Toronto

Toronto not doing enough to protect cyclists, says councillor

Less than a month after Toronto councillors voted to double the size of the city's cycling network, serious collisions involving cyclists continue to occur.

'We're not aggressive enough in making cycling safe'

Sharing the road between cyclists and drivers is a philosophy that hasn't yet been fully adopted by all, says Toronto Coun. Paula Fletcher. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Cyclists and drivers are supposed to share the road, but some things are easier said than done. 

Less than a month after Toronto councillors voted to double the size of the city's cycling network, serious collisions involving cyclists continue to occur. 

On Tuesday, for example, a 71-year-old cyclist died in hospital after swerving to avoid a moving vehicle in Toronto. Police said the cyclist had the right of way, but may have been travelling at a high rate of speed before he smashed into the back of a parked minivan. 

Paula Fletcher, a Toronto city councillor, told CBC Radio's Here and Now that she commutes to work on a bicycle in summer. She said collisions involving cyclists occur frequently in the city not only because there are more cyclists on the road, but also because drivers aren't making way.

"Far more people are cycling now," said Fletcher, referring to investments made by Metrolinx to boost the number of bicycles available to rent in the city.

"I do think that the 'share the road' philosophy just isn't strong enough yet in Toronto. People aren't watching for cyclists and watching for pedestrians and the notion that we should share the road should be a priority."

The councillor stressed the need for committees on cycling and pedestrian safety to assist the city by providing politicians with solutions to prevent fatalities.

"Every death is a very big tragedy," she said, adding Toronto is "a little too timid" when it comes to taking steps toward making city streets a more bike-friendly environment. 

"We're not aggressive enough in making cycling safe in this city of Toronto."
Toronto Coun. Paula Fletcher says the city is a little bit timid when it comes to creating a safer environment for cyclists. (CBC)

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