Man hit by motorists 4 times while biking wants city, region to take action

Jeff Fedor live tweeted in the aftermath of his fourth accident and says the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, along with the region can do better. He's calling for better bike infrastructure, including a minimum grid of protected bike lines.

Jeff Fedor says he wants better bike infrastructure around the region to make biking safer

Fedor says motorists sometimes don't notice signage that states where bike lanes are, like this one, located on Belmont Ave, where the bike lane begins. (Kirthana Sasitharan/CBC)

A Kitchener man wants the city to invest in better bike infrastructure after being involved in four collisions over three years while cycling.

Jeff Fedor says he was cycling in the bike lane on Belmont Avenue last week when a driver tried to turn into a parking lot and hit him. 

"I think he just didn't expect me to be beside him," he said, adding he wasn't sure if the car was signaling or not because his bike was directly beside the car.

Fedor, a partner at Zeitspace and co-organizer of People Protected Bike Lanes, is an avid cyclist.  

He says he's been hit four times while cycling in Kitchener and Waterloo over the past three years.

He wants the cities, as well as the region, to take better action on cycling safety.

Jeff Fedor's accident took place at the intersection of Glasgow St and Belmont Ave, just as he was getting into the bike lane on Belmont Ave, across from the Tim Hortons on June 11. (Kirthana Sasitharan/CBC)

"What needs to change is, frankly, better infrastructure," says Fedor. "We need a minimum grid of protected bike lanes so that riders can travel safely through the city where they are not in a situation where cars are going to impede into them unexpectedly."

Cyclist live-tweeted aftermath

After Fedor was hit, he decided to live-tweet what happened, his condition and police response.

"I've been hit a few times and have had multiple brushes as well," he says. "One thing I know is cyclists don't know what to do if they are actually hit."

Fedor said each time he was hit, it was the result of a right-hand turn by a driver, and he thinks in  at least one case, faded cycling lane lines may have contributed. 

"Just the general process of turning right, you may be not looking directly into what's going on," he said.

"Drivers aren't aware that cyclists are on the road, and there's more and more of us."

According to Waterloo Regional Police Service, the driver of the vehicle, a 58-year-old Kitchener man, was charged with making an improper right turn.

City, Region working on cycling safety

Barry Cronkite is the director of transportation services for the City of Kitchener.

In an email, he said he spoke with Fedor.

He said they discussed cycling safety and the city's ongoing work — including a five-kilometre "separated cycling facilities project."

"The city's goal is to improve safety along our roadways for all users, regardless of age or ability," Cronkite said.

Cronkite recommended cyclists share their opinions in the online survey for Kitchener's Cycling and Trails Master Plan.

"We will use the information collected through the survey to help make informed decisions and shape the direction of cycling and trails infrastructure within the City of Kitchener for the next decade," he said.

The City of Waterloo declined to comment on Fedor's case, saying they have yet to speak to him, but did point out the city offers cycling courses.

Bob Henderson with the Region of Waterloo says the region is always working to make things better for cyclists.

"The region is continually striving to improve its roadway network by adding infrastructure, cycling infrastructure. In particular, we are adding more and more separated bike infrastructure," he said.

Henderson says the efforts that the region has undertaken have actually reduced the number of collisions involving cyclists.

But Fedor says a network of protected bike lanes would have a bigger impact on safety.

Fedor says his bike went under the car and he skid across the pavement when he was hit by a car on June 11. (Submitted by Jeff Fedor)