Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Lecture November 7

Coroner review of Cycling Deaths in Ontario

First there was the Coroner's report on Toronto, now an Ontario-wide review into cycling fatalities:
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Ontario's chief coroner will investigate an increase in cycling deaths across Ontario during a five-year period, it was announced Monday.

Dr. Dan Cass, a regional supervising coroner based in Toronto, leads the review and will look into all cycling-related deaths from 2006-10, searching for some common factors.

If Cass can see any similarities between the deaths, he will make recommendations to help increase cycling safety across the province. A final report should be released in spring 2012.

The investigation was initiated because of a concern surrounding cycling safety. The coroner estimates between 15 and 20 cyclists die on Ontario roads every year from accidental collisions.

Toronto cyclists union already on board
Toronto's cyclists union, which estimates a total of 35 pedestrians and cyclists die each year on Toronto roads, has already commended the coroner for undertaking the probe.

The coroner's office has also already met with Toronto lawyers Patrick Brown and Albert Koehl, who are both on the cyclists union, concerning the review.

"Safety improvements for one group of road users benefit other users. Any decrease in collisions will also reduce health care costs, suffering and family grief, which makes this initiative very important for the entire community," said Brown.

According to the cyclists union, there has been a reported 30 per cent increase in the number of people riding to work across Canada.

A 2009 poll cited by the union also revealed 60 per cent of Ontarians would cycle more but are afraid to do so.

Toronto cycling last reviewed in 1998

Toronto's regional coroner completed a review of cycling safety in the city in 1998 and made a long list of recommendations.

The final report asked for more detailed reporting of collisions, more education for cyclists and motorists and increased awareness surrounding helmet use, among other recommendations.

The report also called for more bike lanes and safer areas for cyclists to ride in Toronto.

This latest investigation also comes two weeks after an Ottawa woman — who was cycling to work — died after she was knocked into moving traffic by someone opening a car door.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Official Opening of Rail Trail extension over Highway 403

Councillor McHattie's office is extending an invitation to cyclists to attend the official opening of the new rail trail extension from Kirkendall to West Hamilton, past the railyard and over Hwy 403. A formal ceremony to celebrate the opening happens Wednesday, October 26 at 10 a.m. on the west side of the railyard at Stroud - so show up to celebrate cycling style!

Note that the city is still waiting for a decision from the Niagara Escarpment Commission about the cycling path link between Studholme and Glenside, across the Chedoke Golf Course.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Back to Front Entrance

The problematic front entrance at McMaster University's Main Street entry point that went from bad to worse with a major re-design and construction in 2007 is back on the drawing board at the University.

While we couldn't locate anything about the project on the McMaster web site page for the front entrance, or parking and transit, we did receive a copy of the pdf document prepared by consultants on the project for the university.

TLC will be following up with the university and city council about this major intersection that currently presents a dangerous situation for cyclists and pedestrians.

With the newly paved rail trail connection south of Main Street, there needs to be a way for cyclists to access the campus with some specific infrastructure in any new design at this location.

Improving the pedestrian crossings is also a priority for TLC, as the current design attempts (and fails) to serve automobile traffic at the expense of all other modes.

The McMaster University Faculty Association has been monitoring the situation, and some details about the project can be found in their newsletter.