Kitchener-Waterloo

High collision road in Guelph to pilot green bike lanes and bike boxes

300 collisions reported on Gordon Street between Waterloo Ave. and Wellington St. over 5 year period

Joe Pavia - CBC News

July 13, 2017

300 collisions took place on Gordon St between between Waterloo Ave. and Wellington St. from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2016. 69 per cent of the collisions involving an injury, and 66 per cent of the collisions happened while people turned into or out of a business or from a nearby roadway. (provided diagram)

The high volume of collisions between cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles on Gordon Street between Waterloo Ave. and Wellington St. has prompted the City of Guelph to launch a safety pilot project to introduce green-painted bike lanes and an intersection bike box for cyclists making left turns.

That 400 metre stretch of Gordon St. has seen 300 collisions between January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2016 with 69 per cent of the collisions involving an injury, and 66 per cent of the collisions happening while people turned into or out of a business or from a nearby roadway.

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The city is collecting feedback for the next couple of months to determine whether portions of the road will stay green after the test. 

What the city will do: 

Jennifer Juste, Program Manager of the Transportation Demand Management for the City of Guelph says the green bike lanes will not be a solid green stripe from Wellington to Gordon, but will instead be painted along points where they have had known conflicts.

"Across the intersection of Waterloo we've painted the bike lane green as well as in front of a couple of driveways' access on Gordon Street," said Juste. "It's only at specific hotspots to draw attention to drivers to watch out and pay extra attention."


Why so many collisions? 

Gordon Street between Waterloo Ave. and Wellington St. is a busy daily route for commuters as well as people looking for a business or turn onto a sidestreet.  Juste says some other factors come into play which have led to collisions.  

"Cyclists coming southbound are coming down hill from the top of Gordon Street at Norfolk. So they're coming at quite a speed that divers are not always able to anticipate," said Juste.

"The other issue is we do have a lot of traffic on Gordon at that location. When all the drivers are stopped at Wellington for a red light ... suddenly those drivers are blocking the view of the bike lanes. Someone waves a driver through to the drive-thru for example, and being courteous, they don't see the bike coming down and you have an incident."

Collision statistics:

The city will look for feedback through social media platforms until the end of September. If the pilot proves to be successful they will look at other areas of concern in the city where there are reported incidents or near collisions.