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Some positive intentions for Montreal

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  • Christopher Miller
    An article in today s Montreal Gazette describes some tentative steps the city administration wants to take to improve, at least marginally, the situation of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2006
      An article in today's Montreal Gazette describes some tentative steps
      the city administration wants to take to improve, at least
      marginally, the situation of pedestrians in Montreal:


      Just hang up and drive
      City wants to lower speed limits, outlaw use of cellphones

      MICHELLE LALONDE, The Gazette
      Published: Thursday, June 08, 2006
      The city of Montreal will ask Quebec to outlaw cellphone use by
      motorists in the city and lower speed limits as part of a major new
      initiative to make Montreal safe for pedestrians. Andre Lavallee, a
      member of Montreal city council's executive committee, unveiled a
      proposed "pedestrian charter" yesterday, a document he said will
      serve as a starting point for reinventing Montreal as a world-class
      walking city.

      "We are talking about a major shift of culture for a North American
      city," Lavallee said. "Montreal was essentially designed over the
      years around the needs of the car. Now we must rethink the city
      around the needs of the pedestrian." Besides banning cellphones and
      lowering the speed limit to 40 from 50 kilometres an hour, Lavallee
      said that the city hopes to:

      Replace 800 old-style pedestrian crossing signals with new numerical
      count-down signals.

      Identify stretches of road downtown that could be transformed into
      pedestrian malls.

      Continue to oppose right turns on red lights.

      Crack down on construction and delivery companies that block
      sidewalks illegally or without offering a safe alternative walkway.

      Create a road safety office, a one-stop shop for correcting dangerous
      intersections and road designs.

      Repaint crosswalks as soon as weather permits, rather than as part of
      the regular spring and summer cleaning schedule.

      Lavallee noted that 121 pedestrians were killed and 8,500 injured by
      moving vehicles between 1999 and 2003 in Montreal. He said the new
      safety measures could never reduce the toll of pedestrian deaths to
      zero, but he hopes it will lead to an urban environment where more
      people choose to leave their cars at home because the streets are
      safe and enjoyable for walking. "This charter is proposing a radical
      change of behaviour. We want Montreal to evolve because one of the
      keys to a good quality of life in a city is the safety of its roads
      and sidewalks."


      (The rest of the article is at the URL above.)

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
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