Ghost bike on Mount Royal marks site of teen cyclist's death
A section of the road that crosses Mount Royal was closed Wednesday morning for a ghost bike ceremony.
The event was held in memory of Clement Ouimet, an 18-year-old cyclist who was killed when he collided with an SUV making an illegal U-turn three weeks ago.
A white bike was mounted on Camillien-Houde Way to honour the teenager’s memory.
“You know, leaving something that will help people remember, but also maybe help change the way the city is organized,” said family friend Normand Roy.
The bike installed belonged to Ouimet. His father added his own personal message in marker in front of the bike.
The driver in this incident was a tourist. No charges have been laid over the manoeuvre.
Drivers have to realize that operating a car is like having a weapon in your hands,” said family acquaintance Jean-Felix Chenier.
Some of those who came to pay their respects didn't know Ouimet.
“It's very sad,” said one cyclist. “He was only 18 years old. He was an elite cyclist and it shows we are all vulnerable.”
Others, like members of Ouimet's cycling club, came to honour their friend.
“He had a fire in him. Like, he had an energy and when he was on his bike, it was more for the race aspect. It was a way of life for him,” said his friend Edouard Beaudoin.
Since Ouimet's death, the city has made changes to the road there, adding safety dividers and more signs reminding drivers of the speed limit.
Access to the mountain has also become an issue in the municipal election.
“I'm a cyclist. I want to deal with this, I want this to be more secure and I think it's going in the right direction,” said Equipe Denis Coderre candidate Marc-Antoine Desjardins.
Meantime, Project Montreal candidate Marianne Giguere said cars should still have access to the mountain, but with limits.
“It should not be possible to cross the whole mountain from one side of the city to the other,” she said.
Organizers of the ghost bike ceremony say the problems on Camillien-Houde Way were known for years and they want much better protection citywide for cyclists.
“I don't wish for someone else to die,” said organizer Gabrielle Anctil. “I want this ghost bike to be the very last ghost bike I set up.”