Cycle of problems: What can be done to reduce bike deaths?

With the recent spate of cycling deaths in Toronto, bike activists and road safety experts alike are demanding major reforms in cities across Canada.
A cyclist keeps a close eye on an approaching car. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
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Bikes vs. cars

by Duncan McCue

Four cyclists and 17 pedestrians have died in Toronto this year.

I can't help but think — it could have been me. 

I rode to work today and I've been cycling my whole life. I have had a few close-calls.

When I was a university student in Halifax, a car turned in my path without signalling. My bike hit the passenger door and I held on for dear life.

The driver slammed on the brakes. I smacked so hard into the side-view mirror it came off the door.

I kicked the car, swore at the driver, and pedalled away, too much in shock to realize I could have died.

Thankfully, I've never had a major bike incident since — knock on wood. But talk with any cyclist — in any Canadian city — and you'll get an earful of horror stories.

In the crush of cars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians, how safe do you feel? Do you think it's time to invest in more bike lanes in Canadian cities? Or are you a driver fed up with what's been called the 'war on the car'?

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