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Vision zéro
Photo: Denis Labine
«Vision zero» can be summarized in one sentence: No loss of life is acceptable.

The Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, the member of the Montréal Executive Committee responsible for transportation, Aref Salem, the member of the Coderre administration responsible for cycling, Marc-André Gadoury, and the associate councillor responsible for transportation at the Executive Committee, Elsie Lefebvre, today introduced the Vision Zero road safety strategy at a press conference.

“The Vision Zero accident strategy presents a set of short-term actions, concrete measures to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable members of society. As you know, the road safety record is improving year after year, but I don’t’ want to talk about figures: one death is one too many. We wish to play a leadership role in Canada with the creation of a Canadian network of cities for Vision Zero accident,” said Mayor Coderre.

“The strategy that we are presenting today is the result of an upstream reflection process. Reducing accidents has always been part of our responsibilities and priorities. Our strategy involves nine short-term commitments for the safe movement of people, built around the 3Es… Engineering, Education and Enforcement,” said Aref Salem.

“Transport by bicycle is experiencing unprecedented momentum with a larger four-season bicycle network. This is the result of our administration’s efforts in favour of sustainable mobility. That is why we must adapt our ways of building streets, underpasses and intersections, which are highly frequented and where accident hazards must continue to decline. Of course, users must be made aware of the situation,” said Marc-André Gadoury.

“As we have pointed out repeatedly, road safety is a shared concern. All users, including pedestrians and truck drivers, must cooperate to raise awareness and reduce accidents, especially when they involve children, our most vulnerable users. Users are the key to the strategy’s success,” said Elsie Lefebvre.

What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is the Swedish approach to road safety thinking. It can be summarized in one sentence: No loss of life is acceptable. The Vision Zero approach has proven highly successful. It is based on the simple fact that we are human and make mistakes. The road system needs to keep us moving. But it must also be designed to protect the most vulnerable users.

Vision Zero rests on four basic principles:

  1. Ethics: Human life is a priority – even more than mobility.
  2. Responsibility: Designers, managers and users share the responsibility.
  3. Safety: Transport systems must take into account human fallibility – “system that forgives”.
  4. Change: Designers, managers and users must accept a paradigm shift.

Montréal’s Vision Zero strategy

Nine concrete actions in the short term:

1. Adhere formally to Vision Zero and create a Canadian network of cities for Vision Zero accident.

2. Appoint the Commission sur les transports et les travaux publics and the Commission sur le développement économique et urbain et l’habitation to revise the trucking plan.

3. Introduce a new awareness campaign for 2017, based on shared responsibilities.

4. Implement the reduced 30 km/h speed limit in residential neighbourhoods and school zones, and harmonize implementation of the 40 km/h limit on arterial roads.

5. Implement a four-way stop pilot project.

6. Introduce targeted short-term measures in problem areas to ensure user safety and friendliness (2016 -2017):

  • 76 intersections with pedestrian signal lights with digital countdown (since January 2016).
  • 67 redeveloped and secured intersections (see list in the annex).
  • 57 underpasses with additional safetymeasures.
  • Three new automated control devices, for a total of eight in Montréal.  

7. Redesign sectors as part of major urban projects (completion 2016-2020):

  • Berri/Cherrier – Rebuild Berri overpass
  • Côte-Sainte-Catherine/Avenue du Parc/Mont-Royal – Mont-Royal beltway
  • Côte-des-Neiges/Remembrance – Mont-Royal beltway
  • Robert-Bourassa/De la Gauchetière – Bonaventure-Phase 2
  • Saint-Denis/René-Lévesque – CHUM sector
  • Jean-Talon/Hutchison – PDUES area near Outremont site
  • Atwater/Notre-Dame – Lionel-Groulx–Atwater sector
  • Maisonneuve/Saint-Urbain – Specific project

8. Implement short-term concrete actions for the 10 intersections/arteries deemed most dangerous.

9. Develop a bicycle plan based on cyclist safety.

These actions are structured around three axes (the 3Es), which have been implemented in association with and with the concerted effort of several partners:

  • Engineering – development, technologies, vehicles
  • Education and awareness
  • Enforcement (police)