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Mayor Plante Just Gave A Striking, Impassioned Call For A Less Car-Centric City (VIDEO)

The mayor delivered what might be some of her most impassioned public remarks yet following the hit-and-run death of a seven-year-old.

Senior Editor
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante delivers remarks during a march in the Centre-Sud neighbourhood following the hit-and-run death of a seven-year-old.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante delivers remarks during a march in the Centre-Sud neighbourhood following the hit-and-run death of a seven-year-old.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante just gave perhaps some of her most impassioned public remarks yet. Speaking to reporters during a march on Friday in honour of the seven-year-old girl who was killed in a hit-and-run in the Ville-Marie borough on Tuesday, the mayor delivered a striking call for a more pedestrian-friendly, less car-centric city.

"It makes no sense that [our children] die on the way to school," she said in a streetside scrum. "We want families to stay in Montreal, to live downtown and feel safe."

The mayor's team posted footage of her walking — visibly emotional — with other Montrealers through the Centre-Sud neighbourhood, where the hit-and-run occurred. March participants held signs demanding pedestrian prioritization and an end to deaths on the streets.

"As mayor of Montreal, mayor of Ville-Marie [and] as a mother who sends her children to school like all the parents here, this touches me very much."

Plante said her takeaway message from the event was that her administration should "go further" with its street reorganization and pedestrian safety projects. She committed to "accelerating" those projects, which have included wider sidewalks and one-way residential streets.

She also directly addressed drivers.

"We mustn't stop asking what place cars have in our cities," she insisted, casting irresponsible road behaviour as inexcusable and dangerous. Being late for an appointment, she said, is "nothing" compared to the potentially deadly consequences of speeding.

"We as a society have a responsibility to ask who the city belongs to, who the public road belongs to."

"Above all, [we must] ask ourselves, 'Is the sharing of the road done properly in cities?' In my opinion, we need more space for pedestrians, more space for cyclists, more space for the most vulnerable."

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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