2nd cyclist struck on O'Connor Street bike lane pedalled world without mishap — until now
Cyclist Gary King was struck by car pulling out of parking lot Wednesday afternoon
Gary King pedalled thousands of kilometres around the world without a single mishap — until he was struck by a car Wednesday afternoon during his first spin along the new O'Connor Street bike lane, right here in his home town.
Adding to the irony, King, 56, was on his way home from a meeting on safe cycling networks when he collided with a car pulling out of the parking lot behind Mamma Teresa Ristorante at Somerset Street.
He's the second cyclist known to have been struck in the new bike lane since its official opening last week.
"The driver was looking the other way, and I guess when he had an opening in the traffic he hit the gas and came through and struck me with the front of his car," King told CBC News.
King was taken to hospital, but said he's "fine" besides a sore knee and ankle.
Restaurant owner 'petrified' this would happen
The owner of Mamma Teresa Ristorante said he's been "petrified" something like this might happen ever since the bike lane opened.
"It's very dangerous. When [drivers] pull out of our parking lot, they don't have a clear vision of the cyclists," said Frank Schimizzi.
He said he's been acting as a "valet" — along with running his restaurant — because some of his customers and delivery drivers are now too "nervous" about the bike lane.
A hydro pole near the entrance to the parking lot creates a blind spot, Schimizzi said. And he's worried visibility will only get worse this winter once snow starts piling up.
2nd collision 'concerning,' city says
Both the cyclist and the restaurant owner agree that more signs are needed.
"These private driveways come out onto a bike lane. It's not a proper intersection. Maybe there should be signage at the exit of the driveway that alerts that there's cyclists travelling in either direction," said King.
"It's early on," said Phil Landry. "Our hope is as time goes on people will become accustomed to the new traffic flows, and bicycle flows, on that road."
The cyclist said the collision won't stop him from getting back on his bike, and he's hoping to thank the three pedestrians who stayed with him until police and paramedics arrived on Wednesday afternoon.
"It was very comforting … so thanks to them," said King.