Montreal

Pedestrian safety a priority after 2 women struck by vehicles hours apart, city councillor says

After two women in their 70s were hit by vehicles in separate incidents on Saturday, a city councillor says it's important for everyone to do their part to improve pedestrian safety in Montreal.

Éric Alan Caldwell vows Montreal will make streets safer

A member of Montreal's executive committee says the city has never done this much to ensure pedestrian safety before. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

After two women in their 70s were hit by vehicles in separate incidents on Saturday, a city councillor says it's important for everyone to do their part to improve pedestrian safety in Montreal.

"The city is bringing together the Transport Ministry, police, truckers, motorists, cyclists, seniors and young people, just so that we share the burden of safety responsibility, and share solutions that we implement as swiftly as possible," Éric Alan Caldwell said. 

Both drivers were making left turns and hit the women at low speed.

Both pedestrians suffered head injuries. Both women, ages 74 and 79, have since died.

Caldwell said a working group has been launched to create concrete solutions to minimize the risk of left turns for pedestrians. 

One of them, he said, is to reprogram all traffic lights in Montreal. 

Éric Alan Caldwell is the executive committee member in charge of urban planning and transit. (Radio-Canada)

In November, Mayor Valérie Plante announced the city plans to install pedestrian lights and countdown timers at every set of traffic lights in the city as part of a "paradigm change" to put pedestrian safety ahead of traffic flow.

She also said in areas where more vulnerable pedestrians cross the street — for example, around hospitals, schools and seniors' residences — the walking speed for the countdown signals will be set at 0.9 metres per second, or 3.24 kilometres per hour.

Caldwell said there's a pilot project underway at the intersection of Laurentien Boulevard and Lachappelle Street in Cartierville to test different scenarios.

"We're adapting the reprogramming of the lights in places where there's a concentration of seniors," he said. 

"It's a priority issue." 

He said the city has never done this much for pedestrian safety before. 

In 2019, 24 pedestrians died in Montreal — the highest number since 2010, police say. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now