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Quebec to Modify Highway Safety Code in Response to Tragic Death of Cyclist

by John Symon
May 01, 2014 (Quebec City, QC) – The Government of Quebec has agreed with the City of Montreal to update the province’s Highway Safety Code in an effort to improve safety for cyclists. This follows the tragic death on April 28 in Montreal of a 33-year old teacher, Mathilde Blais, who was run over by a truck. (Read our coverage here). It is not immediately clear if the province intends to allow cyclists to ride on sidewalks, something that many claim could have prevented Blais’ death.
Transport Minister Robert Poeti said the Highway Safety Code will be modernized and plans to meet with senior bureaucrats at the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) this Friday to discuss the matter. Poeti says part of the solution would be more dedicated bike paths, but did not specifically say if he intends to amend the law and allow cyclists to ride on sidewalks where roadways are dangerous.
As reported earlier (see link below), Blais was killed riding through a dark, narrow, and dangerous tunnel on St. Denis Street underneath a train overpass.  Police have been ticketing cyclists found on the sidewalk here and Montreal officials installed bollards to prevent cyclists from riding on the sidewalk. This has evoked a huge outpouring of public comments; a graffiti artist has since painted “cyclist dead, Montreal responsible” on the sidewalk beside the accident scene.
CTV article here.
Canadian Press article here (French).

1 Comments For This Post

  1. rhp96, QC, Canada says:

    The problem with letting cyclists on the sidewalk is that those are for pedestrians. Even if we cyclists are careful to yield to pedestrians, there can be better solutions.
    If bollards were set up to force a bike lane to be available through these areas it would help, and perhaps some better lighting. Lights don’t have to cost a fortune to run–set them up to be solar powered 🙂
    The thing is, there are many places in and around Montreal where the roads can be improved for the safety of cyclists (and motorists for that matter…).
    It’s sad that Ms. Blais died, let us hope that indeed something good comes from the post-accident investigation…

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