Latest O'Connor Street bike lane collision caught on jarring video
Tuesday's incident at least 3rd collision involving vehicle striking cyclist in newly opened lane
Dramatic video posted to YouTube shows another cyclist being struck by a vehicle on the recently opened O'Connor Street bike lane in Ottawa.
The video, shot by a camera mounted on the helmet of cyclist Paul Ringuette around 3:25 p.m. Tuesday, shows a white van turn left at Waverley Street, knocking a man riding in the south-bound lane of the segregated path off his bike. The cyclist tumbles onto the nearby sidewalk, coming to rest on his back.
Just witnessed a driver left hook a cyclist on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ocbl?src=hash">#ocbl</a> at Waverley. Cyclist seems ok, medics on way—@frpaul1
The video shows the van's driver and a pedestrian rushing over to check on the cyclist, who eventually gets up on his own. His bike did not appear badly damaged.
"It should be made clear that right and left hooks are not a product of bike lanes, they happen everywhere," Ringuette wrote in a message to CBC News.
"This was a 100 [per cent] driver error, not a bike lane issue. He passed the cyclist then immediately [turned] in this path of travel."
Ottawa police say the driver has been charged with failing to yield to traffic on a through-highway under the Highway Traffic Act since the cyclist had the right-of-way. The penalty for the infraction is an $85 fine and three demerit points.
Lane's configuration rare
It happened at the same intersection where a cyclist was struck on the day the lane officially opened. That collision sent the man to hospital with rib and shoulder injuries, and also involved a left-turning vehicle.
Another cyclist was struck near Somerset Street W. last week, making Tuesday's collision at least the third since the bike lane opened Oct. 20.
The executive director of Share the Road Cycling Coalition, which works to improve road safety in Ontario, said these kinds of two-way bike lanes on one-way streets are rare in the province.
"I think it's expected that there will be a little bit of a learning curve here," said Jamie Stuckless.
"Looking at Cannon Street in Hamilton [and its similar bike lane], it's a recent example from a few years ago. They did have some collisions in the first year. I think they had 16 [car versus bike] collisions."
Stuckless said these types of lanes are more popular in Vancouver, for example, and said she's optimistic the city's safety education efforts will sink in on O'Connor Street.
The city has installed both temporary and permanent signs along the length of the bike lane, which runs from Laurier Avenue W. to Fifth Avenue, and has posted messages on social media asking both motorists and cyclists to be careful.