Ottawa

'It could be me': Cyclists worried after fatal hit and run

Cyclists are raising safety concerns about the block of Laurier Avenue where a fatal hit and run happened Thursday morning.

Concerns about turn lane and ramp on that block of Laurier Avenue

Anabel Beaudry-Sarazin says she doesn't feel safe on the bike lane that runs between the right-turn lane and centre lane. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Cyclists are raising safety concerns about the block of Laurier Avenue where a fatal hit and run happened Thursday morning.

Ottawa police are continuing to investigate the cause of the collision near the corner of Laurier and Elgin Street that killed an unidentified man between age 55 and 60.

They released a description and photo of the suspected driver, who left his vehicle a block away, fled on foot and has not been found.

Anabel Beaudry-Sarazin returned after seeing the aftermath of the collision on her way to work. She said she was there before paramedics arrived.

Cyclists fear for their safety after fatal collision

4 years ago
Duration 0:45
Cyclists who use the bike lane near Laurier Avenue and Elgin Street say they're worried about the safety of the route. Hélène Pellerin and Anabel Beaudry-Sarazin spoke to CBC News on Thursday.

"From the time I saw it [until I got] to work, I cried. It's hard because you think 'It could be me,'" she said.

"I'm afraid every day when I pass there because it's in the middle of two car lanes. Everybody must be careful."

Don Picard said he saw people trying to help the injured man.

"It was clear that this was a serious, serious accident. The individual wasn't moving," he said.

Don Picard said people need to be more patient with each other, in cars and on bikes, along Laurier Avenue. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Picard said he's concerned that infrastructure improvements won't be enough if people aren't patient with each other on the road.

"You cannot trust the cars. Even on Laurier, where it's well protected, there are cars cutting to the right."

"People are impatient in cars and you just have to be careful regardless of what they do to improve the road," adding he's also seen cyclists being aggressive.

Hélène Pellerin said her main issue on this stretch is drivers merging from the Queen Elizabeth Driveway into the westbound lanes of Laurier who sometimes don't see her coming down the slope of the bridge.

"Otherwise, I feel relatively safe. That's why I was surprised by seeing this accident this morning," she said.

Hélène Pellerin says cyclists and drivers need to be careful where the Queen Elizabeth Driveway ramp meets the westbound lanes of Laurier Avenue. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

She would like to see more protection for cyclists than what the current painted lane affords.

"When you come closer to the light there are cars that want to turn right here onto Elgin. They think this green colour on the ground doesn't mean anything, they just go and they don't really pay attention," she said.

Theresa Kavanagh was among the city councillors at a rally calling for improvements to city bike lanes. She left a chalk message on the sidewalk near the scene of the collision later Thursday.

People left flowers and messages in chalk on the Laurier Avenue sidewalk near where a man in his mid-to-late 50s was killed while cycling. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

"It's just so emotional for me. I went by here four times yesterday on my bike using that very lane," she said.

"This is what we're responsible for as city councillors. We have a responsibility to make our roads safe. When I look at this I know we have to do something else, we have to do something better."

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