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Montreal to reconfigure Sainte-Marie one-way streets to enhance safety after fatal hit-and-run

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The City of Montreal says it will reconfigure the direction of certain streets in the Sainte-Marie neighbourhood to make them safer for pedestrians following last month's hit-and-run that killed a young girl.

Mayor Valerie Plante announced Friday that several traffic-calming measures will be implemented after the current school season to increase safety around schools and daycares in the area.

A stretch of Fullum Street will be turned into a one-way street under the new plan.

Earlier this month, residents and citizens' groups protested in Sainte-Marie, just east of the downtown core, calling for safer streets after last December's traffic death of seven-year-old Mariia Legenkovska, a Ukrainian refugee who came to Canada last fall after her family fled the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

A driver struck her while she was walking to school with her sister and then fled the scene.

Part of Plante's plan also includes changing the direction of two existing one-way streets — Parthenais Street and de Rouen Street — in an attempt to discourage drivers from using them "as shortcuts." 

Here's what is changing:

  • Fullum Street: will be a one-way street northbound between Ontario and Sherbrooke streets;
  • Parthenais Street: will be a one-way street northbound between de Rouen and Sherbrooke streets;
  • de Rouen Street: will be a one-way street eastbound between Fullum and D' Iberville streets.

The City of Montreal is making three roads into one-way streets in order to make them safer for pedestrians following a fatal hit-and-run last December. (Source: City of Montreal)

Some residents have complained about an increase in traffic on local streets since repairs on Lafontaine tunnel have rerouted traffic to the nearby Jacques Cartier bridge.

"I don't feel safe walking here. I have to be very vigilant about every step I take," said Marilou Diamond Doucet, who lives in the neighbourhood.

The mayor says the problem is clear. "There are too many cars that are too big and go too fast," Plante said.

Other new safety measures include adding speed bumps and widening certain sidewalks on some streets, which will come later this year. More details will be announced in the coming months, Plante said at a Friday morning news conference near Parc des Royaux.

Chris McCrey, a community activist, said the new road safety measures announced Friday are a good start.

"We have been saying for a while the Centre-Sud is under a lot of pressure with traffic increasing in the area," he said.

The new measures come after the city announced previously it would add larger stop signs, make part of Parthenais Street narrower, and heighten police presence in the area.

Mayor Valerie Plante announces new traffic-calming measures in Sainte-Marie, including turning streets into one-ways and adding speed bumps, during a press conference on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (Angela Mackenzie/CTV News)

Protesters took to the streets earlier this month, calling for the city and the province to make pedestrian safety, particularly in school zones, more seriously.

A 2022 report from Quebec's automobile insurance board showed that as of September, 39 pedestrians had lost their lives in collisions, which is an increase of 14.7 per cent compared to the entire year of 2021.

The city said the new measures will be monitored in order to assess their impact on making streets safer.  

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