June 07, 2006 15:58 ET

City of Montreal: A Pedestrian Charter for a City That is More Humane and More Safe

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - June 7, 2006) - Andre Lavallee, member of the Executive Committee responsible for public transit and urban development, is pleased to present a proposal for the city's first pedestrian charter. With this charter, the Tremblay administration will recognize the prime role of the pedestrian in the city while asserting the need for pedestrians to behave in a safe manner, particularly by observing the Highway Safety Code.

"The pedestrian charter is part of a global vision to make Montreal a city that is more humane and more safe. This is the key to success for the future of Montreal. Improving the environment, reducing pollution and traffic jams and ensuring safety on our streets will mean an increase in the quality of life of our citizens," said Mr. Lavallee.

The charter could apply to a vast range of municipal activities in which the pedestrian's role may be reconsidered. These activities include street maintenance, urban planning, street lighting, snow removal, urban safety and signage.

"Montreal's development has long been based on the needs of the car. We must now rethink our city in terms of pedestrian requirements. We are referring to a major shift of culture for a North American city," said Mr. Lavallee.

The city has already put in place several orientations that are in line with what is being proposed in the charter including not permitting right turns on red lights and installing traffic lights with numeric countdowns. With this charter, the Tremblay administration is committing itself to undertake additional activities in the short-term aimed at meeting its objectives. These activities include initiatives designed to encourage walking and to enhance safety in the vicinity of subway stations, suburban train stations and major public transit embarkation points. These efforts also include the identification of certain road sections in downtown Montreal that would be well suited for transformation into pedestrian streets. With respect to road safety, Montreal is seeking to create a road safety office, reduce speed limits on local city streets to 40 kilometres per hour and conduct a campaign aimed at making it easier for pedestrians to share the road with other users.

"We are proposing a mutual agreement between the city and its different partners, Including the Police Department, as well as citizens. However, no measure will be efficient if pedestrians do not assume their responsibilities and do not respect the Highway Safety Code," Mr. Lavallee said.

Public consultation

The Tremblay administration is hopeful that the pedestrian charter, like the transport plan, will respond to the needs of Montrealers. The population is therefore invited to participate in the public consultation process pertaining to the first pedestrian charter of Montreal. This process will be organized by the Commission du conseil municipal sur la mise en valeur du territoire, l'amenagement urbain et le transport collectif, which is presided by Manon Barbe. The meeting will be held on June 13th at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at Montreal city hall. On this occasion there will be a presentation of the charter and citizens will be invited to ask questions and submit their comments. The Commission will subsequently receive written submissions from interested individuals and organizations on August 22 and will make its recommendations to city council. The charter will then be submitted for adoption by city council this fall.

The charter is available for consultation on the City of Montreal's web-site at It will also be available at Acces Montreal offices, city libraries and in different borough offices.

"We feel the pedestrian charter is not something that is static but rather part of a dynamic process. Citizens will be able to express themselves at the commission hearings at city hall as well as at their borough councils and local traffic committees. We are hopeful that these meetings will result in discussions and exchanges that can also lead to concrete initiatives. We are convinced that the charter as well as the process we are announcing today will ultimately lead to a reduction in the negative impacts that have resulted from an increase in automobile use as well as an improvement in the quality of life of Montrealers," said Mr. Lavallee.

Contact Information

  • Source :
    Office of the Mayor and of the Executive Committee
    Darren Becker
    (514) 872-6412
    FFI: Service des infrastructures,
    du transport et de l'environnement
    Andre Lazure
    (514) 872-5582