Plateau mayor fumes over cyclist's death
Published Friday, September 15, 2017 6:43PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 15, 2017 8:51PM EDT
The death of another cyclist in the Plateau Mont-Royal is drawing outrage from the borough mayor, who is accusing Denis Coderre of having blood on his hands.
Projet Montreal councillor Luc Ferrandez was furious Friday as he accused Mayor Denis Coderre of lying to Montrealers about his dedication to making the city safer for cyclists, saying the mayor’s actions have proven otherwise.
“I am so angry. I am so upset. Montreal deserves better than that. He is lying!” said Ferrandez, fuming.
The 61-year-old woman was cycling near Park and Pine Aves. Thursday afternoon when she was struck by a school bus.
On Friday, the city announced a $150-million plan over five years to encourage cycling in the city and to make Montreal a leader for cycling in North America.
Ferrandez, however, is seething, saying Denis Coderre voted against several bike path projects, including one at Parc and Pine.
“He refused. He personally refused. He took out and cancelled the plan for a bike path where there was an accident yesterday,” he said.
Lionel Perez, member of Montreal’s Executive Committee, said it’s just not true.
“Absolutely not. We do have, in fact, plans that are in development,” he said, explaining that those plans require a lot of stakeholders to be consulted, given Pine and Parc are two major arteries of the city.
Perez accused Ferrandez and his party of a low blow.
“That's just despicable. They're trying to exploit the death of a cyclist for political gain,” he said.
Cycling advocates believe, though, that the woman’s dead could have been avoided.
“I wouldn't call it an accident. It's a tragedy that was needless and due to poor design unfortunately,” said avid cyclist Zvi Leve.
After already putting up several ghost bikes across the city, the group Ghost Bike Montreal said it's tired of waiting for improvements.
“They've been in power for four years,” said Gabriele Anctil of Ghost Bike Montreal. “We’ve been setting up ghost bikes for four years. None of the locations where we we've set them up -- nothing has changed.”
Perez said only a coroner's report will determine what the exact cause of the woman’s death.