Montreal Just Got Lower Speed Limits And Longer Pedestrian Lights

These measures intend to reduce pedestrian and cyclist deaths.
Staff Writer
Montreal Just Got Lower Speed Limits And Longer Pedestrian Lights
  • From this moment forward, the SPVM will be more strictly enforcing pedestrian laws. To help, the city will be adding more time to the crosswalk lights.
  • This plan is called Vision Zero Montreal and is part of a global campaign.
  • Make sure you're extra vigilant when crossing the road from now on - you don't want to get a ticket!

This morning, the city of Montreal and the SPVM announced an all-new initiative that's aimed at improving pedestrian safety awareness. As part of the Vision Zero Montreal, a campaign that "aims to make all road users aware of the safety of the most vulnerable users," chiefly, senior citizens. 

Vision Zero is an action plan that aims to "promote collaboration," "change attitudes," and "transform the road system" to reduce the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths on Montreal's streets. Mayor Valerie Plante debuted Vision Zero this spring.

According to the city's statistics, 14 pedestrians die each year. Of these fatalities, 60% involve people over 65 years old. "You have to cross at the right time and in the right place, making sure you see the vehicles and are seen by their drivers," says Eric Alan Caldwell, Planning, Mobility and Public Consultation Office Director on Montreal's Executive Committee. 

"We want motorists to be cautious about keeping pedestrians safe. Our administration is in prevention and awareness mode. Pedestrian safety is a priority issue and the city is putting in place concrete solutions to reduce the risk of collisions."

To reach Vision Zero's goals, the city of Montreal will begin installing brand-new pedestrian lights with longer counts, new signal sounds, and will enforce a 5-metre clearance at intersections. 

The city of Montreal will be working in collaboration with the SPVM to help promote pedestrian awareness. The SAAQ also put out a message this morning, warning drivers to be extra careful and to give priority to pedestrians. 

An SPVM spokesperson tells MTL Blog that they are lending a "supporting role" for this initiative. That means you should expect to see a larger police presence at Montreal intersections this winter. 

Historically, November is one of the worst statistical months for pedestrian collisions in Montreal. This is partially due to lower visibility on the roads as the days get shorter. 

Vision Zero was implemented this year and will attempt to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist collisions throughout the city's road network by 2021. More than twenty action plans have been proposed.

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Along with releasing an annual report on the condition of pedestrian safety, the city will also install new digital signals with longer crossing times, increase pedestrian-vehicle clearance rules, and even install better lighting at pedestrian crossings, along bike paths, and under bridges.

Vision Zero is a global initiative that first gained steam in Europe. Sweden has had Vision Zero initiatives since 1997 and has seen a 34% decrease in pedestrian collisions across the country. 

As part of Vision Zero in Montreal, the speed limits on main streets were reduced to 40km/hour and to only 30km/hour on residential streets. 

Vision Zero will also aim to improve the bike path network across the city and work towards developing an express bike path through the city. 

The roads are about to be a lot safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Well, as long as everyone follows the rules! 

Visit Vision Zero's official website to find out more about the City's initiatives to reduce pedestrian and cyclist collisions. 

Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer
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