Mayor makes changes to protect cyclists

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announces temporary measures to curb cyclist accidents under overpasses following the death of a 33-year-old woman last week.
Photo: Andrew Brennan

The city of Montreal announced today new temporary measures to make it safer for cyclists following the death of a 33-year-old woman on St-Denis St. last week.

Overpasses on Saint Joseph Blvd., St-Denis St., Papineau St. and De Lormier St. will be the first to implement the new rules, but officials say they are looking at other areas of the city to determine where else changes could be made.

Mayor Denis Coderre made it clear that police will "do their part" in allowing cyclists to ride along the sidewalks under overpasses, an initiative the boroughs of Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce have already announced for implementation inside their boroughs.

"The director of Police, Mr. Marc Parent, issued a note to all the chiefs of every borough, and I think that everyone got the message loud and clear," he said.

Among the other additions, no trucks will be allowed in the right lanes under overpasses, and the city will be installing new signs showing your speed - and it will lower the speed of a particular zone or underpass if necessary.

The temporary measures will be implemented before the end of May, though some provisions, such as the right lane restriction on trucks, take effect immediately.

Coderre says before any changes are made permanent, the city will have to evaluate the laws currently in place to determine if any of the new measures are addressed by prior legislation.

"It's a matter of ordinance. If you have a situation that demands a change in the [municipal] code, we'll change the code, but the other question rightfully that we should ask ourselves ... is what exists already, how do we apply it accordingly," he said.

Coderre's publicized interest in adopting a bylaw allowing right turns on red lights in the city will also be evaluated from a safety standpoint, he added.

The mayor repeatedly stressed the need for cooperation on the roads to ensure safety for all users.

"The bottom line is simple: protect the most vulnerable," he said.

"If you're a truck [driver] you have to think about the car and the cyclist, if you're a cyclist you have to think about the car and the pedestrian, too.

"So, it's a matter of citizenship. Everybody has their share in that, and I think instead of pointing fingers, the role of the city is to put [in place] a plan where we will be able to show that from now on, those temporary measures that become permanent will impact the way we all live together."



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