A Ghost Bike ceremony was held this morning for the 33-year-old cyclist who was struck and killed a week ago at an underpass in the Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough.
Over 100 cyclists, as well as friends and supporters of Mathilde Blais showed up for the ceremony at the underpass on St. Denis near Rosemont. They gathered on the street which was blocked off for the ceremony.
Organizers made a short statement and read aloud a letter from Blais' mother who lives in Quebec City. Her mother thanked everyone for their support and hoped things would change to make streets safer for cyclists and everyone else sharing the road with them. A moment of silence was held while the "ghost bike" - a bicycle painted all in white - was mounted on the railing of the underpass.
Blais was riding a Bixi on her way to work April 28 when she was struck and killed by a crane truck. The driver said he never saw her.
"We want to remind people that somebody died here, that Mathilde Blais lost her life here. We want to remind people that this death could have been avoided because we knew this viaduct was dangerous," said Gabrielle Anctil, one of the organizers.
"We know that all the viaducts are dangerous, we didn't do anything about this. So we want to make sure that her death is not forgotten and that hopefully it will be the last."
Blais' death has rallied cycling advocates and politicians to set the wheels in motion for more measures to ensure safer cohabitation of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. The borough last Friday put up new signs at the underpass allowing cyclists and pedestrians to share the sidewalks located there.
Blais' funeral is being held tomorrow in Quebec City where her family lives.