Coworkers mourn cyclist killed in car crash
Dozens of Old Port workers gathered at the corner of Iberville St. and Rosemont Blvd. Tuesday to mourn a coworker and friend who was killed in a crash while cycling there a day earlier.
Justine Charland St-Amour, 24, was on her bicycle at 2 p.m. when she pulled up next to a truck at a red light. When the light turned, she proceeded forward, but the truck turned. The driver didn’t see her in his blind spot. She was declared dead at the scene and Montreal police said no one was at fault for the accident.
Her friend Gabriel Morissette said it could have been any of them.
“There are dangerous spots in Montreal. I think everyone knows it, and I think everyone agrees – cars or bikes - that we need more security,” said Morissette.
While the workers have been striking for 90 days, they paused their picketing at city hall to remember their colleague and demand the city do more to protect cyclists.
“I think the city has a responsibility to assure the safety of these cyclists and make sure the sharing of the road between cyclists and drivers is done with a certain synergy for the safety of all,” said coworker Konrad Lamour. “I think the city and Mayor Denis Coderre and his team need to get on that and look at all the different intersections in the city and find ways to make them safer.”
Velo Quebec spokesperson MagaliBebronne said the type of accident that killed the woman is not uncommon. They called on the city to keep cyclists in mind during city planning and asked for more bike paths and other measures be put in place to keep those on bikes safe.
“Maybe there needs to more general infrastructure changes in general to make cyclists more visible to other users,” she said.
Separate bike lanes are the ideal, but there are other measures that are easy to implement, for example, Montreal has a few so-called bike boxes that put cyclists in plain sight ahead of drivers.
Projet Montreal wants police to focus on enforcing speed limits for all trucks and it also wants measures to eliminate their giant blind spots.
Westmount became the first city in Quebec to add sideguards and cameras to its fleet of heavy trucks following the death of Jessica Holman-Price in 2005. St-Laurent followed suit.
Projet Montreal says Montreal should too – and should pressure Quebec to do the same.