City hasn't done enough to improve safety at Lachine intersection: coroner
The city of Montreal hasn’t done enough to make a pedestrian crossing in Lachine safer eight months after an elderly man was fatally struck there, Quebec coroner Jacques Ramsey determined Wednesday.
The crosswalk on Provost St. near 32nd Ave. is a death trap, the victim’s daughter Carmela Cierzo has warned. The sentiment was echoed by the coroner in a report released Wednesday.
“I think it might even be better if you got rid of the crosswalk because you think you're safe, so you're crossing on those yellow lines,” said Cierzo.
It was a dark evening in October when her 71-year-old father Lino used the crosswalk only a few steps from his home. He was struck by a car. A few days later, he died from his injuries.
Despite the street lamps, the driver told police he never saw the elderly man crossing the street.
The city said it quickly changed the lightbulbs and its inspectors deemed the lighting "adequate."
Ramsey, however, concluded the lighting was and remains insufficient.
“When I drive, sometimes, there are no lights, so we can't see in the dark the people waiting to cross the road,” said one driver who stopped at the crosswalk.
“It’s not well lit. They could do something, maybe a flashing light in the middle,” said another.
Ramsey wants the city to identify its most dangerous crosswalks and come up with methods to improve safety at each of them.
“We have to make sure these places are safe,” he said. “This isn't someone jaywalking or crossing at a busy intersection on a red light.”
Lachine has promised bigger signs and a fresh coat of paint in June.
The city of Montreal also said it will begin replacing almost 140,000 street lights over the next two years.
Cierzo, however, worries about the interim.
“It’s such a shock when something like this happens, you know. I'm just afraid it's going to happen to somebody else,” she said.