Ghost bike marks spot where cyclist was killed
Published Friday, September 2, 2016 8:07AM EDT Last Updated Friday, September 2, 2016 10:10PM EDT
Dozens of mourners gathered Friday to set up a ghost bike at the spot where Justine Charland St-Amour was killed.
The 24-year-old died on Aug. 22 when a truck ran over her at the intersection of Iberville St. and Rosemont Blvd.
St-Amour, on her bicycle, was heading straight when the truck's driver turned right. He told police he had not seen the cyclist.
"She died in a way that happens all the time," said Gabrielle Anctil. "But somehow the politicians, the elected officials don't act upon that."
Family members in attendance spoke of a woman who knew Montreal's roads, a place that is often dangerous for cyclists.
"Her family was a family of cyclists," said cousin Charlene Berry. "It's difficult to cycle in Montreal, because the roads are difficult, the laws are difficult."
Following the deadly crash volunteers painted her bicycle white as a memorial of St-Amour's life, and to remind drivers they need to pay attention to those around them.
On Friday dozens of mourners, including cyclists, her co-workers from the Old Port, and politicians attended a ceremony to install the ghost bike in its permanent location on the sidewalk at the intersection.
Anctil has been setting up ghost bikes in and around Montreal to point out where drivers have killed cyclists. There are now six located around Montreal.
"Ever since 2013, whenever a cyclist dies on the road we set up this bike painted white to honour their memory and also as a hopefully strong symbol that says 'can this death be the last one," said Anctil.
Bernard Carignan died in Sept. 2015 after a driver suddenly opened a door in his path. Carignan hit the door, and was run over by a car. His bicycle is attached to a pole on St. Denis St.
In 2014 a ghost bike was installed at the St. Denis St. underpass to remember Mathidle Blais, who was killed when a truck ran over her in the tunnel.
Another ghost bike adorns Wellington St., where a truck driver struck Salim Aoudia and dragged him to his death.
"Every time it's very frustrating. Those deaths are avoidable," said Anctil.
Since those deaths the Highway Safety Code has been altered to increase the penalties for dooring cyclists, and cyclists are now permitted to use the St. Denis underpass.
However, Anctil said that the city has a long way to go before the city is safe for those on bikes. He listed a few possible measures the city could put in place, including "Protection on the side of trucks, those areas in front of cars at the intersection where cyclists can go, priority for cyclists to cross at the green light."