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Montreal will redirect, redesign and retire downtown streets to improve pedestrian safety

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The City of Montreal is redesigning 13 of its downtown streets to make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

From street closures to reorienting traffic, the Ville-Marie makeover's main goal is to reduce the number of cars on the road.

"Unfortunately, we're seeing in the past months, in the past year, a lot of collisions in our neighbourhood," said Sophie Mauzerolle, city councillor for the Saint-Marie district.

The plan comes four months after a seven-year-old Ukrainian refugee was killed in a hit-and-run at the Parthenais and Rouen Street intersection.

The tragedy prompted locals to demand change, and the city says it's coming.

"There's a lot of pressure because we have the impact of the [Jacques Cartier bridge], we have a lot of infrastructures that are important for transit. But we really want to reduce the transit in the neighbourhood," said Mauzerolle.

The project prioritizes areas with a heavy presence of children, seniors and community groups.

One way it plans to make things safer is by adding 110 speedbumps across the borough's three districts.

"There's an increase of cars in the metropolis; cars are bigger. That's why we're trying to offer more options as possible," said Mauzerolle.

The city voted to close part of Lariviere Street this summer, between De Lorimier and Parthenais. The plan also hopes to make the area more appealing to pedestrians by adding benches and plant life.

A part Lariviere Street, between De Lorimier and Parthenais, will close to vehicles this summer as part of Montreal's plan to improve pedestrian safety downtown. (City of Montreal)

Sections of Ottawa, Larivière, and Sussex Streets will also be closed.

Fullum, Parthenais, De Rouen, Peel, Hope and Sussex Streets will either change directors or be made one-way.

Saint-Christophe, Berthier, Saint-Rose, Du Square-Amherst Streets and Clark Street near the Maisonneuve Boulevard intersection will be redesigned.

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