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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Dying for road safety

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pedestrians "die" for road safety

Montreal has a tradition of using performance art as a means of protest. Back in 1976 “Bicycle Bob” Silverman and his pro-bike cohorts organized the first “die-in”. They were trying to draw attention to the number of pedestrians and cyclists who get killed every year from road accidents with vehicles. Combined with other miscrean activities — like painting their own bike lanes on the road — the city finally agreed that maybe they’re a good idea.

In 2006, another die-in was held to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the first. The message was the same, but there was added emphasis on the pollution created by cars and the geopolitical wars to secure oil reserves. Now an annual party, several hundred cyclists “died” yesterday on Ste-Catherine Street at McGill College.

Quebec’s Taksforce on Road Safety reports there are 3.6 million cyclists in the province. Between 2002 and 2006, cyclists represented 3 per cent of road deaths and 5 per cent of road injuries.

You can see more news about the die in and monthly rides at critical mass

More photos after the jump.

dead on the road
photo by Misha Warbanski

Bikes and Pedestrians take to the streets
photo by Misha Warbanski

photo by Misha Warbanski

photo by Misha Warbanski


One comment

  1. Montreal drivers better just smarten the hell up!, and start paying attention to other users of the roads including cyclists.,hello this a large city with lots of traffic congestion. also the lazyass service de police Montreal start getting out of their cruisers and coffeshops and enforce the dammed traffic laws! instead of sitting in there smoking cigarettes and playing with themselves.

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