The City of Montreal has announced its intention to accelerate the implementation of security measures in school zones as part of its school security program.
According to municipal authorities, since the implementation of the Safety program around schools (PSAÉ), which aims to make it safer for children to circulate on the streets, in 2020, more than 60 special initiatives in school zones have been implemented. carried out.
Thirty others, spread over 11 boroughs, should see the light of day in 2023, at a cost of nearly $10 million. The locations include the intersections facing the Honoré-Mercier school in the city’s Sud-Ouest borough.
“What we want is to put the best solution in the best place, so it will vary from one school to another,” explains Sophie Mauzerolle, head of the city’s transport and mobility executive committee.
Measures include sidewalk extensions at intersections to make the street narrower and force drivers to slow down. Pedestrian rights advocates say street design can make a difference.
“We know that the layout of our streets has an impact on pedestrian safety,” said Sandrine Cabana-Degani, director of Piétons Québec.
Police say they also plan to help improve safety by planning operations in crash-prone areas and school zones. On Tuesday, agents installed a radar next to the Saint-Arsène school, on Christophe-Coulomb Avenue.
Police are concerned about the total number of pedestrian deaths in recent years.
According to the SPVM, there were 20 fatal collisions involving pedestrians in 2022, including that of seven-year-old Mariia Legenkovska last December. She was hit by a car about 100 yards from her school, just east of the town centre.
Between January and the end of July this year, there were eight deaths and 477 serious injuries, according to Montreal police.
Experts like Cabana-Degani find these statistics alarming, but not surprising.
“There was a decrease due to the pandemic in 2021 and 2020, but we are now looking at pre-pandemic numbers,” she observed.
At a press conference to announce the new measures, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante stressed that with more and more people sharing the streets, society must decide its priorities.
“We want to protect the most vulnerable – the children, our elders,” she said, “so at the end of the day we have to ask ourselves, ‘What is more important?
The city’s goal is to achieve zero pedestrian deaths or injuries by 2040.
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