Today there was an article in the Gazette detailing bike accidents in Montreal for the period 2006-2010. Eye-opening stuff for sure! There were few surprises for me, and I was I guess relieved to see that the intersection I fear the most on my commute is in fact considered a hotspot for cycling accidents.
The entire article complete with interactive map is posted here: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/bike-accidents/index.html
This is all fine and good but… is anything to be done about these “hotspots”? Yes, there will be accidents in all kinds of places, but if there have been seven or more accidents over a four-year period, does that not sound any alarm bells?
Could be any number of things: evaluating (and possibly changing) the traffic signals, educating motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike… well that’s all I can think of at the moment. And no, I am not going to rant about how it’s always the big bad driver’s fault - I have encountered my fair share of “invincible” cyclists as a driver and also had a cycling accident caused by a pedestrian - but it seems to me that something should be done.
Last year, there was a tragic vehicle accident a block away from my home that claimed the life of a child. Within a week, new speed limit signs were posted, bollards were erected, and there was an increased police presence and more speed traps. And this is the first accident at that intersection in the ten years I have lived here. Yes, that accident had a casualty and no, not necessarily all these bike accidents resulted in a fatality, but seven or more accidents in one place over four years and no investigation/intervention? That’s kind of ridiculous, no? Especially considering the speed with which they altered the intersection of Ste Anne de Bellevue and Pullman after one reader’s letter to the paper. Time to take pen to paper, I guess!