Concerned about an onslaught of even more traffic in their neighbourhood during the Turcot Interchange work, about 50 NDG residents staged a peaceful demonstration during the noon hour calling for safer streets.
The group of seniors, some with canes and walkers, along with dog walkers and mothers pushing strollers crossed the street at Sherbrooke and Wilson a few times to make a point: that they need more time to get across safely. The pedestrian light, which was changed only recently after residents' complaints, lasted 25 seconds. It took a senior wallking with a cane a minute to cross Sherbrooke.
"There's never enough time to get across," said one mother accompanied by her toddler son and her baby girl in a stroller.
"I can't cross Cavendish at Sherbrooke, it always turns yellow on me. It's not safe, that's why I can't cross," said Janine Pallett, a resident of the Benny Farm residential complex.
Besides longer pedestrian countdown traffic lights, they also want lower speed limits on Sherbrooke and more and clearer crosswalks.
"I almost got hit twice on a small street because (motorists) couldn't see the paint on the crosswalk. It was during the day and you couldn't see the crosswalk lights," said another mother who was pushing her baby daughter in a stroller down Sherbrooke.
Demonstrators said they want the city to come up with more pedestrian safety measures and a clear traffic plan.
"The concern is greater now because of the upcoming traffic nightmare that we're about to experience in NDG with the closure of the Turcot," said Karen Urtnowski of the NDG Senior Citizens' Council.
Isabelle Lestourneaux, a mother of four young children, said crossing the streets in NDG has become stressful and they want municipal officials to do something about it.
"It's not a highway, NDG," Lestourneaux said.