Some living near St-Michel and Rosemont Blvds. say the intersection has only gotten more dangerous despite campaign promises by the mayor to make crosswalks safer.
In the run-up to the municipal election in 2017, Mayor Valerie Plante campaigned at that very corner to highlight the problem. Last month, the City of Montreal reduced the time for pedestrians to cross north-south there to just 30 seconds.
“(We need to) increase the time for people to cross the street because right now it is not enough. We've been dealing with a lot of accidents in the past few years,” she said at the time.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Plante said the change to the St-Michel/Rosemont crosswalk is part of a pilot project to determine the behaviours of drivers and pedestrians.
“Right now the time together including the (walk sign) and the flashing lights is actually longer,” she said.
Rosemont resident Lucie Tardif is a crossing guard for that intersection and said that’s not true.
“It was one minute and not 30 seconds,” she said, adding that with three schools in the area, she feels children are at risk.
“There are nine seconds to put your foot on the road” where pedestrians are protected from turning, she said.
It’s particularly difficult when large groups of children are trying to cross, she said.
It’s also an issue for seniors, said resident Denise Frenette.
“You can’t ask seniors to run across the street,” she said.
Last year, approximately 700 pedestrians were injured on Montreal roads. Of the 17 killed, the majority were over the age of 55.
Frenette’s seniors’ group has been asking the city to make pedestrian signals longer.
Plante said if the city finds the timing needs to be changed, it will be. It’s so far unclear how long the pilot project is expected to last.