A group of concerned parents, pedestrians and cyclists blocked an intersection in Montreal's Outremont borough to call for better traffic control after a video of a baby in a stroller being hit by a car went viral.
They say they worry for the safety of children as car and bike accidents have been some leading causes of death in minors.
About a dozen people with "Pedestrians first" posters and strollers sat in the middle of Lajoie and Bloomfield Streets, where last week's highly publicized incident happened.
"The images that we saw circulating last week of a child in a stroller being struck by a motorist really, like most Montrealers, shook us to our core," said Mathieu Murphy-Perron, founder of Vélorution Montréal, a new collective aimed at reducing cars in the city.
"We just want the city to be a little bit less car-centric and a little bit more human-focused."
He said people limiting how often they use their cars and riding public transit for short distances would be a good start.
Julien Couasnon, who lives in the nearby Rosemont neighbourhood, would like Montreal to take inspiration from cities like Amsterdam in the Netherlands where pedestrians and cyclists take priority over cars.
"The main thing is to do something about the cars and slow them down. It's easy to do," he said.
"I also want to promote a more human city where people who have babies or have disabilities and the elderly can move around the city safely without being injured or risking their lives."
Traffic control measures to come
Outremont Mayor Laurent Desbois said the viral video of a motorist hitting a stroller and fleeing the scene was "very graphic and shocking."
In a recent council meeting, motions to reduce the speed limit on Lajoie Street to 20 kilometres per hour and for a pilot project creating a dead end on Bloomfield Street were adopted, he said.
"I actually live in the neighbourhood and have kids so I'm very aware of the issue. There's a school and a bike path so we need to take care of speed on Lajoie Street," said Desbois.
"We do acknowledge that there are problems with speed, stops not being made and too many cars."
The reduced speed limit should be implemented in the coming weeks.
Desbois said these changes are part of a broader traffic plan for the borough, which will include working with the city of Montreal to create a network of bike paths — which he says are sorely lacking in Outremont.
Not everyone is on board with ditching their cars just yet.
Outremont resident Luciano Bozzini said it was the first time he saw an accident like last week's, and that "there are always some in Montreal."
He said cuts to public transit resulting in less bus routes and delays in the Metro will turn off possible commuters.
Marie-Pier Côté, who also lives in Outremont, said though there are many families and lots of movement in the area, getting rid of cars isn't realistic and the city should find other solutions.
She said she needs her car to get around for work and no amount of public transportation options will change that.
"Without my car, I wouldn't have the job that I like," said Côté.