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Pedestrians at risk in CDN-NDG

A hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of a 70-year-old woman near the Snowdon metro station on June 17 revived a Snowdon resident’s pleas for a safer traffic light system at the Queen-Mary/Décarie Boulevard intersection.

Shloime Perel wrote a letter to all local elected officials, including the local MP and MNA.

An unambiguous traffic light system is needed at the intersection, one that is far more pedestrian-friendly, he said during an interview at the Second Cup café on Queen Mary Rd.

Each separate set of lights at the intersection presents the pedestrian with a different system, he said. “One of the most difficult problems for pedestrians is on the northeast corner of Décarie and Queen Mary. When the “go” sign is on for pedestrians there is no “red” for the drivers, only a green arrow. Typically, drivers will turn right immediately,” he said.

Also, cars heading south to Queen Mary simply disregard the small stop signs by the Metro supermarket.

His activism on this file goes way back. As a former member of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Perel attempted to draw city council’s attention to the problem of suicide in the metro, particularly during the 10-year period from 1985 to 1995, when 149 people were killed. “It remains literally a subterranean issue,” he said.

His letters to improve the Queen Mary intersection are going unanswered, he said. “The only people who replied to me are at the ombudsman’s office.”

Snowdon district councillor Marvin Rotrand appreciates Perel’s efforts, and mentioned that the City of Montreal has increased crossing times at some major intersections and is progressively installing numeric pedestrian crossing signals. He said that the changes were all made after citizens came to the borough council and made recommendations.

Rotrand added that many people are currently complaining about street pavement markings in the borough and he raised the issue at the borough council meeting.

It seems to take too long to get key pedestrian crossings marked or bicycle lanes painted. When the City of Montreal was created, the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie was mandated to handle this responsibility for nine boroughs including CDN-NDG.

“We’re still looking for a solution,” he said.

Loyola councillor Jeremy Searle mentioned that motorists must give pedestrians at crosswalks absolute priority at all times.

Marie Cicchini |
Photo : Marie Cicchini

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