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City will look into a separated bike lane on Claremont Access

The cycling death of a Hamilton teacher spurs councillors to take action on the roadway where the accident happened.

Jay Keddy, a local teacher, was killed on the access this week

Friends of Jay Keddy and members of the cycling community gathered at the site where Keddy was killed Wednesday. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

This week, a kindergarten teacher was killed when a truck hit him as he bicycled up the Claremont Access.

Now, the city is looking into putting a bike lane separated from vehicle traffic on the route.

Jay Keddy, a Mountain resident and community volunteer who taught at Prince of Wales school, was hit by a black truck around 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Witnesses who saw the collision started CPR on Keddy, but he died on scene.

Terry Whitehead, a Ward 8 city councillor, initiated the study of a separated bike lane on the access on Friday. He knew Keddy from his time at Norwood Park school, when Whitehead was vice-chair of the school council. He also knew him through the West Highland Baptist Church, where Keddy was a deacon and board member.

"I just remember what a wonderful individual he was. He was a very caring, compassionate, dedicated individual," Whitehead said. "If I was going to choose someone to teach my child, it would be Jay."

Whitehead said Keddy's death influenced the move to look into a delineated bicycle lane. But he was already concerned.

"I've already raised a number of concerns in terms of near misses on West 5th," said Whitehead, who expects the report early next year. "Those streets are just not designed to safely accommodate bicycles, period."

Matthew Green, a Ward 3 councillor, said he wants the city to adopt measures similar to Vision Zero, a Toronto road safety plan.

"There are design improvements we can make," he said of local roads. "There are policy improvements we can make."

The goal, he said, is "to ensure we reduce the likelihood of this ever happening again."

Community members had a rally on Thursday, where they put a ghost bicycle on the Mountain access road.

Also on Thursday, a pedestrian was hit near Barton and Catharine. He went to hospital with life-threatening injuries but was listed in stable condition as of Friday afternoon.

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