection

A pair of white shoes have been hung at the intersection of Parc Avenue and Duluth to commemorate a pedestrian killed there while crossing the street.

'I'm afraid there are so many drivers like this killing people,' widower says

A pair of so-called ghost shoes were hung on Tuesday at the corner of Park Avenue and Duluth to commemorate the death of Concepción Cortacans. (Steve Rukavina/CBC)

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  • City councillor calls for better safety measures for pedestrians
  • Widower mad at drivers
  • Police investigation ongoing

A pair of white shoes have been hung at the intersection of Parc Avenue and Duluth to commemorate a pedestrian killed there while crossing the street.

Concepción Cortacans was struck by an SUV that ran a red light on Jan. 7. She died six days later. A police investigation is ongoing.

"It was unbelievable," said Cortacans's husband, Andre Benyamin. "I'm very mad at the drivers that are driving like this, so crazily and inconsiderate."

A group of citizens and politicians gathered at the intersection Tuesday morning to hang the pair of white "ghost shoes."

In the past, bicycles painted white, called "ghost bicycles," have been hung at locations in Montreal where cyclists have been killed by motorists.

Now the measure is being adapted to call for measures to better protect pedestrians.

"Pedestrians are really second-class citizens in the city of Montreal and that has to change," said Alex Norris, a Project Montreal city councillor for the Plateau–Mont-Royal borough.

Norris estimates that an average of one pedestrian is struck by a vehicle everyday in the borough.

Concepción Cortacans died after being hit by a car at the Park Avenue/Duluth intersection. Her husband André Benyamin, right, and son Jonathan Cortacans, left, are calling for better protection for pedestrians. (Stephen Rukavina/CBC)

The Parc / Duluth intersection is among the more precarious in the city for pedestrians, with three lanes of traffic in either direction. Norris compared it to an "autoroute."

Benyamin recalled how he and his wife often frequented the adjoining parks, always taking care to obey the traffic lights.

"We respected all the rules and regulations of the streets," he said. "To see such a lovely and lively woman lose her life at such an early age, it's shocking."