The mother of a toddler knocked out of his stroller Thursday afternoon by a cyclist riding on the sidewalk is urging bike riders to stay on the road.
Lindsay Nelson said she was waiting for a bus near Greenbank and Baseline roads with her three children when a southbound cyclist clipped the stroller where her 13-month-old son Magnus Mayes was taking a nap.
The impact was so strong that Magnus fell out of the stroller, striking his head on the pavement, Nelson said.
"She was going extremely fast," she said. "Much too fast to be next to women and children on the sidewalk like that."
The cyclist — a woman who appeared to be in her 60s — didn't ring her bell or indicate she was approaching them on the sidewalk, Nelson said.
"She just came up right behind [us]. I didn't see her coming."
Rushed to hospital
After the crash, which also flung the cyclist onto the road, two Good Samaritans stopped and called 911, Nelson said.
Because her son has hemophilia, paramedics rushed him to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
That's the worst feeling in the world, as a mom — to know that your baby was hurt like that. - Lindsay Nelson
He ended up needing an IV installed, multiple injections, and a CT scan on his head to rule out a brain bleed, Nelson said.
They were allowed to leave the hospital later that day, but were called back to CHEO Friday morning so that Magnus could be reassessed.
Nelson said Magnus has bruises and a cut on his forehead from the collision.
"My son didn't deserve to be hurt. This was totally out of nowhere. He was napping in the stroller when it happened, and he woke up to pain," she said.
"And that's the worst feeling in the world, as a mom — to know that your baby was hurt like that."
Paramedics also offered to take the cyclist to the hospital, Nelson said, but she turned them down and left the scene.
After the crash happened, Nelson said she was too preoccupied with ensuring everyone was safe that she forgot to get the cyclist's name.
She said that when her family tried to file a police report the next day, they were told it wasn't a criminal matter.
"[I was told that] if I could find this woman, they would give her, maybe, a $100 ticket," Nelson said. "And it's pretty much a slap on the wrist."
Bylaw prohibits sidewalk cycling
Under the City of Ottawa's traffic and parking bylaw, bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks unless there are signs permitting it.
When there are authorized signs, the bylaw states cyclists must still give an "audible signal" when overtaking pedestrians.
Nelson said she was "very, very upset" by the fact there wouldn't be a police investigation.
"I think it's very unfortunate that nothing will come of [the incident]," Nelson said. "[The cyclist] got to go home to her family and have a nice, lovely dinner. And my son got to be poked multiple times by doctors and nurses at the hospital."
No one from the Ottawa Police Service was available for comment Friday evening.
While Greenbank Road is "fairly busy" near Baseline Road, without any cycling lanes, Nelson said most of the cyclists she's seen on that stretch use the road — not the sidewalk.
"I would just like for cyclists to be aware of their surroundings and not go on the sidewalk," she said. "I mean, pedestrians are defenseless against the speed of a bike."