According to data from the Social Planning and Research Council Hamilton pedestrians and cyclists are at higher risk of getting hit by cars than people in just about any other city in Ontario. Adrian Duyzer felt that pain first hand. He was struck by a car in early April. He joins us Thursday at noon for a live chat.
Duyzer, a web developer in Hamilton, went for a morning ride last week, when a car reversed out of a driveway and slammed into his bike. He was hit hard.
When he came to his vision was cloudy and, for a few moments, he had difficulty speaking. He collected his thoughts and wrote about the experience in Ryan McGreal's local urban affairs blog Raise the Hammer. He made a compelling first hand case for safer streets for cyclists in Hamilton.
The debate has been heated in the city. Proposals about bike lanes and two-way conversions have spurred some motorists to decry the so-called “War on the Car,” while others say the guardians of the status quo are paving the way for more death and injury on the road.
But the divisive, often-fiery chatter overlooks the connections that are formed between drivers and cyclists when they interact on the road, in good situations and bad.
The cyclist who consoled the driver who hit him
Duyzer recalls the reaction of the woman who was driving the car that hit him.
“She is weeping and babbling about how sorry she is and looks absolutely distraught,” he wrote. “She seems like a real sweetheart, and I put my hand on her arm and ask, ‘Are you alright?’ ”
The irony — the injured cyclist consoling the driver who rammed into him — got him to thinking: How could his experience help create a more compassionate debate about the design of Hamilton’s streets?
To explore this question, Duyzer was in studio for a live audio interview with CBC Hamilton on Thursday. He talked about the close call, his hard-won new insights on the debate, and responded to your questions and comments about the heated back and forth over safe streets in Hamilton.
To listen to the interview, click on the audio box at the top left-hand corner of the screen. And the questions and comments from the live chat are archived in the field below.